Skip to main content

Principles for 'Work Safe' Companies

Published Mar 24, 2020 by A.J. Mistretta

work safe company logo wide

The Partnership has established these 10 principles for companies in industries exempted from the "Stay Home-Work Safe" Order. Those businesses that continue on-site operations must work to ensure the safety of their employees.

Download a JPG of the Work Safe badge here and a PNG here.

Here are the key guidelines: 

  1. Allow all but critical on-site employees to work from home. While some companies must maintain on-site workers to complete specific business critical tasks, employers should allow all non-essential employees to work remotely.
     
  2. Employ video technology. To avoid unnecessary exposure, employers should implement tools such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams or other such applications to conduct meetings. No one should feel the need to meet in person.
     
  3. Create a safe work environment for all critical on-site employees.
    • Create physical separation. Health officials advise that all individuals should remain at least six feet apart to avoid possible transmission. Employers should establish protocols that require all on-site employees maintain a distance of at least six feet while working.
    • Close communal spaces. Employers should discontinue use of any communal spots such as lunchrooms, breakrooms, meeting rooms and other gathering spaces to avoid unnecessary person-to-person exposure.
    • Expand cleaning operations. Companies where workers must remain onsite should increase cleaning protocols of all high-touch and high-traffic areas throughout the day.
       
  4. Require sick workers to stay home. Require sick workers to stay home.To minimize exposure to other personnel, all workers who are experiencing even mild symptoms should avoid the workplace, report the situation to their supervisor and remain home.
     
  5. Adjust paid sick leave (PTO) policies. Employers should adjust policies to remove disincentives from people self-reporting illnesses. It is to your company’s advantage for sick employees to stay home.
     
  6. Encourage proper hygiene. Employers should provide sufficient hand sanitizing stations, guidelines for proper hand washing and soap at all hand-washing stations to ensure proper hygiene at the workplace.
     
  7. Create alternative teams. Employers where on-site staff remain critical should create alternating teams (i.e. morning/afternoon shifts, day/evening, every other day) so that operations may continue if one team becomes exposed and is required to quarantine.
     
  8. Restrict on-site access. Employee guests and other visitors should not be allowed access to any office or worksite.
     
  9. Discontinue work-related travel and require reporting of personal travel. Employers should discontinue travel by employees to other locations outside of the Houston region. If employees travel outside of the region for personal reasons, these trips should be reported to the employer should they pose an increased risk.
     
  10. Establish anonymous reporting. To maintain a safe work environment for on-site employees, companies should create an anonymous complaint channel for employees to report unsafe practices or violations of protocol during this period.

Click here for a one-pager from Partnership on Work Safe Companies. 

Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information. And sign up for email alerts from the Partnership as the situation develops. 

