COVID Conscious, A New Industry Standard

26 September 2020

There is a job requirement that is coming to businesses around the world. While knowing Microsoft Office, or having experience is sure to still get you far depending on what industry you’re in, employers are chomping at the bit for workers who are “COVID Conscious”.


What does this mean?


A group of HR managers and professionals defined this as “understanding your potential effect on others and acting responsibly through good hygiene on and off the job, social distancing, wearing a mask in public and avoiding large gatherings.” 


So whether you are hiring or you are someone on the job market, here are some things you should know about what it is to be “COVID Conscious”


COVID Conscious Practices


Self Reporting


Whether you are in management or you are an employee, it is important to have an open line of communication when it comes to potential COVID risks. The number one priority and at the crux of being COVID-Conscious is working to protect those around you whether they be coworkers or customers.


Recently it was reported that a worker at the Cheesecake Factory who upon being informed that their coworker had come down with the virus, was reprimanded by management for sharing that information with other coworkers who may have come in contact with that individual. 


The statement given by the corporation in response was that they were “balancing its obligation to protect private and confidential health information.” 


Although medical and health records should be private, being a COVID Conscious employer or employee means self reporting.


Over the past few months it is reported that businesses are on a “silencing spree”, working to minimize any exposure that could link them with the virus whether that be through employees that have contracted it or unsafe practices.


The only way to mitigate this would be to self report and be honest about potential exposure. In the long run that can only be rewarded through increased trust by employers, coworkers, and staff.


Taking Precautions


The greatest thing you can do to provide a COVID Conscious environment for coworkers and customers is to be greatly adhering to safe practices.


Margarete Hester, Hawai‘i HR manager for EAN Holdings, parent company of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, writes “It is our responsibility as employers to make sure we are providing a safe environment for all our employees,”


The CDC is continuously releasing new information and strategies about how to keep yourself and others safe. By staying up to date on the newest information and statistics, you are not only protecting yourself but proving you are a reliable and trustworthy member of your organization.


Some of the most important but most easily ignored safety practices include:


  1. Social Distancing
  2. Wearing a Mask
  3. Sanitizing Surfaces
  4. Proper Hygiene.


While these all may seem simple, doing these things is crucial to being a COVID Conscious worker and establishment.


Why This Is Important


Being COVID Conscious is sure to be on the standard of Harassment Training and Workplace Conduct. This is because it is something, when not adhered to, threatens the livelihood of everyone around the business.


Many areas across the United States are even imparting checklists, similar to the health grading scale in many major cities, to determine the COVID Consciousness of businesses.


The Alaskan State Government even created the COVID Consciousness program for local establishments in order to set this new standard.


Hawaii Business News reported, “I firmly believe that being COVID-19 conscious should become a job requirement for employers,” Judy Bishop, president of the staffing agency Bishop & Co., writes in an email interview. “For the most part it already is.”


Because this is our new normal it is important that you are setting yourself, your business, and those who are current or potential clients up for success. Proving that you are not only a COVID-Conscious worker but the business itself is, may make the difference between success and failure in the coming years.

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