Question for the DL: I haven’t even started to respond and am trying to figure out what is going on. My folks are still coming into work. What do I do?
Disaster Lady Answer: Your employees are your first priority. If you take them for granted or do not treat them as your top priority, your business falls apart and so does your customer service. Employees have loyalty to you during a disaster and you have loyalty to them. Loyalty is built by making hard decisions to take care of your employees first. If that means that you have to stop some in-person services that are more profitable so that your employees are safe, then you do it. The advice I have given for almost 20 years now: Loyalty only goes so far without a paycheck. Make meeting payroll your top priority. If you have to lay off, then do it by giving the employee as much of a financial cushion to land on as humanly possible.
Note to Healthcare: If your business is in this sector, then you need to follow the CDC protocols for safety. If you can’t follow them, then you need to do the right thing and refer those patients to an organization that can. This is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing. Want to know why? Do you know the first thing that happens right after a disaster is declared over? Lawsuits. That’s right. Customers, insurance companies, businesses, etc. are going to try to recover money or seek compensation for damages any way that they can. If you think that your professional liability insurance will cover all of the lawsuits people can sling at you in healthcare after a disaster of this magnitude, then you are either overly optimistic or have not been in the healthcare industry very long.