Elwood Staffing | The HR Managers' Guide to Business Continuity Planning

Page 1

THE

HR MANAGERS’

GUIDE TO

BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING: CREATING CALM—NOT CHAOS—AFTER A CATASTROPHE


MIC,

IES,

MARKET

B OYCOT T,

FLOOD,

USTRY IRE, T

DECLINE,

CESSION,

TRADE

POLITICS,

MARKET

T

WA R ,

RECESSION, DECLINE,

TORNADO,

POLITICS, PA N D E M I C ,

POLICIES,

TORNADO,

INDUSTRY

PA N D E M I C , POLICIES, FLOOD,

CRASH,

FIRE,

MARKET

B OYCOT T,

RECESSION,

DECLINE,

B OYCOT T,

FLOOD,

FLOOD,

POLITICS,

HURRICANE,

MARKET

POLICIES,

TORNADO,

INDUSTRY

FIRE,

POLITICS, PA N D E M I C ,

TRADE

WA R ,

TRADE

TORNADO,

TRADE

TORNADO,

TERRORISM,

WA R ,

RECESSION,

POLITICS, PA N D E M I C ,

No one is ever prepared for everything, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for some things.

CRASH,

COT T,

DECLINE,

WA R ,

TERRORISM,

RECESSION,

TERRORISM,

TRADE

HURRICANE,

CRASH,

B OYCOT T,

HURRICANE,

CRASH,

B OYCOT T,

USTRY

FLOOD,

DECLINE,

TRADE

TERRORISM,

RECESSION,

HURRICANE,

MARKET

INDUSTRY

FIRE,

FIRE,

CRASH,

B OYCOT T,

FLOOD,

INDUSTRY

DECLINE,

HURRICANE,

MARKET

POLICIES,

POLICIES,

TORNADO,

TERRORISM,

IRE,

POLITICS,

INDUSTRY

FIRE,

PA N D E M I C ,

TORNADO,

PA N D E M I C ,

DECLINE,

FLOOD,

POLITICS,

TERRORISM,

WA R ,

RICANE,

TERRORISM,

TRADE

HURRICANE,

COT T,

IES,

WA R ,

RECESSION,

CRASH,

MIC,

CRASH,

TERRORISM,

WA R ,

CESSION,

PA N D E M I C ,

DECLINE, RICANE,

POLITICS,

TRADE

POLITICS,

FLOOD,

CRASH,

B OYCOT T,

TRADE

WA R ,

TRADE

TORNADO,

POLICIES,

TORNADO,

TERRORISM,

RECESSION,

DECLINE,

HURRICANE,

DECLINE,

HURRICANE,

MARKET

INDUSTRY

FIRE,

FIRE,

POLICIES,

TORNADO,

TERRORISM,

INDUSTRY

FLOOD,

INDUSTRY

POLITICS,

PA N D E M I C , POLICIES, FLOOD,

FIRE,

MARKET

B OYCOT T,

RECESSION,


TABLE OF CONTENTS 2

YOU GOT THIS:

UNDERSTANDING YOUR ROLE IN CONTINUITY PLANNING 8

SET THE STRATEGY:

GUIDING YOUR COMPANY THROUGH WORKFORCE CHANGES 24

GET TALKING:

CREATING & IMPLEMENTING A SOLID COMMUNICATIONS PLAN 30

KEEP SPIRITS HIGH:

PROTECTING EMPLOYEE MORALE 34

LOOK OUT FOR ICEBERGS:

MONITORING THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LANDSCAPE

1


YOU GOT THIS:

UNDERSTANDING YOUR ROLE IN CONTINUITY PLANNING

2


3


There’s nothing like a pandemic—or the turn of a century, or a recession, or a trade war—to throw your business into a tizzy and highlight the need for a business continuity plan (BCP). And, like most things in life, it’s usually better to have a plan than to make one up on the fly.

If you don’t know where you’re going, all roads lead to nowhere. The thing about business disruptions is that no two are exactly the same; so, obviously, you will need to build a little flexibility into your plans. “What if” scenarios are your friend—not your foe—so think about the possibilities but don’t lose yourself in contingency planning. After all, that’s what the CEO gets paid for, right? As your company’s human resources leader, it’s your job to mitigate the effects of a disruption or disaster on your company’s most important asset: its labor force. There is no one who will put as much thought into your workers as you do. You got this.

