As our world acclimates to the ever-changing impact of coronavirus (Covid-19), and unparalleled policies such as forced shutdowns and shelter-in-place regulations are now commonplace, what can businesses expect to have changed in their stakeholder and customer community groups as we emerge into a “new normal”?
Defining the “New Normal” for Organizations
- Pandemic Regulations Leading to Changes: What will life look like in the next few weeks or even 6 months? With the uncertainty of Covid-19, the world has started accommodating the lifestyle it has created. Safety has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Businesses, especially, are focusing on risk management best practices more than ever. Both pandemic regulations and pandemic management are critical to creating a safe and positive “new normal”. Such regulations include the Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act put in place by the U.S. Department of Labor regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act which is also a part of the Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). There are 28 OSHA-approved state plans, working with statewide occupational safety and health programs.
- Economic Changes: The economic change that many businesses will face, if they have not already, will include adjustments in budgets and company business models. However, some organizations have had the opportunity to take advantage of government aid and relief options. Organizations are learning to adapt to this new world we live in and help create a sustainable business model. The Covid-19 pandemic could prove to be a turning point for many industries, especially those in ecommerce, healthcare, and automotive to pivot to a more technology–driven model. Businesses may need to reallocate funds to provide alternative options that minimize contact and will seek software solution to help minimize the labor-intensive efforts associated with this transition.
- Environmental Changes: The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a reduction in air pollution worldwide because of the change in human behavior, such as less transportation and environmental disruption. As a result, many environmental sustainability leaders will benefit from tracking this outcome in their 2020 sustainability reports to stakeholders. Many companies have also been forced to reduce the amount of production due to a limited workforce based on social distancing guidelines.
- State Changes: State to state the numbers and cases continue to fluctuate, the Department of Health mandating face coverings in public at the county level and issuing red alert level 3 public health emergency or a purple alert level 4 public health emergency has businesses scrambling to manage their PPE inventory.
The “new normal” does prove to have some advantages within the new adjustments. Individuals, communities, businesses, and governments are all learning new ways to stay engaged with communication and collaborate whether this means virtually or newly developed technology sources. An example of this is the rapid increase in online retail sales, rising by 146%. The e-commerce space has combined both efficiency and convivence for many consumers. With mobile devices being the most popular device for online shopping, consumers are utilizing their mobile devices to shop in stores according to the latest PYMNTS’ 2020 Remote Payments Study and has shown an increase of 72%. eCommerce gives businesses the security it needs to ensure there is some source of revenue while their doors are closed, while keeping their customers healthy and safety in mind. This is especially important for small businesses with loyal customers who want to continue to support their favorite stores, even during quarantine. The businesses that will thrive in 2020 are the organizations that are agile and shift rapidly to the changing consumer demands of today.
How to Put Pandemic Risk Management at the Forefront of Business Continuity
Gensuite supplies many solutions for businesses to adapt to the financial hardships and successfully manage workplace risks and navigate the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With keeping safety in mind Gensuite strives to stay compliant with the regulations and keep the health and safety of their employees and customers in mind. In response to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, Gensuite has developed pandemic management capabilities to enable organizations with the tools to mitigate risks. The Incidents & Measurements (I&M) Pandemic Exposure Event Reporting Form enables tracking of workplace exposure incidents involving Covid-19 and has now been made available to all subscribers. Another available functionality is the Pandemic Exposure Log, which enables tracking of exposures to individual persons and contact tracing to those potentially exposed with the ability to track follow-up actions taken at the site, as well as testing, quarantine, and return–to–work dates. Lastly, the Reg Tracker Application Module reports and tracks regulatory changes associated with Covid-19. With the utilization of these features, subscribers can save money by reducing employee involvement, equipment usage, and time. These advancements provide opportunities for companies create a safer environment with cheaper alternatives.