Contributed by Amy Crocker, Director of Human Resources at Dynasil Corporation.
Saying that 2020 has been a chaotic is the understatement of the year. As a Human Resources professional, I’m feeling it most acutely while managing employee well-being as I ensure the processes and protocols across all five of Dynasil’s companies – Dynasil Fused Silica, EMF, Hilger Crystals, Optometrics and RMD – are in alignment with local, state and federal policies and that our team members feel informed and supported in these unchartered waters.
And now, as we enter the fall and descend into winter (brrrr!), fears and uncertainty are once again ramping up with unknowns about how colder temperatures and more indoor time – not to mention the common cold and flu – will impact transmission. We may not be able to fully control what comes in the months ahead but we’re taking control where we can.
We’re working together, across locations and departments and in new ways, to identify tips and resources to empower our teams to stay safe and healthy. And in the spirit of “more heads are better than one” I’m sharing this, in case you’re seeking ideas for your own teams. We’ve all got enough on our plates as it is…no need to recreate the wheel.
- All spaces within our facilities have been audited and labeled with safe occupancy numbers
- Wearing masks and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance is required in all public spaces. Some of our companies are even sporting logo’d masks for team spirit.
- Hand sanitizer is readily available everywhere.
- Alternate work arrangements (e.g., working from home, video conferencing instead of face-to-face meetings, different shifts) where viable.
- We ask employees to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms daily before arriving at work. In an environment where not every employee has a company-sponsored email address, we use a mass notification tool that will also enable us to reach everyone in case of an emergency.
- Dedicated weekly check-ins with each General Manager to spot trends and check on morale.
- Notices about proper hand-washing, properly-fitted masks, maintaining social distance, and typical COVID-19 symptoms are posted throughout our facilities to keep front of mind.
- Posters reminding employees of free, and sometimes underutilized, resources. Three big ones that we uncovered are:
- 401k plan advisors/fiduciaries to assist employees with feeling as financially stable as possible.
- Emotional well-being resources through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to guide employees through a variety of mental health and personal issues.
- Physical health resources such as Telehealth through insurance providers, which gives employees a way to get help for ailments, without having to leave home.
Pulling all these resources together is a lot of work, but don’t stop there. Even more important is making sure that your team is aware, and knows how to access, these resources. Beyond our typical HR outreach, we’re facilitating full benefits reviews during open enrollment meetings and our marketing team has created posters for breakrooms to keep these offerings front and center. Perhaps your organization has an internal newsletter or intranet for HR information? Perhaps you could start one?
These are unprecedented times and our teams – our friends, in many cases – are feeling very real fears from COVID-19. The time and effort we take to provide them with useful resources to help them feel safe or plan for an unsure future is not wasted.
Stay safe out there!
About Amy Crocker
As the Corporate Director of Human Resources at Dynasil Corporation of America, Amy’s motto is “never stop learning, listening, and being open to what’s around you.” She believes that everyone is on a learning path throughout their career and that we should always be willing to consider new ways of doing things or a new point of view.
Amy herself chose to change careers in 2014. She left CVS/Health after 8 years as a store manager, to pursue a career in human resources. She began as a recruiter and over the past six years, earned her way to her current role. Goal setting, exceeding expectations, and being a trusted partner are what she attributes to her ability for sustained growth over a short period of time. Amy has been a member of the Society of Human Resource Management since 2017.