4


Think about your plan this way: A BCP is not much different than one of the benefits you tout during open enrollment. A retirement plan helps employees save for the future, health insurance helps navigate life’s medical uncertainties, and life insurance provides financial assistance after a death. A BCP is similar in that it provides a way for you and your company to navigate an uncertain future and mitigate catastrophic loss. While a BCP encompasses every facet of the business, your role includes planning for everything related to the company’s human capital: from communicating to employees, business partners, and the public to monitoring the news and providing valuable input on the company’s larger human capital strategy.

TODAY

BEFORE MARCH 2020

If the need for a labor-related portion of a BCP recently snuck up on you like a ghost in the night, you’re not alone. In fact, if you work for a small business (50 or fewer employees), it’s more likely than not that you were unprepared. It’s also fairly probable that the big company down the street was also unprepared. As it turns out, COMPANIES WITH LABOR-RELATED BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANS many companies ALL COMPANIES: 51% aren’t prepared for business disruptions even though the individuals inside 40% 54% 64% 62% spend considerable 50 OR FEWER 51-100 EMPLOYEES 101-500 EMPLOYEES 500+ EMPLOYEES time preparing for EMPLOYEES and insuring against ALL COMPANIES: 79% personal losses.

70%

87%

86%

93%

50 OR FEWER 51-100 EMPLOYEES 101-500 EMPLOYEES 500+ EMPLOYEES Of over 500 EMPLOYEES employers we surveyed in July 2020, only 51% indicated they had a labor-related component of their BCP—if they even had a BCP—when we all realized we needed one back in March of 2020. But as the saying goes, “There’s no time like the present,” and, overall, about 50% of companies that reported not having a labor plan created one. So, today, 79% of all HR leaders are at least somewhat prepared for the next crisis.

5


THERE’S A LOT THAT GOES INTO A PLAN Your job is to protect the company’s human capital, but that can’t come at the peril of company finances, business operations, production demands, safety considerations, security concerns, or the like. Your crisis response must complement the responses of every other department within your company, but you’re in a tough position because you will likely be at the forefront of communications intended to keep everyone calm while simultaneously being asked to produce an actionable plan to reduce the company’s labor expenses, maintain compliance with a rapidly changing legal landscape, and keep morale high. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. And you’re that someone!

6


Let’s examine the components of your part of your company’s continuity plan:

SET THE STRATEGY: GUIDING YOUR COMPANY THROUGH WORKFORCE CHANGES

·B e well-versed in the pros and cons of various cost-reduction strategies, and partner with your finance team to meet cost-reduction goals. ·B e able to quickly compile and understand human capital data from your human resources information system (HRIS), and use it to help make recommendations to company leaders. ·D isseminate clear guidance to managers who need to notify staff members of staffing changes. · Write, publish, and communicate new policies.

GET TALKING: CREATING & IMPLEMENTING A SOLID COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY

·U pdate your portion of the company’s internal BCP when asked. ·C reate a public-facing BCP that does not include confidential information and can be shared with all levels of employees, clients, vendors, and the general public. ·S hare informational documents with employees on a company intranet so information can be distributed to and accessed by all employees equally. ·E nact a crisis communications plan using previously identified channels for mass communication, and weigh the pros and cons of adding new platforms.

KEEP SPIRITS HIGH: PROTECTING EMPLOYEE MORALE

· I mplement short-term programs to improve the mood and morale level within company walls. · I f offered by your company, ensure employees have knowledge of and access to personal wellness and employee assistance programs.

LOOK OUT FOR ICEBERGS: MONITORING THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LANDSCAPE

·M onitor for humanitarian, political, civil, war, environmental or other crises via respected government organizations, law firms, and industry associations. ·G ather information from other practitioners through an industry association, the Society for Human Resource Management, or a local business group.

