February focus on employees

Let’s talk about employees. Too often I’ve heard small business owners say that “you don’t know what real business headaches are until you have employees”. However, from my point of view, that’s usually because employers don’t know just how complex and vast are the laws and regulations that rule human resources. And, after all, you wouldn’t need to hire employees if your business wasn’t growing, right?

So, if you have them, you probably know that February 6th – April 30th is the period of time for which you need to complete and post your OSHA form 300A, recording any illnesses or injury during the prior year and maintained for 5 years at your place of business. This year’s reporting may be challenging due to COVID – 19 business closures and illnesses or accidents experienced by employees while actively working for you on your site or through contact with family members while working for you at home. Please contact us for the latest guidelines on this. If you need assistance preparing and submitting your logs, please connect with us here:  team@togetHRconsulting.com

And, speaking of covid-19, no doubt your employees are dealing with a variety of related issues:

  • fear of illness
  • anxiety over ways to reduce vulnerabilities
  • concern over their job stability
  • concern about the efficacy and availability of the vaccine
  • conflicts over unemployment benefits which may exceed salary

Here are some resources you may want to explore:

  • The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Thermometers for quick temperature read outs
  • Bottles of effective hand sanitizers (at least 60% alcohol) in washrooms, meetings spaces, lunch rooms, etc.
  • Posted guidelines for safe measures
    • Emphasize hand hygiene including washing hands for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • Always wash hands with soap and water.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Relaxation techniques for meditation, nature videos, calming music
  • Frequent team meetings to address concerns, update team on company plans
  • Availability of a recommended professional for stress management, nutrition, safe masks
  • Revising the on-site seating arrangements for shared space to conform to social distancing guidelines
  • Review your policies on sick leave, late arrivals/early departures

March 5 is Employee Appreciation Day, celebrated since 1995, this year’s acknowledgement may be among the most important your business ever celebrates and there are so many safe ways to celebrate: handwritten notes of gratitude, zoom party, public acknowledgment of an employee’s contributions, encouragement for new ideas for your business, expanded flexibility; find the meaningful way to let your employees know the enormous contribution they make to your business daily and your gratitude for that commitment.

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For you as the employer, TogetHR Consulting has up to the minute guidelines on your liability re: suspensions, temporary lay-offs, need to reduce hours, decision to close or send employees home, leniency for necessary absences re: vaccination appointments and more. We urge you to always stay on the safe side; please contact us for any questions that will improve relationships with your employees and your ability to keep the lights on and productivity going.

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