The COVID-19 pandemic, arguably, represents one of the most impactful and damaging public health crises confronting the world in recent times. Its negative impact has been attributed to a high rate of transmission and a pure lack of understanding on applicable strategies to manage the pandemic. This emerging sense of confusion has seen nation after nation impose a wide range of restrictions in a desperate bid to slow its spread particularly among highly-populated metropolitan localities. Yet, one of the defining hallmarks of such decisions was their arbitrary nature and the fact that those proposing them had a limited understanding of the disease itself. The resulting chaos set the stage for an economic crisis when most businesses, across a spectrum of sectors, were required to shut down in definitely and fail to recover given the resurgence of wave after wave of the infectious disease (Aslam, 2020).
Even with vaccines in hand, the same problems seem to bed plaguing the political brass on the measures to impose in order to achieve a semblance of normalcy, albeit momentarily. The geo-economic risks of the pandemic have been sweeping and, to an extent: threatening the global image as we know it. Today, volatility and inflation are norms many nation-states and major corporations confront as a manifestation of the challenge we are currently confronted with. This is further compounded by the fact that experts in the field seem divided when providing individual perspectives on the most effective response to the pandemic. Thus, a sizeable majority of the high-income countries hardest hit by the pandemic in the developed world are yet to come to a joint agreement on the most appropriate response to implement to mitigate risks posed by events such as a global pandemic.
Although policymakers target herd immunity as a lasting solution to threats such as those posed by the COVID pandemic, an interdisciplinary approach is paramount in gaining a better understanding of the mechanism underpinning such scenarios. A comprehensive understanding of such underlying factors then creates favorable conditions for actors involved in the daily management of responses to the pandemic by depending solely on a multifaceted approach to avert its consequences while actively promoting the sharing of information among partners in this fight (Fong, 2021). Also, mitigation strategies can only thrive in an environment where major state and non-state actors are receptive to change and apply change key aspects of change management in addressing a variety of issues, including capacity constraints and fluctuations in the value of currency. However, the resulting negative impact of the solution may have direct links to high-level competition among nation-states and a proclivity to becoming a leader in the field at the expense of detractors. For instance, China and Russia immediately adopted a divergent stance to the West’s narrative of the emergence and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and how to mitigate its impact (Cadet, 2020). Among the suggestions made was for them to maintain their production capabilities at peak level to meet global demand and maintain a steady workforce even with the risk of transmission posed by the disease. On the other hand, the West has proposed measures such as the large-scale adoption and recommendation of risk premiums as a solution to addressing some of the uncertainties introduced by the pandemic. Testing such solutions will be central to their overall applicability and their potential benefit in the future within a similar context. It is, thus, fundamental to consider the most appropriate strategies to implement to mitigate negative impacts of pandemics such as COVID-19 and activities my company should engage in as an appropriate response in the future.
Pandemics pose a serious and immediate threat to organizations and multinational corporations due their novel nature and new challenges posed. Poor responses to similar challenges are a consequence of limited strategies to address similar strategies and on a long-term basis. While pandemics such as COVID-19 and SARS are capable of shaping modern society as we know it, leaders remain responsible for the course taken by organizations in addressing any of the challenges posed. As a rule of thumb, competent leadership is the bedrock of appropriate responses and the outlook adopted within an organization. Companies are, therefore, only able to respond appropriately to such challenges when they actively invest in the rigorous selection of leaders to take charge of an organization (Esmaeilzadeh & Mirzaei, 2021). Within their capacity, they become fully capable of initiating strategies and successfully implementing strategies primarily seeking to improve conditions within the organization in case challenges become commonplace. Atypical transformational leadership encourages leaders to avoid alienating staff and adopting strategies to boost compliance to any of the strategies proposed for introduction during periods of crisis. This breed a workplace environment where reestablishing normalcy in the wake of a disruptive is simplified while employees acknowledge each step within the framework of each proposed strategy. For instance, proactive leaders who envisioned the likelihood of a pandemic such as the one that has gripped the world in the past two years have had a better chance at responding to the crisis and bouncing back compared to their counterparts. Within such a framework, employees would be aware of standard operating procedures such as management of the work load to manage risk and even opting to work from home. A hybrid workplace system also boosts employee more and reassures them of a company’s preparedness and ability to respond appropriately to prevailing conditions.
