The far-reaching impacts of COVID-19 have become impossible to ignore over the past weeks. During this challenging time, our partner BizAssure held a webinar on the ways pandemics can affect businesses — and how we can best prepare and navigate through the coronavirus situation.
Here are a few main takeaways for your agency to consider.
How does a pandemic affect business operations?
In a pandemic, businesses have three main options:
- Shutting down completely: This is not ideal but is sometimes enforced by public health guidelines and restrictions.
- Modifying business operations: This is what most businesses in the United States have done — and have been encouraged to do — during the COVID-19 situation.
- Continuing business as usual: This is not recommended, since this situation is far from being “usual”, and we all need to do our part to help our country stay safe.
The decision depends on a variety of factors. Depending on governmental restrictions in your state or community, you might be forced to suspend operations unless your employees can work from home. It might also be prudent to take precautionary measures beyond those that are explicitly recommended by authority figures.
When considering how your businesses operations should change in light of a pandemic, you should ask yourself a few questions:
- Why change your business operations (restrictions, preemptive health measures, etc.) and for how long?
- What do you hope to accomplish by your decision? Are we prioritizing protecting employees, protecting clients, protecting reputation, etc.?
- What is the short and long-term impact of your decision, on both your business and public health as a whole?
- When, and how, do you restart your business operations?
How can businesses prepare for and respond to a pandemic?
It’s a good idea to establish a pandemic response plan for your business. This involves:
- Establishing a Management Action Team to approve changes to business operations
- Establishing a Pandemic Support Team to monitor current events and suggest recommended business changes
- Assessing the threat of a pandemic on your company as a whole — and on your employees as individuals, including what level of risks your staff and clients are exposed to in their daily work
- Determining the impact of a pandemic on each area of your business, evaluating whether it will be a catastrophic event or a more minor inconvenience
- Developing a strategic and tactical plan for business operations based on the level of threat present
- Monitoring your business activities continuously and being ready to respond to change in the pandemic situation
- Developing a strategic and tactical recovery plan to get your business back into its regular day-to-day operations
This can be a lot to take in! We understand how overwhelming it is to navigate your business through a pandemic situation.
The most important things you can do are listen to recommendations from health experts and professionals, keep the health and safety of your employees top of mind, and embrace flexibility in the coming weeks.
Our entire country is navigating this together, and we will continue to share support resources and new insights as they become available.
Ask yourself these critical questions during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Are we prepared to receive employees, visitors, and clients into the business post event?
- How can we best protect our employees from exposure in the workplace?
- When should we exclude workers or visitors from the workspace?
- What effect does a loss of 40% – 60% of our employees have on our business operations?
- What business units in our company are required for operations to continue?
- What are the minimum staffing requirements to maintain each business unit?
- Have we maximized employees’ ability to work remotely?
- Are supervisors adequately trained to recognize the effects of a pandemic event on operations?
- Are suppliers, vendors, and subcontractors capable of providing business services?
American Advantage is here for you as always
If you have any specific questions or need additional support during these unprecedented times, the American Advantage Insurance Group is here for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, and we will do our best to help! We are all in this together as the AAIG family.