In the past several weeks the coronavirus COVID-19 has experienced exponential growth, and not only in Wuhan, China, where it is thought to have originated. Cases have been identified in at least 52 countries internationally, including 59 in the United States. And, in mid-February 2020, one Harvard professor, Marc Lipsitch, of the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told The Wall Street Journal that he predicts that in the event of a pandemic, “40–70% of people worldwide are likely to be infected in the coming year,” admitting that not all carriers may be symptomatic.
As of 28 February, the WHO reports that more than 83,647 cases have been identified, and more than 2,858 deaths have occurred. The JAMA Network is currently reporting a 2.3% death rate based on survivability of victims.
First and foremost, we need to take steps to protect not just the safety of our employees, clients, and customers but their families as well.
COVID-19 Symptoms & Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), patients with confirmed novel coronavirus infections (2019-nCoV) are reported to experience mild to severe respiratory illness, with symptoms of:
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days after exposure, based upon the estimated incubation period of MERS viruses. However, Reuters indicates that the Chinese Provincial Government now reports that the COVID-19 incubation period could range as long as 27 days. As individuals not exhibiting symptoms can still be carrying it, precaution is certainly in order.
Prevention & Education
Promoting a clean environment and advocating for employee wellness is imperative, as prevention is key to stopping the spread. Employees need to be reminded to wash their hands—and wash them well—and to sanitize often. Provide them good guidance on healthy workplace habits.
It may sound like basic common sense, but many people are not alert to simple hygiene practices, such as covering their nose or mouth when sneezing or coughing and using a hand sanitizer afterward, to prevent the spread of germs. Help employees access the important steps necessary, such as the CDC’s guide to flu prevention. Even discouraging the practice of shaking hands can help. (It has been reported that Japan’s risk of spreading the disease is lower because of their cultural practice of bowing instead of hand-shaking.)
Data shows that people who are healthy and active have a much greater chance of survival, if infected. This is a call to people to start or continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle as it relates to nutrition and cardiovascular exercise.
Brush up on your current absenteeism policies concerning both exempt and non-exempt employees. What do your policies require you, as an employer, to do regarding time off? Go further and investigate your local, state and federal compliance regulations as well. Are you large enough to have to comply with FMLA?
Be prepared to answer questions from people who could be quarantined or prevented medically from returning to work. This is where it gets problematic. Will they be paid? Unpaid? Eligible for PTO or sick time compensation? Naturally, this depends on your organization, its policies, and the rules that govern your local, state and federal employment. Now is the time to prepare, to get ahead of these questions, instead of waiting to react when under the pressure of a potential pandemic.
Employees Returning from Highly Infected Areas
What should you do if you suspect an employee or a member of their family has traveled to where the coronavirus is prevalent? We recommend that you have the employee check in with a physician prior to returning to work and provide you with a return-to-work statement, clearing them to return to full duty. The last thing you want is someone to enter the workplace who has been exposed and could potentially spread the virus to your other employees. This will mitigate concerns expressed by other employees and help stave off any rumors or innuendo.
The sudden speed and geographic spread of this virus has caught the world off-guard. As HR professionals, these are the times when gaps in our policies and procedures become evident. The idea is to prepare as much as possible rather than reacting under pressure.
We opened this posting by reminding you to not panic, and we would like to close with that reminder. If you feel you or your leadership team is not equipped to face this current crisis, don’t wait—contact us today. We are here to support you.
Whether you are in the C suite at a large organization or working at a nonprofit, a college, ministry, or church, one of your most critical tasks is to ensure that your colleagues work in a safe, comfortable environment. Surveys consistently show that workplace culture is directly correlated to organizational success. Because of this, you must pay close attention to how your employees feel, and whether they are positioned to do their best work at your organization.
Therefore, as we enter a new decade, it is worth taking the time to explore some of the most important HR trends for Christians in the workplace. Even if you do not interact with HR on a day-to-day basis, understanding these trends can go a long way toward creating a terrific workplace experience for all of your colleagues.
Upcoming HR Trends for Christians in the Workplace
One upcoming HR trend for Christian ethics in the workplace centers on the rise of soft skills. Much of the media discussion regarding the war on talent focuses on the technical skills necessary for a particular role. And, clearly, your HR department and hiring managers need to ensure that your team members can successfully do their work. That being said, some of the largest skill gaps are behavioral, rather than technical. Soft skills like emotional intelligence and creative problem-solving are extremely valuable, regardless of your type of business or the services you offer.
Embracing Christian ethics in the workplace gives you and your organization a distinct advantage. The Christian faith naturally calls for followers to work on their emotional intelligence skills, for us to recognize that everyone around us has their own desires, dreams, and needs. Christians in the workplace stay true to a set of principles and values, and apply them to their colleagues.
