Below are a communication template and guidelines that startup companies can send to their employees regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Note that the sender will need to fill in some specifics based on how their venture wants to handle a range of elements, including office visitors, travel, flexible scheduling, remote work, etc. Please adjust the wording based on your unique business needs.
The information provided below is based on crowd-sourced plans drawn from a cross-section of Toronto-based companies as of March 12, 2020.
PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRELY
At [Company Name], we are committed to putting our people first. With COVID-19 officially listed as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), and with so much yet to understand, we wanted to take a moment to let you know the extraordinary and proactive steps we are taking to ensure our team’s safety.
Disclaimer: This document reflects our best knowledge at the time of writing and will be continually updated to incorporate new learnings as they surface.
We have implemented a number of guidelines that will help us reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses, including novel coronavirus. See [Company Name] Guidelines below.
During this time, we want to emphasize:
In the guidelines below, you’ll find our latest thinking on how [Company Name] will adapt its practices to ensure that we continue to deliver against our clients’ expectations, while also making decisions in a thoughtful manner that prioritizes the safety of our team. We ask that you also make responsible decisions in your personal life, avoiding concerts, sporting events, non-essential travel and other large public gatherings.
Of course, we will monitor incoming COVID-19 updates from Health Canada, and amend and adjust these guidelines at regular intervals as the situation develops. We thank you for your understanding and patience.
[We suggest you create the guidelines as a separate document and attach it to your communications.]
[Company name] Guidelines
We want to highlight the importance of communication if/when you’re feeling threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please remain in close contact with your manager.
[If you have specific communication practices you would like your team to follow, insert them here.]
We are elevating our safety precautions. If you are not feeling well, you MUST work from home. In addition, we expect you to stay home for a minimum of two weeks after all symptoms have dissipated.
[If you have specific safety precautions you would like your team to follow, insert them here.]
We encourage you to follow usual health precautions, such as:
[If you regularly have office visitors (e.g., friends and family, delivery people, third-party vendors, clients, etc.), insert your stance on them here.]
Work travel and local client visits
[If client visits and employee travel is part of your business, insert your stance on it here.]
[If your business is able to allow for flexible schedules and cannot accommodate remote work, insert your stance on it. ]
[If your business is able to provide remote work, insert existing, revised or new guidelines.]
Communication on prevention and risks