7


SET THE STRATEGY:

GUIDING YOUR COMPANY THROUGH WORKFORCE CHANGES

8


9


Consider the many ways to control labor costs without decimating your workforce or its morale. In some cases (like a local natural disaster), you may only need to shut down and change schedules for a few days, but in others (like a recession or industry crash), you might need to implement longer-term, more-potent measures. 10


Exactly half of the employers we surveyed say they put discretionary spend— like travel, office parties, and annual awards—on the chopping block first after a disruption or disaster. Labor is the next most-common target, with 27% of employers saying it’s the first expense to get trimmed. HERE’S HOW COMPANIES TRIM FAT QUICKLY: COSTS TYPICALLY CUT FIRST 50 or fewer EEs

51-100 EEs

101-500 EEs

More than 500 EEs

All

Discretionary spend

46%

44%

60%

52%

50%

Labor

29%

31%

20%

31%

27%

Matching contributions to 401(k), HSA, or similar account

3%

5%

6%

7%

4%

Perks

10%

12%

5%

7%

9%

Third-party vendors

10%

4%

7%

0%

7%

Other

2%

4%

1%

3%

2%

Of companies that selected “other,” the overwhelming majority indicated they delayed capital improvements or focused on reducing scrap.

LABOR COST REDUCTION STRATEGIES 50 or fewer EEs

51-100 EEs

101-500 EEs

More than 500 EEs

All

Wage and salary reductions

28%

33%

25%

53%

30%

Mandatory unpaid time off (UPTO) or workweek reduction

21%

26%

36%

24%

27%

Voluntary UPTO or workweek reduction

19%

15%

28%

6%

20%

Furlough or temporary layoff

29%

50%

52%

71%

44%

Reduction in force or permanent layoff

57%

67%

61%

65%

61%

Other

6%

8%

10%

6%

8%

Of companies that selected “other,” the overwhelming majority indicated they reduced or eliminated overtime hours for nonexempt personnel.

Look to your finance and accounting department for guidance on cost cuts, and make your recommendations according to the targets they set. Figuring out how to cut your company’s labor costs without creating a negative downstream ripple effect—like not having enough talent, the right talent, or enough money to pay enough of the right talent—will be one of the biggest challenges of your career. Consider the pros and cons of each of the following strategies.

11


Reduction in force or permanent layoff With nearly two-thirds of all employers using this approach to control labor costs, reductions in force (RIF) and permanent layoffs are very commonplace. They are characterized by the permanent departures of staff members, and workers have no real expectation of possibly being rehired or reinstated, and they do not typically retain any company benefits. Displaced workers are encouraged to seek other employment and can usually qualify for unemployment benefits. When faced with making cuts, prioritize terminations based on individual employee performance, not only on the critical or uncritical nature of the role. Don’t ask the question, Can we function if this position is vacant? Instead, ask yourself If we lose this employee, will we be able to find a better rehire?, and prioritize terminations based on employees for whom the answer is yes. Getting rid of marginal or poor performers—even in critical positions— can improve team morale, will hopefully reduce the number of “good” workers who need to be terminated down the road, and should allow you to have a higher quality workforce when you hire again.

PROS:

· Cost reduction is immediate. · Terminated employees have less opportunity to create a toxic environment than employees who are furloughed or those who work reduced hours. · Most tasks can be divided among remaining personnel, and productivity loss is typically much less than 100%. · Provides an opportunity to replace marginal or poor-performing talent with better talent in the future.

12

CONS:

· Large and/or frequent RIFs can result in negative PR in the local community or across the nation and can harm recruiting efforts in the future. · If separations happen in waves or are seemingly random, morale among the remaining workforce will likely decrease dramatically and the environment can hinder performance. · Loss of productive, knowledgeable talent can affect the quality and quantity of business output. · Plant closings and mass separations may require advance notification under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, so ensure you set a timeline that keeps you within the lines of the law, if applicable. · Severance packages and unemployment claims may have a financial impact on your company.


Though often a necessity and one of the fastest ways to permanently reduce costs, we don’t think RIFs or permanent layoffs should be your first or only step to cutting costs. This strategy works best when you are facing a long-term decline in production demands and you know you will not need the current level of manpower for the foreseeable future.

OUR RATING

HOW DO YOU RATE IT?

13


Wage or salary reductions Based on our survey results, pay reductions are the third most common way to control labor costs, and companies with more than 500 employees are the most apt to implement them. Though an easy solution on paper, reducing workers’ pay can create a complicated set of side effects and, in some cases, put you in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, so this approach is definitely not a onesize-fits-all strategy.

PROS:

· Cost reduction is immediate and easily quantified. · Comprehensive salary or wage reductions can bring about a sense of camaraderie among staff because everyone is “in it together”. · In theory, the company receives 100% of productivity for a reduced price.

