Want to cultivate staff trust and loyalty? Continue twice-weekly COVID-19 testing after lockdown
June 21 has come and gone and the relaxation of rules is now tentatively rescheduled across the UK. When ‘Freedom Day’ does arrive, it will be the green light we’ve all been longing for, lifting the final set of limits on our social, family and working lives. Although it’s not the finish line for the pandemic, most people – including many of your employees – will view it as a fresh start.
The COVID-19 crisis turned our working world upside down, forcing teams to adjust to unfamiliar home working, remote management or furlough arrangements. Many staff used the change in routine to reassess, reflect and reshape priorities. So what your people valued in early 2020 is not necessarily what will keep them engaged, loyal and productive in the post-pandemic workplace.
How you respond to this shift in expectations could have a substantial impact on staff trust, retention and attraction – particularly during the delicate return-to-work transition. Although many colleagues missed the camaraderie of working together in person, a recent report shows almost half of employees are ‘scared’ to head back onsite, voicing concerns about social distancing, cleanliness and virus transmission risks.
Adopting an ‘above and beyond’ approach to safety demonstrates you’re serious about your team’s physical and mental wellbeing. So while wider restrictions are relaxing, introducing or continuing twice-weekly COVID-19 testing could bring a range of unexpected business benefits.
Helping staff feel safe
Ending social contact restrictions won’t cancel the threat of COVID-19. Infections are increasing sharply, with the Delta variant now accounting for 99% of cases in England. Despite the swift rollout of the vaccine, the adult population isn’t expected to be fully covered until autumn. Much can happen in those months and, even with all doses delivered, there will always be weak links in our collective immunity. Some people can’t have the jab and 9% of eligible adults are hesitant to participate in the programme.
The bottom line? Staff want to know you’re taking all possible precautions to protect them from a notoriously unpredictable virus. Regular workplace screening sends a clear message that you’re in control of cases, whatever the next phase brings.
To add an extra layer of assurance, a new type of saliva-only lateral flow test detects the virus days before current rapid antigen devices, so you can act on transmission threats before they trigger outbreaks. The KnowNowTM test makes it simple, speedy and comfortable for your team to self-screen twice a week, making it a hassle-free habit to protect themselves and their colleagues.
Building confidence and productivity
There’s a longstanding link between employee engagement and workplace safety. Studies show that switched-on staff are more willing to uphold good H&S practices. But after a brutal year of uncertainty, health worries and isolation, employers now need to take the lead. Creating a safe, secure working environment gives colleagues the confidence to re-engage and find their focus.
Routine testing can increase productivity and peace of mind – as long as your team can trust their results. Old-style screening picks up on legacy viral matter or antibodies, which can lead to false positives. In this scenario, employees must take time out to isolate – fuelling anxiety and increasing peer workloads – even when there’s zero transmission risk.
When you’re proactively screening large numbers, inaccurate results cost money, impact morale and undercut the credibility of your entire testing programme. Because KnowNowTM pinpoints the live virus and nothing else, you get a positive result only when individuals are genuinely infectious.
Attracting and holding on to your talent
The pandemic highlighted the critical need for stronger employee wellbeing provision. In Aon’s 2021 Benefits and Trends survey, 91% of businesses recognised that colleague expectations (and, in turn, employer responsibilities) are changing. While mental health support is a well-publicised priority, staff want to work for businesses that foster all five pillars of wellbeing – emotional, physical, financial, career and social.
Twice-weekly testing might not seem like an obvious attraction and retention tool but investing in the physical and mental health of your workforce is. It shows you’re willing to go the extra mile for your team, prioritising their safety and security – even as other social contact limits are eliminated.
Your testing methods can make a difference too. Using a simple saliva-only screening device gives staff a 99.9% accurate reading and a quick, completely pain-free process they won’t mind maintaining twice a week. It’s a subtle but significant step that shows you’ve considered every element of colleague experience and wellbeing. In a market charged with changing employee attitudes, those details matter.
Try the KnowNowTM test in your business for free
The KnowNowTM test was created in the UK and produces highly sensitive, accurate results in just 15 minutes. Based on patented technology, it’s the only rapid COVID-19 screening device that identifies whether someone is infectious using only a saliva swab. It’s also future-proofed to recognise emerging virus variants.
As external restrictions ease, the test helps you reduce continued COVID-19 threats within your workplace. So employees can recapture the rewards of face-to-face collaboration in safe, focused surroundings.