How to Keep Your Customers and Employees Safe

With the pandemic far from over, safety should be your top priority.

Safety has never been more important to the collective consciousness than in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic — and with good reason, too. Along with the obvious threat of the virus, other factors like mental health and cybersecurity have become intense points of interest as humanity grapples with this one-of-a-kind situation.

If your business is either already open or about to resume operations, here are a few security considerations that you should have in mind, particularly in light of the changes brought about by the pandemic.

Consider Your Customers

The customer is truly the focal point of any successful business. After all, without them, your business wouldn’t exist. If you want customers to patronize your business during the COVID-19 era, though, you must show that you’re interested in more than a flashy customer experience or simply making a quick buck. You must demonstrate an interest in the public’s health, too.

With that in mind, make sure to take any and every precaution to keep your customers safe. If you operate a physical storefront with face-to-face interactions, make sure to adopt all coronavirus protocol that is generally recommended. Put social distancing markers on the floor, provide hand sanitizing stations at regular intervals, limit occupancy, require wearing masks and any other precautions your local jurisdictions may require.

If you’ve shifted your activity online or already run a services-based online business, it’s still important that you show customers that you’ve done your homework. For instance, if you’re a restaurant that is accepting orders on your website for curbside pickup, don’t forget to address mobile payment security. Provide an official website, platform, or app — such as PayPal or ProPay — that customers can use to pay you without fear of compromising their personal information.

See: 5 Pieces of Business Advice You’re Not Taking But Should

Safeguard Your Employees

Along with customers, it’s essential that you make a visible and genuine effort to keep your workforce safe. This is most obvious if they’re returning to a physical workspace. As you reopen offices or unlock storefronts, make sure that your staff isn’t just protected from the coronavirus with sufficient PPE, limiting the number of occupants and enforcing mask-wearing at all times. Also scour your work environment for any potential workplace injuries due to your office being closed for weeks or months on end, such as:

  • Equipment-related injuries
  • Transportation-related concerns
  • Chemical exposure incidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Spreading of virus

Even if you aren’t operating in a physical environment, there are many safety precautions that can still be taken. If your team is working from home, they likely use a wide variety of remote work tools, all of which should be protected with quality cybersecurity.

In addition, isolated employees are often high-risk candidates for anxiety, stress and depression. Make sure that you’re reaching out to your staff on a regular basis to check in and offer them mental health resources they can access anonymously and without judgment.

Fortify Your Finances

One subtle way that you can protect your employees, your customers and yourself is by working to fortify your company’s financial resilience. Many small- and medium-sized businesses did not survive the initial pandemic shutdown largely because they weren’t ready for a crisis. Use these past lessons to:

A financially healthy business is better equipped to endure setbacks and can help employees, owners and even customers from feeling the effects of economic struggles.

Always Be Adapting

Finally, remember to couple your new business resilience with a healthy dose of adaptability. If a business can pivot on a dime and generally remain as agile as possible, it can provide an extra layer of security for everyone that depends on it.

Rather than simply chasing the biggest dollar signs at any given moment, make sure that you build an operation that is able to react to any and every challenge with a combination of alacrity and agility. Adopt a growth mindset in your company culture, strive to maintain healthy finances, and focus on developing your staff’s talents and skills. If you can do this, you won’t just survive the next setback, you’ll likely be able to take advantage of it as well.

Also: 6 Ways to Be a Better Boss

Considering Safety in the Coronavirus Era

Safety isn’t just a passing consideration these days. It’s an essential piece of a successful business. Not only does it allow you to avoid legal repercussions, but it also proactively keeps your employees and customers safe. It also has the added bonus of demonstrating an aspect of corporate social responsibility that can be endearing to existing customers.

So review the above list and then conduct a “general safety check” for your company. Chances are you can improve the security somewhere, to the benefit of everyone involved.

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