As we start up our courses again, we are taking steps to ensure the safety of students and facilitators.
These steps include:
Class sizes have been reduced 9-11 max.
Each participant will be seated at their own table and tables will be spaced 2 metres apart.
Participants will be asked a series of COVID-19 exposure questions 1 day before the course and responses will be verified upon arrival for the training. In the event that you cannot attend the course based on your exposure, you will be rescheduled.
Sanitizer is available and will be required upon entry to the training room.
Coffee, tea, or snacks will not be provided.
The training room will be cleaned and sanitized before and after each day of training. This includes sanitizing all hard surfaces such as tables, chairs, door handles, etc.
All course materials will be emailed electronically prior to the course. If possible, please bring a tablet or computer with the files saved ready to use during the course. We will also have printouts prepared well in advance and handled with clean gloves, but electronic is recommended.
Participants are expected to follow good hygiene practices, click here for more information.
An employee at my workplace tested positive. What information should I provide to other employees and customers?
Businesses are advised NOT to provide any personal health information about an employee to staff or customers. Public Health conducts a public health investigation to determine if someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19 was at work during the time they were infectious.
Public health officials work closely with people who have tested positive for COVID-19. This includes addressing their health concerns and determining who they may have had close, prolonged contact with when they were infectious. Public health officials will then directly contact every person deemed to be a close contact, defined as having had significant exposure to the positive COVID-19 individual when they were infectious. Public health makes contact as quickly as possible with all identified contacts.
If any additional measures need to be taken at your workplace, public health officials will call you directly to provide advice.
Helping your workers maintain their morale is key to keeping your organization going.
Morale is not about false positivity or false security. It’s about being clear, communicating effectively, and reassuring people where you can to maintain productivity as much as possible and reduce the distraction caused by fear. These are key tenets to great leadership that will help you to make sure morale is built AND sustained, both now and into the future.
Checking in daily is good. It’s important to have conversations and meetings so that you know what your workers are doing, but too many meetings and calls will give people the sense that you are checking up on them. It also makes it hard for people to get their work done.
Be careful of creating restrictive rules about your need to “see” what people are doing versus giving them room to do the work. Shift your mindset to the idea that people want to do their best work.
In the workplace, we often rely on physical proximity for creating connections. Working while maintaining social distancing provides fewer of those opportunities, and people will miss them greatly. As a leader, it’s crucial that you are intentional about creating ways for people to stay connected to each other, to you, and to the work overall.
Sharing information from your organization helps people know what is going on in the company. Include stories of success, humour, and empathy in your internal communications now too. You may want to call on your Gen Z and millennial employees for their ideas on how to stay connected virtually. Give them opportunities to lead where they can.
For example, S2SA has weekly virtual group meetings, to keep updated on what everyone is doing, as well as two group chat “channels”: One for work and one for sharing cute pictures of our pets while we work remotely! Even if your organization is not working remotely, virtual meetings and workplace chat channels can help fulfill the social aspects of work while working further apart.
Given the distractions in the world, people may be struggling to stay focused. They may want to do good work but are feeling pulled toward the relentless news cycle. Be clear about your expectations.
Help employees understand what their priorities are. Either set priorities for them or ask them to send you what they see as their most important pieces of work. Agree on the priorities, being careful not to overwhelm, and set an overall time frame.
This may seem obvious, but employees often identify appreciation as lacking in organizations. This is a major contributor to poor employee engagement. Often, leaders do appreciate what their people are doing but fail to prioritize sharing it. Again, false positivity is not what is needed. Genuine, heartfelt appreciation for the work getting done and the contributions people are making is absolutely crucial right now.
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.
How COVID-19 spreads
COVID-19 spreads person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Ways you can reduce or slow the spread of infections include:
Wash your hands frequently.
Stay home if you are sick (so you do not spread the illness to other people).
Use a tissue, or cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not your hand. Turn away from other people.
Use single-use tissues. Dispose of the tissue immediately.
Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing or using tissues.
Regularly sanitize surfaces.
Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth (viruses can transfer from your hands and into the body).
To help reduce the spread of communicable diseases and viruses including COVID-19, workplaces should have an infection prevention and control plan. Workplaces should consider whether doing certain tasks puts employees at greater risk of exposure.
Strategies for Employers:
Maintain Clean Facilities
Provide clean handwashing facilities and alcohol-based hand cleansers in multiple locations throughout the building (e.g., entrances, boardrooms, break rooms, etc.).
Post signage in the workplace, encouraging proper cough etiquette and hand hygiene (posters available here).
Regularly clean workstations and objects with disinfectants that are touched frequently, such as doorknobs, handles, elevator buttons, and railings. Workplaces are encouraged to increase the frequency of cleaning the workstation/worksite to two times per day.
Provide boxes of tissues and encouraging their use.
Remind staff to avoid sharing cups, glasses, dishes or cutlery, and ensuring cups/glasses/dishes/cutlery are thoroughly cleaned using soap and warm water after each use, or placed in the dishwasher for cleaning.
Remove magazines, papers, and other objects that cannot be cleaned from common rooms such as cafeterias, kitchens, break rooms, and waiting areas.
Ensure ventilation systems are working properly including opening windows as weather permits.
Encourage employees to NOT go to work if they are feeling unwell (e.g., coughing, sneezing, fever, runny nose, etc.)
Review sick-leave policies to encourage employees to stay home when ill to reduce transmission to other coworkers and clients.
Review requirements for medical (sick) notes to reduce burden on the health care system and additional exposure to ill individuals.
Use social distancing techniques to conduct as much business as possible
Encourage virtual meetings (telephone/video conferencing) to reduce prolonged, close contact between individuals.
Discontinue non-essential work-related travel outside of Manitoba.