With heightened concern and debate around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and recent market volatility, you may have questions around what you can or should do to protect your employees and your investment program.

 

Over the past several months, we’ve learned that companies are justifiably concerned, but not panicking in response to the global crisis. Transparent communication coupled with prompt action based on the facts, are critical right now and can provide a rational way forward for your business, employees, suppliers and customers.

There are a number of proactive steps employers can take to mitigate health-risks and protect their investments from potential global economic impacts. Here are some initial recommendations and perspectives from Mercer that may help inform your thinking around response planning:

 

  • Frequently Communicate Facts. Empathetic communication to your employees is critical right now to help quell fear and uncertainty and to foster an employee experience that continues to promote productivity and motivation. Rely on established and credible sources of information such as Mercer’s coronavirus microsite, CDC and WHO.
  • Encourage Active Employee Prevention. Promote work-from-home arrangements. Limit large gatherings and travel. Help your employees to recognize symptoms and transmission mechanisms. Encourage preventative hygiene and visits to healthcare providers if someone believes they have been exposed. Evaluate telehealth as an option. Telehealth has the ability to bring healthcare to the patient, rather than forcing the patient to go to a healthcare facility.
  • Assess Your Investments Strategy, Business Assumptions and Risks. Market volatility is likely to continue, so act now to protect your investment plans. Access Mercer’s point of view at Coronavirus Outbreak Update: Investment Implications. These changing market conditions should also prompt an evaluation of your growth assumptions, goals, budgets and incentives.
  • Review Your Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans. Check in with critical suppliers, factor in insurance considerations and confirm you’re all set to continue delivering on key supply chain services, customer expectations, investment trading, client reporting, communications and more in the event the coronavirus outbreak escalates.

For more information on COVID-19 from health organizations, government websites and third-party news articles, please access Roundup: Coronavirus (COVID-19) updated resources for employers.

 

The coronavirus outbreak remains fluid and dynamic; information can be imperfect and contradictory. We understand that the current unsettled environment may raise many questions and concerns within your organization, and that you may struggle to maintain business as usual. That’s why we urge clients to remain calm and to take immediate yet practical actions to protect employee safety while safeguarding business continuity.

 

Have questions? Contact a mercer consultant today.