In January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease in Hubei Province, China, to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. WHO stated there is a high risk of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spreading to other countries around the world. As Africa contends with the Covid-19 virus and its global effects, organizations must rethink their people management strategies to maintain the delicate equilibrium between staff, welfare schemes and stakeholder’s expectations, especially of profit and revenue. To get workplace ready for COVID-19, The MPESA Foundation academy adopted three-tier measures as follows
1. Students and Staff well-being and protection from the virus.
2. Business operations continuity and how to keep the workflow.
3. Return formula when we eventually return.
1) Employee and students’ well-being and protection
The health and well-being of our staff and learners is supreme and should be guarded jealously, and with that in mind, the Academy immediately put the following measures in place·
*Put together internal guidelines for coronavirus – COVID -19 to communicate information that would be useful to students, staff, visitors and external stakeholders for prevention during this pandemic. The instructions were drawn from the WHO guidelines and the government of Kenya press releases on the epidemic.
*Populate the document in a form that students could easily understand more above COVID-19 (How it is spread, signs and symptoms, Preventing the spread of COVID-19 and how to protect oneself and others)·
*Keeping staff informed on medical insurance position on the pandemic.
2) Business operations continuity and how to keep the workflow
The Second area was how the Academy would keep the work going amidst the suspension of operations as per the government and ministry of education guidelines to contain the spread of the virus.
The following measures were put in place
*Set up a COVID-19 team that is meeting three times in a week and update staff on the epidemic, actions taken to prevent the spread of the virus
· Embark on working from home
· Retain bare minimum staff that provide essential services
· Reduce face to face interactions and adopt video conference
3) Return formula when we eventually return
In as much as the conundrum right now is between what is urgent versus what is important. At this point, a larger population now understands COVID-19with most us generally having zero medical expertise, by now we have some level of understanding of the various compositions and DNA of the virus. This coronavirus is now our business, and there is a need to be proactive and start thinking of return formula. Our way of life has been interrupted by this epidemic we now talk of social distance, face mask, sanitizers, work from home etc. These are the aspects that are going to reshape our future working environment and need to be well thought of in our return to work formula. The return to work formula has and will be the bigger conversation for MFA COVID-19 team. Government and other agencies guidelines will significantly reinforce this.