14

CONS:

· Workers will likely have feelings of animosity and resentment toward the company if reductions extend for long periods of time, so wage and salary reductions should be short term. · Workers are likely to look for other jobs with better pay, which can result in unwanted and unplanned turnover. · Reduced income can put financial strain on workers, which can negatively affect their behavior in and out of the workplace. · Reductions must be carefully analyzed so employee pay rates and classifications remain consistent with requirements set forth under the Fair Labor Standards Act.


No one likes to have their pay cut, period. In our opinion, this is a last-resort approach, and communications about compensation reductions need to be handled with the utmost care. If you choose to implement a pay cut, we highly recommend that pay cuts are standardized within pay bands, that the most highly compensated employees receive the largest percentage pay reduction, that communication about compensation changes reaches all employees at the same time, and that the length of the pay reduction is clearly communicated in the very first communication and not extended (except in extreme circumstances).

OUR RATING

HOW DO YOU RATE IT?

15


Unpaid time off or reduced workweeks Only 27% of companies report they institute mandatory unpaid time off (UPTO) or reduced workweeks, and even fewer allow workers to volunteer for unpaid time off (only 20%!). Though most workers have designed their lifestyles around the size of their paychecks, it’s a safe bet that folks will be much more willing to endure smaller paychecks if they come with a few days off work. And if you allow voluntary UPTO, you may uncover a group of employees who welcome the opportunity to schedule some fixed time away from the office and are not upset over the periods without pay.

PROS:

· Cost reduction is immediate and easily quantified. If you seek volunteers, we strongly suggest you ask employees to formally submit their days off in your HRIS or timekeeping system so you have a clear picture of your financial savings. · Days off work can help alleviate personal stress and reduce the chances of burnout at work. · Workers can find additional employment on their days off to supplement reduced pay.

16

CONS:

· Workers will likely have feelings of animosity and resentment toward the company if reductions extend for long periods of time. · Workers may look for other jobs with better pay or to supplement their reduced pay, which can result in increased absenteeism and unplanned turnover. · Reduced salaries can put financial strain on some workers, which can negatively affect their behavior in the workplace. · Schedule reductions must be carefully managed and enforced so as to not conflict with the standards set forth under the Fair Labor Standards Act. · Benefit plan policies may need to be adjusted to ensure you do not disqualify workers who no longer meet hourly thresholds.


No one likes to see a smaller paycheck, but offsetting a reduced paycheck with some time away from the office is better than cutting pay alone. We encourage companies to work with employees to create a fixed schedule of recurring days or weeks off of work. Read up on the Fair Labor Standards Act to ensure you understand the nuances of voluntary and mandatory UPTO programs for salaried and hourly employees. Voluntary UPTO

OUR RATING

HOW DO YOU RATE IT?

Mandatory UPTO

OUR RATING

HOW DO YOU RATE IT?

17


Furlough or temporary layoff Furloughs and temporary layoffs are strategies that are typically used when available work is low, and about 50% of our surveyed employers use this strategy first. A furlough can take many forms: daily or weekly schedule reduction (nonexempt employees only), entire weeks or months off work, or an indefinite pause in employment. A temporary layoff is typically administered as an indefinite pause in employment. Most workers retain company benefits during a furlough, and some companies continue to offer benefits to workers who are laid off.

PROS:

· Cost reduction is immediate and easily quantified. · Days off work can help alleviate personal stress and reduce the chances of burnout at work. Some workers may even welcome a fixedlength furlough, as it provides a chance for an unpaid sabbatical with the peace of mind that employment will likely exist at a predetermined point in the future. · Workers can find additional employment on their days off to supplement reduced pay.

18

CONS:

· Typically, the employer still pays its share of employee benefits as long as the employee continues to meet his or her obligations. · Both the workers on furlough and those left behind to assume job duties will likely have feelings of animosity and resentment toward the company if reductions extend for long periods of time. · Workers who are on an extended furlough are likely to look for other jobs, which can result in unplanned or unwanted turnover. · Reduced income can put financial strain on workers, offsetting the positive gains from time away from work. · You will likely need to rewrite your benefits, rehire, and reinstatement policies to account for furloughed workers. · Furloughs must be carefully managed and enforced to not conflict with the standards set forth under the Fair Labor Standards Act. · You may need to consider the costs of increased unemployment claims.


Furloughs and temporary layoffs are a good way to try to retain valuable workers and, in some cases, the break from work might be welcomed; but, these breaks from work come with a great deal of uncertainty for the worker, and the stress of the situation can lead to early turnover or a negative outlook when the worker returns to work.

