Whether a hurricane, earthquake, tornado, wildfire, or blizzard—a natural disaster leaves behind a laundry list of issues that need addressing. While many aspects are unpredictable, there are those which businesses can plan for in advance. One of those is how to navigate with your current staff and what to do when you need an additional workforce and hiring resources.
The economic damage left by a natural disaster can be devastating, but one positive outcome is watching communities throughout the country come together to rebuild and support. If your business is recuperating after any type of natural disaster, enlisting your temporary workforce should be the least of your concerns.
When partnering with a trusted staffing provider, you should have access to around-the-clock support on a national level combined with local knowledge and expertise—an invaluable asset, particularly when certain regions are recovering. With an established staffing partner, you’re paired with decades of industry know-how. Even better is when you’re offered technological innovations, such as JobStack, which gives you access to the workers you need, right from your mobile phone or desktop.
Because the staffing aspect of your recovery plan is in order, you can focus on regrowth, supporting your current staff, and playing a part in your community.
Here are some ways you can get started in before, during, and aftermath of a natural disaster:
Keep your employees informed throughout and after a disaster—and do so through multiple channels. While some might lean on email to stay updated, others may not have internet access—so texts, phone calls, physical postings, or signage might be necessary. Regardless of the streams in which you communicate, do so often. Your staff will know what is expected of them and can plan their next actions. Keep messaging brief, supportive and informational: Getting the message across is key when access to battery power and electricity may be limited, and sending on a regular schedule can be even more helpful.
When positioning the next steps for your team, be as specific as you can. Not everyone has experienced an event such as a natural disaster, so explaining what should be done and why it’s important can make a great difference. Knowing answers around what is happening can be a comfort to your workers and helps them integrate back into work more easily. Some things to keep in mind and explain clearly are office hours, operating days, how to log time (for PTO or sickness), and who they need to update and how often.
Just like you, employees need support. Whether or not your company provides any special coverage or funding due to natural disasters, you can always guide employees to outside resources and organizations who offer assistance. Keep in mind that employees have families, friends, and their own lives that have been affected—so a bit of flexibility in their work lives can make a world of difference.
Collaborate + Cooperate
Caring doesn’t stop with your employees. Your customers and community will also be ready for helping hands, and you can help both through your team collaborating with the public. Some employees may be less affected by the disaster than others and ready to help. Others might want extra hours on the job for various reasons. Organize opportunities for your staff to volunteer or set them up with extra hours and additional responsibilities, which can help to meet customer and/or community needs. The more you work with those around you, the more successful you’ll be in gaining momentum.
When employees get back to work and their regular schedules, they may still feel disturbed by the recent events. Some feel guilt for not having as bad of a situation as others, while some may feel useless in the aftermath. You can play a part in returning to normalcy by encouraging them for what they have done in supporting. You can focus on their role in reviving the community from the work they’re doing. Their attention can be turned to their efforts in serving customers and coworkers. It’s a great reminder for all that there is no perfect timeline or specific way they need to feel.
PeopleReady helps connect the ideal workers from across the nation with companies who need feet on the ground, ready to help.