With the expansion of COVID-19 and a renewed emphasis on corporate responsibility, it’s prudent for all businesses—especially those operating in the retail sector—to formulate a plan to address various issues related to COVID-19.
Retail businesses face a unique challenge during this pandemic because they generally cannot limit person-to-person interaction and their employees are usually unable to work from home. Nevertheless, there are steps that retail businesses should consider to reassure their customers and promote responsible behavior:
- Promote Good Hygiene. Display informational posters that promote good hygiene and address common questions about COVID-19 in customer and employee areas, including restrooms. Emphasize the need for employees and managers to wash their hands thoroughly and often, avoid touching their faces, and maintain a safe distance between each other and your customers (3-6 feet).
- Require Sick Employees To Say Home. Require individuals with a fever or respiratory illness to remain at home until they are free of fever (less than 100.4° F), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Ensure your managers regularly observe employees for these symptoms and immediately send any affected individual home.
- Review and Revisit Sick Leave. Ensure your managers and employees understand your sick leave policy. Also consider relaxing your sick leave policy, or even providing additional paid sick leave, for a specific and limited period of time (i.e., 4 weeks) to discourage ill employees from showing up to work.
- Enhance Cleaning Procedures. Implement enhanced cleaning protocols with your janitorial provider and/or employees to ensure consumer and employee areas are cleaned more often and that frequently touched surfaces are sanitized regularly. Also ensure that essential cleaning and hygiene supplies are available, such as cleaning agents and restroom supplies. Ensure that disposable wipes or other sanitizing products are readily available to employees and customers.
- Inform Your Customers. Send out an e-mail, create a social media post, or display a poster at your business to inform your customers what specific steps your business is taking to help combat the spread of COVID-19 and protect your customers.
- Be Prepared. Create contingency plans for late call-offs, no-shows, and suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 that may affect your business. Consider notifying your employees of any suspected or confirmed cases and pausing your operations to conduct a deep clean of your business and any common facilities that person may have used.
- Stay Informed. Check the websites of the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regularly, and ensure your managers and employees are taking the recommend steps to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in your Businesses.
We strongly recommend that business owners take time to discuss and prepare for the effects that COVID-19 could have on their business. If you have any questions about how to tackle the particular challenges facing your business as a result of this pandemic, please contact Marcus & Boxerman at (312) 216-2720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.