OUR RATING

HOW DO YOU RATE IT?

19


Per-employee spend reduction By recent Bureau of Labor Statistics research, about 70% of the cost of employing an employee can be directly attributed to his or her wage or salary—leaving the remaining 30% open for scrutiny. While it’s not legal to forgo paying taxes (unless a special tax holiday or deferment is enacted at the state or federal level) or to forgo paying into legally mandated benefits plans, it is possible to save some money by cutting back on programs your company voluntarily offers. Based on our recent research, only about 25% of employers opted to reduce offerings to their employees, and here’s how they did it: PER-EMPLOYEE SPEND REDUCTION STRATEGIES Employers that discontinued programs or benefits

50 or fewer EEs

51-100 EEs

101-500 EEs

500+ EEs

17%

21%

26%

25%

14%

Of those who discontinued programs or benefits ... Paid time off

23%

10%

3%

401(k) contributions

26%

48%

49%

14%

Attendance, safety, or other discretionary bonuses

21%

21%

23%

57%

Annual awards, anniversary gifts, incentive programs, and similar offerings

54%

41%

51%

71%

HSA contributions

8%

3%

0%

14%

Other

10%

28%

10%

0%

PROS:

· Cost reduction can amount to as much as about 20% of labor costs without affecting manning levels. · Employees may expect and be more agreeable to losing ad hoc benefits (like annual gifts) or intangibles (like retirement contributions) than they will be to seeing a diminished paycheck. · It’s often considered bad for company optics to cut back on benefits (even if no one uses them!), but times of distress afford you ample opportunity to reconsider underutilized or irrelevant offerings.

20

CONS:

· Humans are naturally averse to loss, and every item you eliminate—no matter its monetary worth—will be perceived as a loss. Try not to eliminate too many items, or the takeaways may overwhelm employees and create discontent.


It’s reasonable to discontinue some programs, but make sure you do not discontinue programs that are part of your competitive advantage in the local employment marketplace. And, don’t underestimate the power of free. For every one thing you cut, try to replace it with another free or lower-cost alternative.

OUR RATING

HOW DO YOU RATE IT?

21


22


Other strategies to consider:

¡ Elimination of overtime and double- time hours ¡ Early retirement, severance, or buy- out packages ¡ Golden parachute or golden handshake packages (for senior leaders)

23


GET TALKING:

CREATING & IMPLEMENTING A SOLID COMMUNICATIONS PLAN

24


25


What you say and how you say it matters. While some companies have communications or public relations officers who are responsible for internal and/ or external communications, many companies rely on their HR professionals. So whether you’re flying solo or aiding a larger communications effort, you need to be prepared to assemble and disseminate clear, concise, and informative information quickly. Internal and external stakeholders—like staff members, customers, and the public—will want to hear your plan for navigating the future. Many companies choose to keep their full BCPs private among a select group of executives, so they offer truncated versions to internal staff members and even-more-pareddown versions to clients and the public. This means that you should not only keep your part of the company’s larger BCP updated, but you should also be prepared to create a few short, one-to-two page synopses of the plan (or applicable parts of the plan) to share with a wider audience. Consider each audience when you prepare BCP summaries.

26


KEEPING THE LINES OF COMMUNICATIONS OPEN WITH EMPLOYEES No response is not a good response. Even minor disasters and disruptions can create a cloud over the workplace, so the goal of your communications to employees is three-fold: reassure, remind, and reconnect. ·R EASSURE: You should do all you can to stay in front of employees to provide reassurance that the company has a plan and is prepared to navigate the future. Do not overestimate your employee’s faith in leadership—especially at the lowest ranks in the company where employees are likely very disconnected from top-tier leadership. When employees fear for their jobs or experience a disruption to their livelihoods, it’s unlikely they will hold faith that leaders have their personal best interests in mind. ·R EMIND: Like a marriage, it’s not enough to say I love you on the wedding day and never again. Proactively and regularly share the actions taken by the company, and communicate the expected next steps. Reminders differ from reassurance in that they provide a recap of steps taken and a path forward. ·R ECONNECT: Encourage management at all levels to make a concerted effort to stay in front of employees, especially senior leaders who may not often engage with many employees. There’s no time like the present to improve your presence—at meetings, in the breakroom, or in other shared workspaces.