Risk mitigation should also involve setting up elaborate operational frameworks as a response to future challenges. They should cover scheduling within the organization and its subsidiaries, production volume, employee capacity, and stress-management for employees. The latter is particularly important given the central role played by employees in managing risk and ensuring that mitigation strategies are implemented as expected (McLaren & Wang, 2020). As part of the decision-making team, the should also be in the right frame of mind to avoid slip-ups likely to force an organization into making hasty and unplanned decisions likely to jeopardize its position among competitors. Capacity building should, therefore, form the core of actions supporting and bolstering risk mitigation strategies in the long haul. An ideal situation is one where regular coaching is commonplace and employees trained frequently to adopt some of the most fitting strategies to address emerging challenges. This strategy should also involve addressing psychological conditions likely to spike in a high-stress environment. For instance, absenteeism among members of staff within an organization may lead to an overall increase in workload and an overall reduction in productivity. Investing in wellness equips employees to respond appropriately during periods of crisis and emboldens them to implement mitigation strategies. Employees aware of a robust operational framework can avoid burnout and become more productive while also working on improving their skill for overall growth. Furthermore, an organization’s assets that are well under its mandate of custom and administration should be reevaluated to enable leaders to plan for the possibility o f a negative outcome and an accompanying response. During conditions such the recent COVID-19 pandemic, organizations must mitigate investing risk by avoiding rash decision-making and basing any such decision on empirical financial data.
Resolving competing interests also empowers companies and organizations to respond suitably to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. A clear-cut mode of operation gives little wiggle room for alterations that are likely to hinder progress made thus far and the integrity of the managerial team given the impact of such a reality on productivity (Troger, 2021). My organization would proactively prepare for such an eventuality by establishing an elaborate system of critical infrastructure to promote resilience in the face of external pressure. Part of this strategy involves acknowledging the list of challenges likely to have direct links to the current problem plaguing an organization. Prior knowledge improves fidelity and an overall capability of becoming acutely aware of potential vulnerabilities such as those that emerge in the cyber sphere. Each fine-tuned response should also be executed within an early-detection framework which strives to identify minute baseline changes during events prone to vulnerabilities. Goldman Sachs is known for its application of this mitigation strategy that has essentially served as a foundation for newer subsidiaries under the organization’s unique co-operate brand. Resolving clear competing interests also prevents fragmentation as a major limitation to change management and the mitigation of emerging risks. A technologically-inclined organization is also likely to adapt and respond appropriately during times of crisis and will suffer little to no effect on its productivity. For instance, financial delays can be mitigated by diversifying payment options available for staff to also include digital and mobile transactions. Collaborating with such organizations translates to a paradigm shift and a rethinking of our association with technology and how it serves our needs in the long run when mitigating. Thus, robust frameworks such as cyber security and a digital financial infrastructure provide a positive sense of security in an organization’s operational framework.
Policy action targeting the transmission of infectious disease such as COVID-19 significantly improve positive outcomes for an organization in question and serves as an elemental mitigating factor. To prevent the crippling effects of an infectious disease and the ensuing pandemic, organizations must actively participate in safeguarding staff within their respective workplace environments (Hong et al., 2021). Consistency in measures geared towards this end creates uniformity; boosting awareness of proposed protocols within the said environment and creating safe environment to promote productivity. Policy recommendations should also need to be in line with government directives and specifically those provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Additionally, policy actions on mitigating the impact of global pandemics within the workplace environment should also be based on occupational safety requirements outlined by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) (Qu et al., 2020). Populations more susceptible to infection, such as elderly employees and those with pre-existing health conditions, should also be taken into account within such a framework by creating safety provisions such as having them work remotely. This should also be accompanied by the implementation workplace restrictions for specified areas and worksites to minimize contact between staff. Infectious diseases such as Ebola, Bird-flu, and SARS-CoV-2 pose a significant risk to organizations given their transmission rate and the impact on productivity. Standard mitigation practices should involve social distancing within the workplace environment, avoiding person-to-person contact, regular screening of employees, vaccination, isolation of infected individuals, disinfecting offices, and contact tracing. My organization could particularly benefit from occupational health surveillance policies as a deterrent when confronted with the possibility of disease transmission. This will create a healthy and symbiotic relationship where the organization strives to improve its profit margin while also considering the socioeconomic wellbeing of individual employees.
