In recent years, employers big and small have learned that a healthy staff is a more productive staff. By supporting wellness activities and prevention, there is less absenteeism, less stress and lower healthcare costs.
The same is true of preparedness, especially when it is shared as a health initiative! Small steps your staff can take toward preparedness can make them healthier, and give them peace of mind and confidence.
Here are our top three tips for creating a culture of healthy preparedness.
1. Look for Double-duty Opportunities
One of our bedrock platforms at CARD is “Everyday Brilliance Builds Disaster Resilience.” When you have mastered certain skills in your everyday life, it can help you prevent, avoid, respond to, and rebuild after an emergency. A great example is flexing your team’s communication skills. In everyday life, good communication is key to achieving your goals. When someone is going to be late, having an easy and clear way to communicate that with the team, and having an expectation to do so, is an excellent example of building “everyday brilliance.” Text messages, email from a mobile device, a phone tree, whatever makes sense for you, allows those lines of communication to be practiced in small, sustainable ways. Then, when something major happens, your team immediately knows how to communicate. If traveling on the road is a frequent part of your organization’s activities, having a go-kit and car safety kit in each person’s trunk is a great idea. Not only can it help them with a small problem, like a blown-tire, it will help them if something more significant leaves them stranded.
Identifying helpful everyday activities can not only make life smoother right now, but it also builds the muscle to handle emergencies with confidence.
2. Recognize employees’ priorities
As important as your organization is to your employees, their families are probably the top priority for them. When discussing your organization’s response to a disaster, acknowledge this fact. Talk about how communicating with family will be prioritized if an emergency takes place during work hours. Make sure that contact information (including physical addresses) for the family of each staff member is current. Encourage employees to share a little about their family (as much as they are comfortable with) to allow the entire team to understand what kind of support their teammates may need in a disaster. Knowing that one staff member is a single parent, or that another has a medically-fragile parent living with them can help build camaraderie, as well as identify where support will be needed.
Acknowledging — and planning for — what is most vital to your staff will reassure them that they will be able to handle their responsibilities at home and at work in an emergency.
3. Make Preparedness a Fun Team Activity
Assembling SKIP (Safety Kept in Place) Kits, making copies of important documents, practicing evacuating your office — there are lots of fast and easy things that leave your team more prepared. Lighten the load for all employees by making it a fun team activity. Want to practice evacuation and meeting at your rally point? Do it on the way to a staff lunch at a nearby restaurant. Assembling SKIP kits to keep at your desks? Make it part of a potluck lunch with the team.
As Mary Poppins wisely said, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun!” Take the lead in bringing small steps of preparedness to your team, and make it as fun as you can