The Pandemic is creating problems for companies that they never had to face previously – especially companies with staff who are customer-facing, such as, retail, hospitality, and recreation.
As a consultant, it becomes easy for me to determine if the executives making decisions are sitting in safe offices without wearing masks until someone enters their office. Meanwhile, their staff is meeting the company’s clients for 8 to 10 hours per day, without any knowledge if this next interaction may give them Covid-19.
One Client’s Story
One of my clients has a great record of hiring Top Talent. They were acquired several years ago. Over time, the new company makes its stamp on operations – as they should. Unfortunately, sometimes in this process, other priorities such as branding take precedence over the safety of their customer-facing employees.
This company made a decision a day before a major Holiday that immediately began to cost them Top Talent. Instead of allowing their employees to select masks that made them feel safe, this client required them to wear masks that were demonstrated in studies to be ineffective – but they Did have the Company logo on them.
The people who made the decision were tone-deaf both with their decision and their timing.
My client called me to help them stem the flow of the loss of their Top Talent. When I arrived, I asked them to explain what happened to cause previously happy Talent to leave them. Their lack of understanding about the cause of the loss of Top Talent stunned me.
They rationalized the masks with the company logo were sufficient to protect the customer-facing employees at the same time the talent was already wearing company branded uniforms. When I visited the office that provided uniforms, I witnessed a woman employee who cried that her manager no longer allowed her to wear her white KN95 mask. She was required to wear the company branded mask that provided her less protection from Covid-19. She was issued the less effective logo mask to face customers who may or may not have Covid-19.
The Executives’ confirmation bias found a European website that confirmed what they wanted to hear. As a consultant, I examined the site. Then with the assistance of medical professionals, I showed the company the CDC and FDA sites that demonstrated their branded masks were not effective.
With the new information, the company made the correct decision – and allowed their staff to wear KN95 masks. Unfortunately, Top Talent felt betrayed initially. The loss of talent slowed as the company announced the new mask policy that allowed the more protective KN95 masks without a logo.
Executives typically do not intentionally drive Top Talent from their employment. Occasionally, they need to experience the conditions their front line staff is experiencing before they make a decision. This is an example of decisions made without examining the potential unintended consequences.
How Should Executives Respond To The Fallout From a Poor Decision?
Their response needs to be the same as any person who makes a mistake. Admit their mistake, apologize, and correct the mistake. If they act quickly, they may be able to attract the Top Talent who left by apologizing to them. Then discuss they were wrong and changed the policy to keep them safe.
During a Pandemic, it would be wise for a company to spend a little money to issue tested KN95 masks for their staff. If the staff does not wear safer masks, the cost could be the need to close the facility if the site becomes identified as a Super Spreader facility. Imagine the cost of the public relations hit to the brand and the loss of revenue.
If you would like a conversation on how to ATTRACT talent instead of using a system to screen them out, we should chat. Call me directly at 435-714-4425 (mountain).
I am available to consult with your company to improve your Top Talent Attraction strategy. Attracting and integrating Top Talent gives your company an industry edge. The process is worth the effort by improving productivity, innovation, and profitability – Look at Google, Tesla, SpaceX, and Apple. Retaining Top Talent keeps your industry knowledge inside your company – instead of with the competition.
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