How to Create a COVID-19 Safe Workplace for All

As we enter year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses in the U.S. have two delicate and complex considerations to take into account for providing a safe work environment: employee choice and COVID-19 regulations.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently blocked a national COVID-19 vaccination mandate for organizations with over 100 employees, but it allowed the mandate for federally-funded healthcare facilities. This puts business and HR leaders in the difficult position to either:

In both cases, you have tough decisions ahead of you, which will need to factor in employee choice while ensuring effective communication. In this article, we’ll cover:

4 Ways Companies Can Create a Safe Workplace During the Pandemic

Leadership and HR need to create clear workplace safety policies to keep employees healthy during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. But there’s not just one right way to do it.

Here are four ways to ensure a safe workplace:

Get an HR expert’s advice on navigating masks in the workplace.

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Communication Is Key to Create a Safe Workplace

Whichever option an organization chooses, it’s essential to clearly communicate the decision to all employees. Some effective ways of going about this include:

It’s vital to communicate all options to employees and support each choice being offered. This way, employees will understand the rules have a purpose, and they won’t feel as though they’re being dictated to by leadership.

Building trust with employees requires as much transparency as possible, so leadership needs to take the time to explain how they arrived at their decision and the burdens it places upon the employees and business as well.

Mandating Vaccines and Tests? Take Advantage of Vaccination Tracking Software

If your organization decides or is required to mandate COVID-19 vaccines or testing, that adds an additional recordkeeping burden on HR, not to mention enforcement. Vaccination tracking software can help organizations keep track of employee vaccination statuses to ensure they’re following COVID-19 safety regulations. Vaccination tracking software can also help organizations comply with any regulations.

For example, BambooHR recently launched a COVID-19 vaccination tracking feature, allowing employers to collect the following information:

This type of tool can make it easier for your organization to follow federal or local requirements, create safer work environments, and adjust current health and safety plans in real-time as needs and situations change.

Put Employees at the Heart of Safety Policies and Compliance

If any non-compliance issues come up, here are some final recommendations to diffuse the tension of the situation:

Providing all employees with the same options and access under a given policy—whether it’s testing, masks, remote work opportunities, etc.—will establish stronger trust and create an equal, safe playing field and workplace for all.