27


DISSEMINATING IMPORTANT UPDATES TO INTERNAL WORKERS Email is dead. (OK, that’s an exaggeration, but an email-only communication strategy really is dead.) Employees need and want information in real-time, in small bits and pieces, and via several different communication channels. Consider the following: ·E MAIL: Email is a great way to communicate generic information during work hours, but it is not a strategy we recommend for housing policies or other sensitive information. One downside of communicating important information only via email is that new hires (or an employee accidentally excluded from the email) will never have access to the information, and policy updates can be Requiring, encouraging, confusing or conflicting from one email to or allowing nonexempt the next. employees to read, respond to, or engage with email or · SHARED DOCUMENTS OR COMPANY any other company-owned INTRANET: Use a shared document to communication platform house updated, real-time information after work hours can result that is accessible by the appropriate in compensable time, so people within the organization and is you must consider the pros always correct. Share links to these and cons of an after-hours documents in emails, texts, or letters or outreach strategy. on a company intranet so workers always have the link at their fingertips.

REMEMBER:

·M ASS MOBILE COMMUNICATION: Mass texting or phone call software can be a huge time-saver if you have a large, decentralized workforce and need to communicate important information quickly, like a facility shutdown or delayed start times. We suggest looking for providers now, so you have the information handy if you ever need to quickly purchase a license. ·S NAIL MAIL: Typically, snail mail is only used when legally required, in such cases like notifying employees of mass layoffs under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act or as required for some benefits programs.

28


·F ACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS AND VIDEO. Not only are video and in-person meetings a high-touch, personal approach to communicating information, but they also get company leaders in front of many people at once—which aids in reconnecting and reassuring internal employees and external parties. ·S OCIAL MEDIA. Look to your marketing team for guidance. Most companies have a social media presence, and it’s important to leverage an existing network during a crisis (not try to build a new one). That said, as social media evolves and user preferences change, you may find yourself issuing communications and sharing information on new platforms in the short term.

CASE STUDY

Consider the World Health Organization during the COVID-19 pandemic: They leveraged the internationally used, short-form video platform TikTok to increase their presence among a worldwide demographic that may otherwise not seek or have access to their information via traditional news channels.

SHARING INFORMATION WITH THE PUBLIC, CLIENTS, AND VENDORS Your public BCP can and should be posted to your company’s website so that it’s accessible by the general public and will reduce one-off questions. Client and vendor communications can be handled in a variety of ways (phone, email, verbal, or other), but we recommend communicating important account changes (like billing or payment updates) in writing and confirming receipt by the other party. 29


KEEP SPIRITS HIGH:

PROTECTING EMPLOYEE MORALE

30


31


Crises are hard on everyone, but human resources leaders—especially those charged with managing “culture”—can find themselves easily exhausted by the sheer amount of effort it takes to keep everyone’s spirits up. It doesn’t have to be this way. Your BCP should include morale-boosting activities and delegated responsibility for each. Here are some no- and low-cost ways to boost morale: ·M USIC: If safety and business operations permit it, consider letting employees wear headphones and stream music on their phones (after all, most company policies prohibit this practice in “normal” times, so the change might be more welcomed than you expect)! If you currently play music over a loudspeaker, let employees add work-appropriate songs to a playlist, or give high-performers a “DJ for the Day” pass. ·F RESH AIR: Shutting a line down or interrupting facility operations multiple times per day may not be feasible, but offering a few extra breaks to individuals might just be what the doctor ordered. Sunshine, fresh air, and a few minutes (even just five or 10) away from a task can be rejuvenating and give workers a boost during mid-morning or mid-afternoon slumps. If that’s not possible, try opening windows or shades to let natural light in.

32


·B RING NATURE IN: Research suggests that humans have an innate need to connect with nature, and placing live plants around an office or facility can alleviate stress and act as a calming agent. Some companies have gone so far as to build parks inside their walls, but you don’t have to go this far: simple greenery or flowers can be added to bathrooms, breakrooms, cafeterias, and office spaces for a small amount of money and won’t pose a safety or trip hazard. · SHARE GOOD NEWS: Good things don’t only happen at work, so allow employees to tout both professional and personal accomplishments or other achievements on a company-run social media site (like Yammer) or a bulletin board in the breakroom. Camaraderie is so important in tough times, and encouraging employees to celebrate one another’s wins is a way to take focus away from challenges in the workplace.