Related News

Membership

10 Takeaways from the 2020 Houston NEXT: An ERG Summit

10/26/20
The Partnership convened nearly 700 business leaders, diversity and inclusion officers, HR professionals, recruiters and ERG leaders at the third annual Houston NEXT: An ERG Summit October 15-19. The summit explored how Houston can and should take a leadership role in addressing diversity, equity, inclusion and justice for our region and workplaces. Through presentations and discussion groups, thought leaders and attendees shared best practices, challenges, recruitment/retention needs and suggestions on championing D&I in the workplace. Here are 10 key takeaways:  Diversity and inclusion should carry as much weight as any other business measurement in your organization. Diversity of thought and including different voices at the table can help drive business impact and outcomes. Encourage leaders to include a diversity and inclusion component within their performance review metrics.    Use employee resource groups (sometimes called business resource groups) and employee networks to engage people around common passions and interests. Dr. Terri Cooper discussed how Deloitte uses their employee councils as a source to host courageous conversations. “The purpose of these councils is to bring together people of different backgrounds and different experiences to engage in conversations regarding what’s happening in the community, employee well-being, professional development and perhaps most importantly, issues relating to diversity and inclusion.”   Executive sponsors, allies and advocates are key supporting elements that allow for employee resource groups (ERGs) to have the greatest impact. Organizations must consider how to measure the success of their ERGs. Are they tied to your talent attraction and retention efforts? Do you look to ERGs for promotions, leadership abilities, etc.? Do you source ideas from your ERGs for innovation within your organization, like policies and procedures?   ERGs and employee networks are all about deliberate action and driving culture. Jeff Dingle shared that accountability, matched with elaborate training and a culture of inclusive thought, is the deliberate action Jacobs is taking to drive culture further toward an inclusive environment.   It is important to continue to drive research to understand the needs of each generation in the workplace. In a 2017 Deloitte study, it was apparent that many new professionals in the workforce no longer wanted to be seen from a one-dimensional perspective. Young professionals were looking for ways in which they could embrace their multi-dimensional characteristics, come together and create a more collaborative environment to learn from each other, share experiences and truly create an inclusive culture.      Waste Management's Tiana Carter emphasized organizations are reevaluating all aspects of business as a result of the pandemic. Take the step to consider a workforce evolution taskforce, comprised of individuals with different backgrounds, at different levels and different subject matter expertise, to evaluate the need to evolve an organization's business model, workforce, processes, procedures and pandemic response efforts. Be in a position where you are ready to act. You may not have all the answers right now, but transparency is more important and valuable for employees and team members. Be okay with the possibility of having to say, “we may not always get this right but we’re going to try.” It’s that effort that makes people want to go on a journey with you.    All diversity and inclusion efforts start with communication, transparency and accountability. It is important your inclusion and diversity strategy is based on the needs of the employees and what they want, versus what you think they may want and need. Work to understand your employees through courageous conversations at all levels, pulse point surveys, discussion forums and share the results.   Attendees shared what an inclusive corporate culture should look like. It's where employees feel they can bring their true selves to work every day without the fear of being judged. Employees are completely comfortable to speak their mind, certain levels of leadership are in the room for D&I discussions and employees can speak comfortably without fear of retribution. Everyone has a voice and access to resources.    The distributed approach adopted by Matt Mullenweg's company Automattic gives employees a great deal of personal freedom and autonomy to get the job done in a space of their choosing and in their own way. “When people are really happy and fulfilled in the rest of their life, they bring their best self to work,” Mullenweg said. He interviews managers in his Distributed podcast to share best practices and he also shares his Distributed Work's Five Levels of Autonomy and encourages companies that can "enable their people to be fully effective in a distributed fashion can and should do it far beyond after this current crisis (the pandemic) has passed."   Mullenweg shared there is a difference between remote and distributed work. "The work must get done. When you're in the early levels of distributed autonomy, the people who aren't in the office might actually be remote. They might be operating at 70-80% of someone who is there (in the office). That's a perfect opportunity to identify that and see what you need to do in how you hold meetings, how you communicate and operate to allow them to be fully productive." If you can operate decentralized and work in a distributed model, "you'll be primed to succeed in the coming decades."  Learn more about the Partnership's Talent Resources Group here. Click here to learn more about the Partnership's work to advance racial equity and justice. 
Read More
Membership

New Partnership Members in September

10/12/20
The Greater Houston Partnership welcomed 10 new member companies in the month of September. The Partnership works to connect companies with resources, information and networking opportunities to help increase business while also providing a platform to influence the direction of the region. New members joining in the month of September include: Infrastructure Networks, Inc: iNET is a Houston-based company that owns and operates a telecom networks across major shale basins and provides expertise and field-support for remote connectivity.  Founded in 2011 with a mission to bring broadband wireless connectivity to upstream oil and gas operators in remote, rugged environments. Website   J. Flowers Health Institute: J. Flowers Health Institute specializes in providing truly comprehensive health and wellness evaluations for individuals who want to improve their quality of life.   Website  Southwest Schools: Southwest Schools is a state charter school, governed by the Texas Education Agency, providing an academic program that celebrates the diversity of student interests, cultures, and talents. Website  CHess Executive Insights LLC  Commercial Resource Installation: Commercial Resource Installation, a prominent installation company headquartered in Houston, TX, offers comprehensive and exceptional solutions to transform commercial workspaces to create a constructive workspace. With additional locations in San Antonio and Austin, CRI upholds a reputation of quality and excellence among past and present clients in the Gulf Coast region  Website  Express Home Services: In business since 2002, Express Home Services, LLC, specializes in all types of flooring, including wood, engineered wood, laminate, carpet, tile, vinyl, stone, and much more. They offer next day installation on all in stock products and free in-home estimates. The company is located in Arizona and opened a new location in Houston in October 2020. Website Houston Business Automation, LLC: Houston Business Automation provides technology-related consulting and development services with a focus on automating processes, creating custom data analytics, and developing web-based applications. Website  Sunstone Properties Trust, LLC: Sunstone Properties Trust is a real estate firm headquarters in Westlake Village, CA. The company acquires assets to generate growth in investor capital and improve the communities where they invest. Sunstone is actively involved in acquiring value-add multifamily assets, developing industrial properties in Qualified Opportunity Zones, rehabilitating and repositioning office properties, and developing LIHTC multifamily projects. Website  Star of Hope Mission: Star of Hope is a Christ-centered community dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless men, women and their children. Website  goPuff: goPuff is a delivery service that brings thousands of products to your doorstep in minutes, from essentials to snacks. Website  Click here to see the Partnership's Membership Directory. To learn more about membership with the Greater Houston Partnership click here, or contact membership@houston.org.
Read More

Related Events

Energy

State of Energy

As the global energy transition shifts toward a sustainable, lower-carbon future, learn how Houston is maintaining its position as the Energy Capital of the World at this year's State of the Energy. Join us on…

Learn More
Learn More
Executive Partners