An article published by BusinessWeek (2009) this past week suggests that the recent H1N1 flu outbreak may teach us more than one thing about our businesses and may even improve our workplaces. It’s an intriguing concept – H1N1 can help organizations become a better workplace?
Gene Marks, the author of the article, suggests that this flu may (and should) prompt a more thorough “business check-up” for many businesses and “test our management skills and tell us a lot about our company and people” (Marks, 2009). This check-up includes asking questions such as…
- Have we defined key or important employees?
- Are our health benefits providing adequate coverage for employees?
- Is our workplace equipped with the appropriate infection control procedures?
- Can we fill the gaps if our employees are out of the office?
- Do we have appropriate remote working options?
- Are we providing a sufficient amount of paid time off that helps employees meet their work/life needs?
These are just a few of the many questions employers could ask themselves to better equip their organizations in handling the H1N1 virus. But these questions are not just relevant to workplaces dealing with the pandemic; rather they are enhancements that all workplaces should consider to retain and engage their current talent.
Marks (2009) also suggests that H1N1 will probably provide a number of insights regarding those employees that truly care about their work and those that don’t. In other words, the pandemic may provide valuable information on how engaged your employees are at your organization.
The lessons of H1N1 can help many organizations achieve a healthier, safer, and more employee-friendly workplace if they are willing to conduct a “check up” Certainly, this pandemic has been a test for all of our organizations, but offers an opportunity to learn from the challenges it has posed to us and put practices into place to better our workplaces.
Marks, G. (2009). Guess What – Swine Flu Could Be Good For A Small Business. BusinessWeek.