Rapid tests, vaccinations, absences, ahh! How to prevent your company’s COVID-19 response from descending into chaos

Katie Harrower |

Category

Compliance
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It’s easy to see how the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a degree of pandemonium among unprepared businesses over the last year.

On top of all the absence data, documentation and spreadsheets kicking around, now there’s the added task of tracking COVID-related information (such as vaccination or test data) for each individual employee as well. Blimey.

What with the UK’s vaccination programme under way, and the government’s recent announcement that firms with more than 50 employees will now be eligible for rapid covid testing, it’s more important than ever for businesses to have a means to track all of this information in a secure location.

Here are some examples of problems you are likely to face in light of all the recent developments, and how to solve them, quickly and easily.

1. How will we let our employees know what our policies are regarding COVID-19, vaccinations etc?

Solution: Documenting COVID-19 policies in a system easily accessible to everyone, with read-receipts.

The whole organisation must be aware of what is expected of them whilst working during the pandemic. Your employees may have questions like:

• Are there any new workplace rules to be followed?

• What procedures will be in place at work to protect the employees?

• What am I to do if I receive a positive test?

• Do I have to get vaccinated?

We’re sure that, by this stage of the pandemic, you already have a COVID-19 policy created for your company. But is this easily accessible for all employees? The information needs to be available to them as-and-when, in a location which they can access from anywhere. There also needs to be a way to ensure they are actually engaging with this documentation, and not just dumping it to the back of an email inbox to be forgotten about.

That’s where people management software comes in handy – a system where all of this data can be held alongside other important documents such as employee handbooks, health and safety policies, and so on. Youmanage HR software is especially useful in this regard, as you can enable read receipts, which asks employees to confirm that they’d read and understood new policies! This way, you know for sure your employees are engaging with the COVID-19 workplace policy and will be more likely to follow the rules and regulations.

2. How will we record who has had the COVID-19 vaccine?

Solution: Allowing employees to mark this information themselves with a self-service portal.

For any business, recording test and vaccination dates (and the test results too) for each employee is likely to become a time-consuming task, especially for HR and Health and Safety, who have bigger fish to fry at the moment. Trying to store this ever-changing information manually would be next to impossible, especially with a larger workforce. So why not allow employees to update and amend this information themselves, as and when they need to?

With an HR software platform, your employees will be able to log in themselves and update their COVID-19 vaccine status. They will also be able to upload test status, and whether or not the test is positive.

3. How will we alert employees regarding positive test results?

Solution: Setting up a notification system within your HR system that automatically notifies the company when an employee has marked themselves as ‘positive’.

Regardless of whether or not it is compulsory to have the COVID-19 vaccine, it is still vital for businesses to take the right precautions in ensuring the safety of their workers. This means measuring the risk of having employees back at work, and continuously monitoring potential issues.

One of those potential issues is how to speedily inform the company when a positive test of COVID-19 has appeared amongst employees. There really is no time to lose on this one, if your employees are in-office, and procedures must be put in place immediately to deal with it.

An HR system like Youmanage HR would allow you to set up automatic notifications that could be company-wide, in order to provide transparency to employees as soon as someone has marked themself as ‘positive’ within their self-service portal. It then becomes much easier to assess who they may have had contact with, and deal with it as per your policy, removing the possibility of further infection. Easy as that.

4. How will we manage time off for COVID-related sickness and vaccine appointments?

Solution: Managing absences in an absence management system.

You might be finding it more difficult to keep track of who’s off when and for what reasons since Covid-19 began last year. The possibilities seem suddenly endless: are they off sick with covid, off sick without covid, self-isolating and working from home, off on compassionate/bereavement leave, off for vaccine appointments, the list goes on! Spreadsheets simply aren’t going to cut it anymore for keeping track of all this information.

An absence management system (built into HR systems like Youmanage) puts all of this information into one page – a simple and easy way to view it all at a glance, and even drill down into individual teams, or employees themselves. With one of these systems you could set up specific colour-codes for covid-related absences, self-isolation, and so on. Your job suddenly becomes ten times easier.

How Youmanage HR can help

The COVID-19 data processing functionality within Youmanage gives organisations the tools to properly manage the Coronavirus pandemic in the workplace. HR teams can stay up to date with vaccination and test history of all employees, ensure that the correct steps are always being taken, and everyone is protected.

  1. Uploading documents: Covid-19 policies can be uploaded to the Documents module within Youmanage to let workers know the rules that have been set in place to keep everyone safe at work. Read receipts can be enabled, and employees asked to confirm that they’ve read and understood the new policies to further establish them in the workplace.
  2. Employee Self Service: The Employee Self Service module that Youmanage provides puts the responsibility back to the employee as they can update their own health record with their Covid-19 test and vaccine dates.
  3. Notifications & Tasks: It’s crucial for businesses to prioritise the safety of their workers, so managing significant COVID-19 data can’t get forgotten about. Client configurable notifications can be used to: • Drive the process of capturing the employee test and vaccination data • Alert the business of positive COVID-19 test results. These alerts will keep organisations prepared to act quickly to minimise health and safety risks.
  4. Reports: Custom and Standard Reports in Youmanage provide a detailed insight into employee’s COVID-19 information, allowing businesses to highlight resource availability and areas of risk in the workplace.

Want to find out more about how Youmanage HR can solve your COVID-related business problems? Take out a free trial or book a free online demo with one of our specialist team today.

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Katie is the Marketing Executive here at Youmanage. Within the wider team, she is responsible for managing all aspects of marketing communications, including content and digital strategy, social media, website traffic, prospective client experience and the overall satisfaction of existing Youmanage users.