As employers you are trying to navigate a situation that is anxiety-ridden, new, frightening, and extremely challenging. MMAC just completed a fantastic webinar on the CORONAVirus and I want to share some of the highlights with you. This webinar offered a Wisconsin perspective and some practical advice. This information MIGHT spark some new thoughts that can be used in your organization. Please read and if you have questions for the follow up which will be next Tuesday at 11 a.m., please forward to me.


Comments from Employers:

Ruther Harper, VP Global Communications Manpower Group (most employees are working remotely and soon all will be required).
  1. If you think you are overreacting, you are doing the right thing.
  2. Be Ready – don’t be reactive. Respond swiftly and with clarity.
  3. Safety first and safe environment.
  4. Communicate daily with employees, even if there is nothing new to communicate. Will stop the tendency to get the info from Facebook. Surveys show people trust information from their employer.
Bill Berrion, CEO Pindel Global Precision, contract-mfg. New Berlin, employs 70 people who cannot work remotely.
  1. Allow flexibility with people switching shifts if necessary to accommodate the responsibilities of caring for children and elders.
  2. Have stand up meetings on shop floor in designated space with 6 feet sectioned off.
  3. ID high communal touch points and sanitize often.
  4. Waive attendance policies.
  5. No outside visitors. No visits outside.
  6. Get customers to give priorities of needs if supply chain is impacted.
  7. Ship ahead. Ship blanket orders to assure product is delivered IF there are future problems meeting demands.
  8. Do not be single-sourced.
Don Robertson, Exec. V.P. & Chief H.R. Officer Northwestern Mutual
  1. Put in place Crisis Management Team, Environmental Risk Team and On-site medical team.
  2. Talk to other companies daily throughout the world.
  3. Leadership team CANNOT meet in person.
  4. Encourage work at home.
  5. Over communicate to staff.
  6. Put together or find webinars on how to manage remote workforce if this concept is new.
  7. Stay connected with employees but trust.
  8. Try to make it feel normal.
  9. Balance head and heart.
John Murray, V. P. of HR The Marcus Corporation
  1. If you need to lay off people give them two weeks pay. Unemployment should kick in within two weeks per federal govt. actions.
  2. Suspend employee contribution health insurance and resume when normalcy returns. Let employees pay arrears in low installments.
  3. Remember: If you must lay off you want to get your employees back.

Comments from Dr. John Raymond, President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

  1. We can expect a rapid increase and we need to move NOW and use what we have learned from China and Europe. At most, we are 2-3 weeks behind Europe. There will be exponential growth and NOW is the time to stop the spread. There is a belief that many don’t know they are infected. Why do we need to act now? Because if 5 percent of the population of WI gets the disease it will be 300,000. If 20 percent need hospitalization (which is the estimate) that is 60000 people and we only have in the state 12000 hospital beds and daily only 3000 are available for new admits.  The system will be overwhelmed.
  2. What to do personally? The obvious – social distancing even at home (6 or more feet).
  3. Symptoms of those who are deemed healthy: 104 degree temperature, fatigue, shortness of breath and dry cough. First and foremost: Call your doctor.
  4. WHAT can you as EMPLOYERS do?
  • Provide and encourage when possible remote working arrangements.
  • Protect social distancing at the work place.
  • Stop face to face meetings.
  • Make certain critical leaders are never in the same space.IE: CEO and CFO are never together.
  • Show compassion and implement policies to do such.
  • Communicate, communicate and communicate more to employees.
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