Column by He Waka Eke Noa supplier member Dave Saunders of Aro Advisers Ltd
With level 3 fast approaching, if your business is about to recommence operations (outside of your house at least) there is quite a bit to think about. It’s been a hectic week since this was all announced, but to help make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row, here are some things that you should check off before kick-off on Tuesday morning. Please note, this is only some, there will be plenty more to tick off!
- Do you know what the rules are around Level 3? Have you gone over them thoroughly? This isn’t a time to rely on second-hand information, so start with https://worksafe.govt.nz/managing-health-and-safety/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/ and https://www.business.govt.nz/covid-19/workplace-operations-covid-19-alert-levels/, if you’re a hospitality/food service business, it’s also worth looking at https://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-food-safety/covid-19-and-food-safety-in-alert-level-3/re-opening-or-making-changes-to-a-food-business-in-alert-level-3/
- Are you clear on your employment obligations during this phase? Take a look at https://www.employment.govt.nz/leave-and-holidays/other-types-of-leave/coronavirus-workplace/?utm_source=business.govt.nz&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=special_cv_edition
- Speaking of staff, if they are going to be turning up on premises or to site, do they know what the game plan is for Tuesday, the logistical nuts and bolts? Communicate, communicate, communicate (or suffer from confusion, confusion, confusion).
- Do you have sufficient procedures in place to protect your people and customers? Could any of them be at risk as a result of interacting with your business? If they could face risk, more work is needed.
- Have you got enough hand sanitiser? Disinfectant? Any necessary PPE? If not, time to stock up! And very much related, does everyone on your team do it right when it comes to hygiene? https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-information-specific-audiences/covid-19-advice-essential-workers-including-personal-protective-equipment/personal-protective-equipment-use-non-health-essential-workers
- If you run an on-premises business, what layout changes are needed to ensure social distancing?
- If you run a foodservice or hospitality business, have you tested your contactless payment and collection systems?
- Do your customers/clients know how to interact with you – will they know what to do when they want to consume what you’re selling? Is the process simple to follow?
- Are your team clear on what the rules are and the consequences for not following them?
- If you’re a B2C business, have you announced your opening to your target customers? How will you entice these customers to your business?
- If someone turns up on your site or premises showing symptoms or is unwell, what is your process?
- What else do you need to have in place before go-time?
With the exception of essential businesses that have been operating during the lockdown, this is going to be all new for many of us. It is different to how we are used to working, procedures are going to have to change as are our interactions between people. There is bound to be some things that go wrong along the way. But, this is important, the health of your staff and customers is at stake, and the future success of your business might just be dependent on this period, so the more time you spend in preparation, the smoother your operations at Level 3 will be.