Light industrial managers have learned some critical lessons from the COVID-19 outbreak. They have seen the importance of clear and frequent communication in preventing misinformation and assumptions. They also came to realize that quick and decisive action is preferable to attempting to achieve perfection. Finally, managers were soon made aware of the significance of expressing empathy and compassion for the workers and customers that were also caught up in turmoil.
As the pandemic continued, even more lessons emerged and served to educate our manufacturing leaders in future emergencies:
1. We need an early warning system
We learned a painful lesson in our response to COVID-19: we must have some type of early warning system to help us prepare for future crises. And since many future global crises will come from disease, a warning system like the World Health Organization’s EPI-BRAIN could enable forecasting and early detection of future outbreaks of infectious diseases. A tool such as this one would allow managers to take preemptive measures to mitigate the effects of future epidemics.
2. Protecting the workforce
Managers need to focus on keeping their workers safe in a work environment where outbreaks are a constant threat. To do this, light manufacturers can implement policies and guidelines that enhance hygiene measures, offer extra personal protective equipment (PPE) when needed, and initiate physical distancing.
Protecting employees‘ mental health will also be a higher priority, with companies providing counseling services for their workers, especially those returning after lengthy quarantines.
3. Retain some of their emergency-response guidelines
Many managers are recognizing the benefit of keeping some of the appropriate elements of their emergency-response guidelines by making them part of the organization’s standard operating procedures. These guidelines could include constraints on the use of shared tools and areas, improved health surveillance, and frequent sanitization of machinery and equipment. New HR policies should encourage workers to stay at home if they do not feel well.
4. Digital access is as essential as electricity and plumbing
Everyone learned of the importance of broadband access to the internet during the pandemic. Telehealth is the use of digital information and communication technologies to access health care services and manage your health care. You may have used these from home, or your doctor might have used them to support health care services remotely. Either way, the services were invaluable during the crisis, and digital access is no longer a luxury but a utility on par with electricity and plumbing.
5. The lessons of ethics and equity
While it’s not directly in the province of industrial managers, digital medicine has begun to transform every industry. They witnessed the impact it had during the virus, and they now realize that the digital future cannot merely benefit the wealthiest in society. It must be available to provide access to everyone.
Are you ready to add workers after COVID-19?
Lingo Staffing is always your resource for your long-term or short-term staffing needs. Contact us, and let‘s get back to work.