HR leaders should safeguard against the spread of the illness, without causing panic.

Providing your employees the right information about pandemic, can maintain the order and protect the organization against potential responsibility. Share good information to your employees to ensure they’re relying on facts, not hearsay; this will keep them calm.

Fears about the health crisis are understandable. Now we know how the virus is transmitted but, for now, there is no vaccine to guard against it. Scientists are working to develop a vaccine, but it will be months before one is ready.

Here are some simple but important steps you should follow to keep everyone safe at your company:

  1. Allow people to work from home.
  2. Have clear guidelines for workplace behavior.
  3. Limit in-person meetings when possible, have hand sanitizer widely available and remind folks to cough into their elbow, not their hand.
  4. Common surfaces should be sanitized as often as possible, like doorknobs, elevator buttons, surfaces in the cafeteria and even toilet handles.

HR should have a plan ready to deploy should any major outbreak wreak havoc on company operations. Such a plan should be created in partnership with other departments, including risk management, finance and IT.

Have a plan in place to ensure “critical roles”, this would be maintained in the event of a pandemic. Organize these roles by category: essential, temporary suspension and extended suspension.