· FLEX WORK ARRANGEMENTS: Flexible work arrangements can be especially helpful after natural disasters, facility closures, or in the wake of government-mandated shutdowns because they allow you to continue operations and allow workers to fulfill other obligations. Instead of accepting stressed-out workers and heightened turnover, get creative. If you only operate one shift and have a large workforce of primary caregivers/secondary earners who would otherwise need to quit, consider moving it to nonstandard work hours so employees can find alternate caregivers; or allow office workers to work from home or come in alternative hours. · EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS: Employee assistance programs (EAPs) provide personal or professional services to employees in need. Most often, EAP services are free and confidential and match employees with resources to help overcome an obstacle that might be affecting workplace performance, like financial or marital troubles, a substance abuse problem, or a mental health issue.

33


LOOK OUT FOR ICEBERGS:

MONITORING THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LANDSCAPE

34


35


Maybe you’ll enjoy it; maybe you won’t—but you’ve gotta do it. What’s that, you ask? Monitoring the social, legal, economic, and political landscape to see what’s headed your way so you can prepare for it. You probably naturally do this each winter as the new year approaches and states scramble to push legislature across the finish line, but it’s important to stay abreast of global happenings all year. While there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy, consider adding these groups to your podcast, social media, blog, or email feeds:

Benefits brokerages · Bureau of Labor Statistics · Centers for Disease Control and Prevention · Department of Labor · Equal Employment Opportunity Commission · Internal Revenue Service · Legal counsel offices · National Labor Relations Board · National Safety Council · National Weather Service · Occupational Health and Safety Administration · Political leaders and their official press accounts · Public health departments · Society for Human Resource Management (and their member community, SHRM Connect) · U nited States Geological Services · World Health Organization ·

36


PA N D E M I C , POLICIES, FLOOD,

CRASH,

B OYCOT T,

WA R ,

RECESSION,

INDUSTRY FIRE,

MARKET

DECLINE,

HURRICANE,

MARKET

CRASH,

B OYCOT T,

WA R ,

RECESSION, DECLINE,

HURRICANE, CRASH, WA R ,

POLICIES, FLOOD,

FIRE,

WA R ,

DECLINE,

WA R ,

TRADE

TORNADO,

TERRORISM, POLITICS,

TERRORISM,

FLOOD,

FIRE,

FLOOD,

INDUSTRY

FIRE,

FLOOD,

INDUSTRY

DECLINE,

B

RECES

DECLINE,

WA R ,

TOR

POLIT

PA N D E M I C TRADE

POL

TORNADO,

FLO

TERRORISM, POLITICS,

INDUST FIRE,

PA N D E M I C ,

TRADE

TORNADO,

MAR

TERRORISM

DECLINE,

RECESSION,

FIRE,

HURRICANE,

CRASH,

WA R ,

INDUST

POLICIES,

RECESSION,

CRASH,

HURRICANE,

FLO

PA N D E M I C ,

HURRICANE,

B OYCOT T,

TORNADO,

B OYCOT T,

INDUSTRY

MARKET

POLICIES,

TORNADO,

POLITICS,

POLICIES,

POL

TRADE

FIRE,

MARKET

TRADE

POLITICS,

TORNADO,

TERRORISM,

PA N D E M I C ,

PA N D E M I C ,

TRADE

DECLINE,

POLIT

PA N D E M I C

TERRORISM,

RECESSION,

POLITICS,

WA R ,

DECLINE,

WA R ,

TOR

TERRORISM

RECESSION,

CRASH,

HURRICANE,

B OYCOT T,

HURRICANE, CRASH,

INDUSTRY

CRASH,

RECESSION, DECLINE,

FLOOD,

CRASH,

HURRICANE,

B OYCOT T,

MARKET

CRASH,

B OYCOT T,

MARKET

DECLINE,

HURRICANE,

B OYCOT T,

INDUSTRY

FIRE,

POLICIES,

HURRICANE,

MARKET

WA R ,

POLITICS,

RECESSION,

INDUSTRY FIRE,

TERRORISM,

FLOOD,

INDUSTRY

FIRE,

MARKET

POLICIES,

TORNADO,

TERRORISM,

PA N D E M I C ,

TRADE

TORNADO,

POLITICS,

POLITICS,

PA N D E M I C ,

PA N D E M I C ,

TRADE

TERRORISM,

MAR

POLICIES,

FLOOD,

B

RECES


CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS 4111 Central Avenue Columbus, IN 47203 812.372.6200 WWW.ELWOODTHINKS.COM