If you are like me, concerns regarding the coronavirus may have been top-of-mind for you over the past few days and weeks. As always, the health and well-being of our people, their families, our clients and our communities continue to be paramount during these unprecedented times.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have created an internal pandemic response team reporting to the highest levels within DHG which is rapidly maintaining a detailed business continuity and pandemic preparation plan to support our people, our clients, and our firm.
Our actions to date include:
- DHG has banned all travel to those countries specified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the moment inclusive of Level 3 Travel Health Notice – South Korea, China, Italy, Iran; Level 2 – Japan. We recommend cancelation of travel to Level 1 – Hong Kong. We monitor both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) websites continuously for updates.
- Team members are required to notify a member of DHG’s Human Resources team if have traveled or are planning to travel to one of the countries listed by the CDC.
- Team members are not permitted to work at a client’s site or any DHG location earlier than the 14 days following their return from any country listed above or any other country that is, in the future, designated a CDC Level 2 or CDC Level 3 advisory status.
- DHG has cancelled all air travel (international and domestic) for what is considered non-essential travel until further notice. This is currently considered travel for internal meetings and events.
- Prospective team member interviews that require air travel will be held via video conferencing until further notice.
- DHG has provided detailed guidance to our employees to stay home if sick or exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms, and also provided detailed personal hygiene guidance (eg wash hands with soap for 20 seconds, avoiding contact with everyday objects, disinfecting workstations, etc.).
- We have posters in every office with the same guidance on personal hygiene as a continued reminder to all employees. The same information also periodically populates to team member computers as reminders for employees who are working remotely or at client sites.
- We have a variety of flexible work programs available to our people including paid time off for employees who should be caring for their own health or the health of a loved one.
- DHG updates our employees weekly, at a minimum, regarding most recent updates to the COVID-19 outbreak and has created a centralized intranet site which includes information and resources for our people.
- And finally, our employees are expected to follow the protocol and policy of our clients as it relates to any restrictions with regards to travel, meetings, telecommuting, or other related policies.
Without a doubt, there is a great deal that we do not know about how this virus will impact our day-to-day lives and there is uncertainty in how it will impact our economy. I can assure you that we are doing everything that we can to monitor the situation, maintain a safe environment and plan for our future. Regardless of what lies ahead, one thing we can count on is each other. We care about our families, our fellow team members, our clients and our friends, and we will be in this together, supporting one another until the threat has passed. And in the end, these experiences will make DHG, our people and our clients even more adaptable and prepared for the changing, global marketplace we serve every day.