Mitigation Strategies Linked to my Organization – Executing a COVID-19 Workplace Assessment to Minimize Risk
To mitigate risks associated with COVID-19 in my workplace environment, a workplace assessment will take precedence as one of the most reliable instruments in gauging potential occupational exposures and vulnerable populations. Numerous interdependent variables influence the spread of infectious disease such as COVID-19, which is why shrewd leaders become an asset in identifying them and enforcing appropriate countermeasures to mitigate their impact (Reshi, 2020). For instance, creating a risk profile identifies the vulnerable cross-section of staff within a workplace environment followed by a customization of mitigation plans that include occupational health plans in case they contract the disease. The organization should also hold regular meetings to raise awareness on the danger posed by the condition in the hope that preventive measures and company protocols will be observed to the letter.
Regular health drills on non-healthcare employees within a workplace environment further boosts basic knowledge about the organization and the course of action to be taken in the event of transmission. The low exposure risk section should include assignments with minimal direct human contact within the workplace environment. On the other hand, medium exposure risk should cover an average level of contact with fellow employees; posing a possible risk of transmission. High-exposure risk should routinely incorporate contact tracing due to a high likelihood of transmission to close person-to-person contact. By evaluating the degree of transmission within the location in which the organization is located, leaders should be able to make executive decisions to curtail the spread of the disease within the workplace environment while targeting zero transmission. A return to work policy for employees outside their usual workplace environment should be implemented based on a practical framework while considering possible occupational risks.
Workplace Measures to Minimize Revenue Loss
Working Remotely and Planned Reopening
The implementation of workplace measures such as working remotely and a planned reopening of the workplace will be crucial in mitigating the possible impact of the pandemic and in managing its spread. This process should commence with clamoring for a reduced workplace density as one of the most reliable strategies in mitigating and preventing the actual spread of COVID-19. As a result, office spaces will hold fewer staff; significantly reducing close-range physical contact and the spread of the disease. Social activities should also be closely monitored to ensure they are in line with preventive protocols proposed by the HHS and management (Haq, 2020). The rescheduling of regular shifts during such instances will also prevent unnecessary commotion and confusion stemming from social activities, thus reducing and minimizing physical contact.
Working remotely also reduces risk of transmission, especially among senior citizens and workers with pre-existing health conditions. In particularly, my organization can benefit immensely by applying this framework by encouraging non-essential service providers to work remotely. However this should also be accompanied by workplace incentives such as capacity building and an opportunity for employees in such a position to hone professional skills likely to benefit the organization in the long haul. This system can also be applied and used interchangeably among staff to create a sense of continuity at the workplace and also reduce the risk of transmission by extending schedule periods. It is worth noting that, upon their return, each employee will be expected to report to their respective supervisions on the progress made and their current knowledge or health protocols.
Planned reopening is an important element of a restructured response to the pandemic in an attempt to mitigate risks and avoid exposing employees to the ever-present possibility of contracting the disease. A premature reopening of the workplace environment, without proper consideration of potential hazards, may have permanent and far-reaching implications for the organization. Any reopening after a lockdown period should be preceded by a simulation of the practicality of the proposed resumption. The organization also stands to benefit from phased reopening given work plans are scheduled to correspond with the current capacity of the workforce while basing operational strategies on an attempt to reduce transmission.
As a rule of thumb, routine screening is typically recommended in pandemic scenarios involving highly infectious diseases such as Ebola and Covid-19. The most reliable mitigation strategy for my organization will also integrate routine screening with the aim of ensuring each member resuming work has a clean bill of health (Krishnadas, 2020). In the rare event that a positive case is identified after screening, contact tracing should be initiated to promote a safer workplace environment and actively participate in the actual management of the condition. Isolation and quarantine are recommended for positive cases or suspected cases. On-site medical testing will-therefore go a long way in promoting such efforts and in ensuring workplace health protocols are initiated for positive cases.
The recent global health pandemic is one of the most damaging phenomena witnessed today, with implications that are likely to reverberate in the next decade. Key takeaways from this current reality are the importance of laying a foundation for mitigation strategies within an organization and a workplace setting. The immediate results are cumulative gains for the organization and an improved role of executive leaders in managing contemporary challenges. Organizations and multinational corporations alike should focus on reducing the damaging impact of the pandemic while elevating the significance of worker’s health. Thus, I recommend executing a workplace assessment procedure, working remotely, planned reopening, and routine screening as crucial steps in mitigating risks associated with infectious health pandemics.