Ultimately, it is difficult to hire for “soft skills.” They are difficult to identify on a résumé/CV. That said, having already incorporated Christian ethics in the workplace, you should leverage the emotional intelligence and other soft skills of your team. Even though technology has changed the world as we know it, these soft skills can help set your organization apart from its competitors. Make sure you take advantage of them in 2020.
From the rise of soft skills, 2020 will be the year of diversity of location and schedule. More of your current and new employees will be looking for flexible working schedules, whether that means having the option to work remotely several days per month or something else. Flexible working schedules can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, they increase employee morale. Some studies also show that flexible working schedules result in increased productivity. On the other hand, flexible working schedules require a significant amount of trust in your workforce. It may also be logistically difficult, depending on your particular organization.
While you and your colleagues must make the final call, Christian ethics in the workplace may tip the scales in favor ofallowing for flexible working schedules. Your colleagues, in all likelihood, will not abuse this freedom and be intent on doing the best possible work they can outside the office. Once again, it is a judgment call, but this is a fact that you may want to consider.
Finally, a key trend in HR for 2020 will be the rise of mental health services to employer benefits. While it may have been overlooked in past years, employers are increasingly looking for enhanced mental health options for their employees. The modern-day workplace is stressful. Clients can be demanding. Not only that, but employees may be dealing with other stresses in their non-work lives.
Whether or not your company adopts Christian ethics in the workplace, allocating part of your budget to mental health care for your employees can go a long way. Not only can it make your colleagues happier, but it can increase productivity within your company.
As Christians, we believe that the most important aspect of our health is spiritual health. The best benefit you can offer employees is access to a chaplain. Corporate Chaplains of America, a workplace chaplain network, provides employees with 24/7 access to the largest nationwide network of full-time workplace chaplains. These chaplains are professionally trained and prepared to care for people in crisis. Chaplains can help in circumstances where you, as an employer, cannot. Chaplains assist employees with hospital care, family and marriage care, substance abuse, stress management, and interpersonal conflicts. They are a great benefit and we have personally witnessed the impact they can make on morale and the eternal security of your employees.
Preparing for the New Decade
These near-term trends for Christians in the workplace are important to monitor. By taking advantage of these trends, you can help create and maintain a wonderfully positive and supportive workplace culture at your organization.
Therefore, as the new decade looms, keep these HR trends in mind. Gather your team to determine how you can leverage any or all of the trends mentioned above. By doing so, you can help ensure your organization starts off on a strong foot in 2020.
In HIS Name HR provides results-oriented human resource outsourcing services, professional recruiting services, and leadership development utilizing behavioral and talent assessment tools, as well as solutions to reduce HR costs and create more successful, productive employees. We help you develop a high-performance organization.
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Contact: Mark A. Griffin, In HIS Name HR LLC, 717-572-2183
MGriffin@InHISNameHR.com Book Rereleased in Spanish Provides Christian Inspiration for Business Leaders and Professionals
LANCASTER, Penn., April 25, 2018—
In May 2012 How to Build “Kingdom-Minded” Organizations by Mark A. Griffin was published, and its success was significant that organizations across the US and UK now use it as a guide not just within leadership teams but also boards of directors.
Six years after its first publication, in response to popular demand, How to Build “Kingdom-Minded” Organizations has now been translated into Spanish.
Since the 2008 global financial crisis, the world has endured some of the toughest economic times since the Great Depression, with business leaders and employees alike enduring increasing pressure simply to survive. Too often, the workplace has become devoid of hope and genuine purpose, despite it being where many of us spend the majority of our time.
In that time, author Mark A. Griffin, an HR consultant and career coach, has traveled the world researching, partnering and exploring how poverty can be alleviated by job growth within suffering countries like the Ukraine, India, Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, in contrast to the charity model that more often fails. That has created increased demand for the book’s release in other languages.
After more than 25 years in a corporate world where pursuit of profit has become paramount, Mark Griffin is adamant there is a better way to do business. In How to Build “Kingdom-Minded” Organizations, Mark inspires Christian business leaders who want to create a values-led organization to bring Christ into the workplace.
With more than two dozen years as an HR executive in companies ranging from small to high-profile Fortune 500, Mark Griffin has emerged as the leading thought expert in human resources from a Christian perspective and speaks at conferences nationwide. Mark also inspires thousands of listeners through a network of Christian radio stations and a 12-part podcast series based on his book.
Mark’s remarkable book continues to empower business leaders to be bold about bringing their faith into their workplace. Aware that it takes great courage to step away from the business practices that dominate America’s corporate world, his book provides simple and effective tools designed to constructively integrate the teachings of Christ into any organization. It provides the starting point for those who want to create, build and develop their own profitable values-led business as a stable, positive environment in which employee wellbeing is enhanced, improving quality and productivity.
