This week in the UK, many businesses are considering how to safely return their employees to construction sites, field work and offices in larger numbers. Schools, nurseries and—dare we hope—shops, bars and restaurants may follow in June and July.
What does your workplace look like today? Is it an empty office or a packed manufacturing facility? Wherever your employees and colleagues are, their health and safety have never been more important.
Post-pandemic, the vigilance around employee care will move from wellness to health. I don’t want to downplay a strong wellbeing policy, and it’s cool to have a yoga studio, but it’s essential to provide protection from harm. Government guidelines will likely mean it’s not a matter of choice, but it’s not legislation alone that will drive this cultural change.
Some new examples of business responses are highlighted in a recent article from the BBC, from onsite medical teams to implementing temperature checks for employees and customers.
“We used to say every business will be a digital business. But today we say every business will be a health business.”Gianfranco Casati, Chief Executive for Growth markets, Accenture
Businesses with high-risk environments have recognised the importance of keeping employees safe and healthy for a long time. I worked with an offshore drilling company who set ‘Safety’ as a cultural objective for all employees. It’s sound reasoning—a payroll clerk doing their job with unerring accuracy gives someone on the drilling platform one less distraction on the job.
So, how does this impact recruitment and talent acquisition?
In your communications plan, information on health and wellbeing should be mandatory information, not just positioned as a benefit. Recruiters and interviewers must demonstrate higher levels of responsibility and care to candidates, including guidance on safely accessing your sites.
Implementing virtual hiring solutions can help to protect your employees and candidates by eliminating face-to-face interactions while allowing you to continue moving forward with your recruiting needs.
In late 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, prospective employees who wanted to understand a company’s culture and values asked their interviewers how they and their colleagues were treated, and how well they were cared for.
In a way, that shouldn’t feel new. People and culture are most companies’ greatest assets. Leading organisations recognise this and demonstrate it to their employees and candidates. Protecting your people must be more serious now, but it’s likely always been a priority.
Haven’t you always been a health business?