With the government’s announcement that retail stores will reopen for business on June 15th, the end of lockdown is now in sight.

But the pandemic isn’t over.

Safety is still absolutely crucial during this time and businesses must do all they can to protect the health and wellbeing of their staff and customers.

 

Here’s 10 ways you can keep your employees and customers safe when you reopen your business.

  1. Give customers free hand wipes or sanitizer upon entry

Many supermarkets have been doing this during the lockdown.

Make your customers form a socially distanced queue outside your shop and have one of your employees stand outside with a bottle of sanitizer or pack of hand wipes. Give each customer a squirt of sanitizer or a wipe as they enter the store.

By doing this you will make sure each customer has clean hands as they enter your store and touch your products. You also show them that you’re taking their well-being seriously.

 

Increase your hygiene measures

Clean often and clean well. Clean every surface and every object more frequently than you used to. Paying close attention to detail may have been an aspiration in the past, it is now a necessity.

If you normally offer food and drink samples in your store it may be a good idea to hold off for the time being.

    2. Avoid unnecessary travel

Lockdown may have eased but it still isn’t a good idea to go travelling to meetings up and down the country. If there’s one thing lockdown taught us it’s that the vast majority of meetings work just as well over Zoom or Skype as they do in person.

    3. Change your sickness policies

Update your sickness policies to reflect the times we’re living in. Be more flexible and allow people more time off if they are experiencing symptoms. No one should find themselves facing disciplinary action because they had to take extra time off to look after a loved one.

 

   4. Keep your employees informed

The government regularly releases fresh information about best practices and what you can and can’t do. Keep your employees updated on the latest news and best practices. Set up a noticeboard or daily email dedicated to updates. Have employees initial the noticeboard or respond to the email so you know they’ve read it.

Throughout lockdown there has been a lot of speculation and fake news. Some people have chosen to avoid the news entirely to protect their mental health. Keeping your employees updated with the need-to-know information will avoid confusion and make sure you’re all on the same page.

   5. Limit the number of people in your store

Social distancing doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. Reduce your store’s capacity to allow for social distancing measures.

   6. Consider staggering work schedules

This can help with social distancing. Dive your team into teams and have them start and finish at different times.

This is a challenge but anything you can do to help your teams reduce the chance of infection is worth investing time in.

   7. Prioritise high-risk employees

Allow high-risk employees to work from home if possible. Some may wish to remain in quarantine for longer. You should allow them to if you can and discuss the details of the decision together.

   8. Wash your hands!

Promote frequent hand washing among your employees. There’s plenty of material online showing you the most effective hand washing techniques. Share this information with your employees and encourage them to keep their hands as clean as possible.

   9. Close fitting rooms

Stores that sell clothes may want to keep their fitting rooms closed. Fitting rooms often become crowded, they have lots of people pass through them and touch the same area repeatedly. It may be best to keep fitting rooms closed and extend the length of time customers have to return items instead.

If you do decide to open your fitting rooms, have a member of staff supervise them. Make sure they clean the fitting rooms frequently.

   10. Use temperature profiling technology

There is some incredibly smart technology out there that is extremely useful during this time, such as the award-winning M.A.R.S system.

The temperature profiling technology screens staff and customers for abnormal body temperatures. You can set the system to alert you when anyone has a temperature that indicates a fever.

The M.A.R.S system could be key to spotting one of the major indicators of the virus. It makes a great ally in your business’ fight against the virus.