How To Take Care Of Your Team During The Corona Virus Outbreak

People are afraid…. There is no denying it, and even if your team seems stable and unafraid that doesn’t mean that they aren’t scared witless. The Covid-19 spread is almost like the beginning of a zombie apocalypse movie. Everybody is getting in on the action, John Hopkins University of Medicine has put up and outbreak map, with a Black screen and blood-red outbreak areas.  When you look at it you can’t help but be afraid. We are hearing horror stories out of Italy that people are laying in hospitals gasping for air and dying due to a lack of medical supplies.  The media is creating hype around this pandemic to keep people glued to there televisions, radios, and your Facebook page (let’s face it, a lot of people get their news from Facebook, heck you probably found this blog on Facebook). So what are you, the owner/manager, supposed to do about it? How can you comfort your team? How can protect your people and get them through this tough time?

This is a Link to the John Hopkins Outbreak Map
This is a Link to the John Hopkins Outbreak Map

First things first, you have to debunk any false information, right now there is a lot of bogus information out there, and false information is dangerous. There is literally pages and pages on the internet full of false rumors about the virus. Some say it was created in a lab, some say it comes from eating bats. The fact is no one really knows where the virus originated, and at this point it is unimportant. What is important is how we react to it. So before you give anyone on your team information make sure it is true first. (Here is an example of some bad information someone started a rumor that if you eat garlic you can not contract the corona virus.)

World Health Organizations Myth Busting InfoGraphics more can be found at this link
World Health Organizations Myth Busting InfoGraphics more can be found at this link

Then, as an owner or manager, your job is to make sure that your company is staying within compliance. The emergency laws surrounding this Pandemic can vary from state to state. That means you will have to call your local public health departments. They can give you better clarification on your job as an employer. Almost every state has some sort of hotline set up to give information out to businesses so that businesses can keep within legal compliance. There are also websites that are run by the CDC, or the World Health Organization, which is full of information that can be passed onto your team. I can’t stress this enough, It is vital that you pass on only vetted information because if you pass on bogus information and your team gets sick it is your fault.

Get your information from credible sources only.
Beware of Fake News and Vet your information. This is a news report on fake information
Beware of Fake News and Vet your information

Now it is time to make a plan, remember plans serve two purposes in your business

1. It helps to mitigate the disruptions that this virus will cause to your business, this is extremely important because your business’s functionality is going to dictate how you get through this tough time.

2. When you plan you make your people feel safer. No one should have to go to work and be afraid for their lives. (dramatic pause while that sinks in, go back and read that sentence again.) By making plans you make your entire team feel safer. It is almost like when you had a nightmare as a kid and mom would tell you “It’s not real it was just a dream.” She would then give you a hug you would feel better, and safe again, and go back to bed. You are doing that same thing for your team.  That alone will make them feel better.

So go grab some of that good information from the CDC, The World Health Organization, and your local government and get to work. Here are some suggestions

1. Put hand cleaner and hand sanitizer everywhere, make sure your people use it and institute restaurant rules. Those rules state that no one goes back to work after a restroom break without washing their hands.

2.  Stock up on tissues and take a minute to teach people the correct way to sneeze or cough into a tissue. Here is a video made from the Students at Texas A & M put together to teach you how people sneeze and the best ways to sneeze. sounds silly but believe it or not most people don’t know the proper way to do it.

3. If you feel sick or have a fever stay home. It seems pretty common sense yet most people will go to work anyway out of fear of missing a paycheck. Listen one day missed on your paycheck is not worth getting everyone else sick.  The Federal government has passed several relief bills so that you can apply for unemployment and immediately get it.

4. Create a protocol for interacting with customers, for example, wear latex or Nitrile gloves, and do not touch your face after making contact with other people.  Make sure that if you are in the home service business that your guys have hand cleaner in their trucks

5. Have some fun by grabbing your coworkers and doing a TikTok dance Challenge. I know that sounds ridiculous, but doing something like that will raise morale significantly.

6, You can even send people some basic information in a short small funny video like this one. where a hamster shows you how to fight the Corona Virus
Heres a link to the tik tok dance challenge.
 Here’s a link to the tik tok dance challenge.

Here’s a link to the song

I know what you are thinking,  “all these ideas are nice Rob, but how are we supposed to get these supplies, like latex gloves and hand sanitizer, and hand cleaners, etc.. etc.. “ Well, in the book “Be a Service Ninja” I talk about how to be resourceful. Let me tell you what we did at our company. We bought latex/nitrile gloves and shoe covers directly from our manufacturer instead of in the store (Yep we got them direct from shubee.) We needed hand cleaner so we went to the auto parts store, where they gallons of the stuff just laying around.  Hand Cleaner isn’t exactly what you think of when you think of an auto parts store. Next, we ordered additional hand sanitizer dispensers from Cintas and mounted them directly in the trucks of our Service Technicians. As for Toilet paper and Tissue paper we hit two places, the Rite Aid Pharmacy (nobody goes to the pharmacy for that so they had a huge stock.) For Tissues, paper towels, and cleaning supplies we went to Home Depot, we also found a stockpile at Staples (bet you didn’t know Home Depot and Staples stocked cleaning supplies, paper towels, or Kleenex.)   You can find all this stuff yourself you just have to be resourceful and stop looking in the normal places that you would get this stuff.

Want some Toilet Paper? Click the picture below oh course by the time 200 people read this they will have bought staples out of toilet paper. Check to see if its still there.

Find your stuff elsewhere here is a link to toilet paper from staples
Find your stuff elsewhere here is a link to toilet paper from staples

So here are the facts, we are all going to have a tough time over the next few months. Take care of yourself and take care of your people. They need you to get through this tough time, and you need them. Once we are all on the other side of this Pandemic we will all be much stronger, and as always remember this:

That’s how a Service Ninja does it!