Helen Green

Taking care of your people

What has 2018 got in store for you? Sadly for many leaders, the first challenge to overcome may well be Australian flu. Responsible for numerous deaths ‘down under’ the flu has now reached Europe with hospitals cancelling routine operations and recalling staff in order to cope with a surge in demand.

Commenting that it is not too late to be vaccinated Public Health England have urged all those at particular risk to take up the offer of a free vaccination. For those outside that group, paid for vaccinations are also on offer at many pharmacies.

So what can leaders do to meet the challenge posed by the flu crisis? Ensuring that there is a robust continuity programme in place is one area for consideration, as is making sure that all key jobs have trained cover available. But prevention is better than cure and there are many steps which leaders can take in order to help their people to stay safe.

We are aware that some organisations have arranged for flu vaccinations to be made available to their employees but even without that step, a few simple precautions can make a measurable difference. These include arranging for computer keyboards and phones to be regularly sanitised, encouraging those who feel unwell to stay at home, and promoting good practices such as frequent hand washing and carrying tissues to catch coughs and sneezes. Looking after your people now needn’t cost a lot but it could make a measurable difference to providing continuing levels of service to customers and in the long term may also help to boost employee engagement levels.