Through his organization, In HIS Name HR LLC, Mark is on a mission to provide world-class business consulting that allows clients to be prosperous while still “Kingdom-minded,” by instilling a Christian ethos and establishing goals that reflect that ethos.
Radical, inspirational and affirmative, Mark Griffin’s template for Kingdom-minded businesses is an idea whose time has come.
How to Build “Kingdom-Minded” Organizations is available in both English and now Spanish at Amazon.com. To learn more about the Spanish edition please visit: www.organizacionesorientadasalreino.com.
Learn more about Mark A. Griffin and his quest to help the Christian-owned company live their faith by visiting him at www.InHISNameHR.com, or connect with him on www.Twitter.com/InHISNameHR.
Social Media and Search Engine Optimization
This blog post is out of the ordinary. We are human resource experts not marketing or social media experts by any means. We have been asked way too many times and have had to explain in painstaking detail the same question:
How did In HIS Name HR climb to the top slot in Google’s search response to the query for “Christian Human Resources”
Having been peppered with this question from a wide array of sources, we decided to answer it here, and share our methodology.
Social media can be confusing to many people, but in reality it is very simple. Social media programs are nothing more than tools that allow like-minded people to communicate. What is critical to remember is that not all people use all programs. Therefore, to reach a large and diverse group of people, you need to reach them where they are, instead of hoping they’ll somehow stumble across you.
Many people make the mistake of only using Facebook, or Twitter, when they attempt to market their voice to the world. But what about all those people who use other social media programs instead, those who are not on Facebook or Twitter? If you rely only on those two platforms, you are essentially missing out on millions of potential people who won’t hear your message.
What you want to do is essentially send your same message out through all the various social media programs. However, you will need to tailor the way in which your message is sent out to accommodate the differing requirements or constraints of each social media platform.
To start, make sure what you present fits your voice—that is, how you want people to perceive you and your services. It is a combination of your mission, vision and values. Your voice can also be defined as a “niche” that you are working to create for your organization.
In just 6 short years we have been able to develop a strong social media audience.
We now have:
Over 15,000 followers on Twitter
Facebook Business Page now exceeds 3,100
Over 7,700 connections on LinkedIn
And our latest social media platform Instagram, now exceeds 4,100 plus followers
Want to get encouraged? We have compiled this list of who we think have had and will have an impact on the world for Jesus. Enjoy connecting with these great influencers.
True Success is not measured in physical possessions, but in the amount of lives that you change. Follow Tim
Glimpses from the road with the Founder & President of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Follow Ravi
Max’s message is simple: God loves you; let him. Follow Max
Bethel is a community of worshippers in Redding, California. We exist to ignite individual hearts until Heaven meets Earth. We gather to encounter God’s presence, where personal revival starts. Follow Bill
Lead Pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. And for every fear / There’s an empty grave. Follow Steven
T. D. Jakes
Senior Pastor of The Potter’s House, located in Dallas, TX. Producer of “Miracles From Heaven”, Host of T.D.Jakes Show Follow Pastor Jakes
President of: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Samaritan’s Purse International Relief. Follow Franklin
John C Maxwell
Bestselling author & speaker on leadership. Christian. Blogger. Trainer. Coach. Everything rises & falls on leadership. Follow John
Saved by the grace of God ~ Mrs. ~ Mom ~ Pro SURFER ~ motivational SPEAKER ~ Movie & book ~ Soul Surfer ~ #UNSTOPPABLEthefilm bethanyhamilton.com Follow Bethany
The official Joseph Prince account. It’s my passion to share God’s grace radically & see lives gloriously transformed! Follow Joseph
Pastor Osteen is a native Texan and the Pastor of Lakewood Church, and is America’s largest and fastest growing church. Follow Joel
President and founder, Live Action. Advocate for the dignity and life of human beings. Made for a purpose, just like you. Follow Lila
Senior Pastor of Rock Church in San Diego, CA getmilesahead.com Follow Miles
Best-selling author of Crazy Love, Forgotten God, Multiply and You and Me Forever. Follow Francis
Director of International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO Follow Mike
Christianity Today magazine named Paul as, “One of the Top 33 Under 33 Christian Millennials to Watch.” Follow Paul
Daniel is a modern missionary evangelist privileged to have led over 19 million people in the prayer of Salvation through CFAN’s Gospel Crusades. Follow Daniel
Award-winning journalist for ESPN. Published author. Founder of The K.I.N.G. Christian Men’s Movement. Follow Chris
NFL Chaplain | Preacher | Pastor | Leader | Human Potential Extractor Follow LaMorris
Pastor Mark Driscoll is a Jesus-following, mission-leading, church-serving, people-loving, Bible-preaching pastor. Follow Mark