Coronavirus Crisis: 8 Best Practices from YOOBIC Customers to Keep Customers & Employees Safe

13 March 2020

News & trends

At the time of writing, there are over 173,000 cases of COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, across the world.

And with the US restricting travel from Europe as well as school, retail and restaurant closures, the situation continues to escalate by the day.

As the Coronavirus pandemic escalates, our customers' top priority is to keep their customers and employees safe and prevent the spread of the virus.

We’ve seen many of our customers leverage technology to better support stores and ensure health and safety guidelines are being respected, while keeping things running as smoothly as possible.

Here are some precautions we’ve seen our customers put in place to keep their customers and employees safe during the coronavirus outbreak using the YOOBIC platform.

1) Communicating critical information with store teams using a newsfeed

New information about COVID-19 is being released constantly, which means you need a quick and agile way to communicate with your teams.

Some of our customers have been using the Newsfeed to disseminate the up-to-the-minute information their teams need to know.

They post regular updates about the evolution of the crisis and what it means for employees, stores and the company as a whole.

They can also share documents, photos and videos - of the World Health Organization’s hand washing guidelines, for example, or their own company guidelines regarding issues like staff hygiene or what an employee should do if they fall ill.

YOOBIC newsfeed

Furthermore, it’s important to make sure communication isn’t one-sided; it’s just as important for stores to be able to let HQ know what’s happening on the front line.

Create polls to get a feel for how employees are feeling, and ask for feedback on how well the situation is being handled. You can then use that to keep track of your network and make informed decisions.

2) Making sure stores and sites have the supplies they need

Resources can quickly become scarce in times of crisis, so it is essential to provide stores with everything they need to get by.

Checking that every store has what they need - be it posters for promoting thorough hand washing or proper respiratory hygiene, or hand sanitizer and soap dispensers - is key to keeping employees and customers safe.

By creating a campaign in YOOBIC for stores to report back to HQ on their status with these key supplies, HQ can make sure stores are properly prepared.

Store Materials Checklist

Any stores that are missing crucial supplies or communications collateral can be flagged up and fixed quickly. HQ can then re-assess the supply chain and make the necessary adjustments to make sure stores continue to get what they need.

3) Helping store teams to ramp up the frequency and consistency of store cleanings 

To protect customers and themselves, retail and hospitality companies are ramping up the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces, objects, walls, floors and restrooms.

To be effective, cleaning has to be done consistently across the entire store network. In times of crisis like this, a simple checklist somewhere in the store that employees sign off on when cleaning is done isn’t enough.

And when things get busy for store teams, they need extra support.

Making sure cleaning is properly and consistently done in every store is crucial for upholding health and safety policies as a retailer so this can be communicated internally and with the public.

Some of our customers are creating recurring campaigns with checklists in YOOBIC to help stores with cleaning and disinfecting schedules. 

Store cleaning checklist

HQ can also set up notifications for stores before the cleaning is to be done and if it hasn’t been done yet.

Stores then complete each checklist and submit it to HQ.

This makes it easier for HQ to ensure health & safety guidelines are being followed. This information can be shared within the company as well as to the public. 

4) Making it easy for stores to be compliant with health & safety policies

Just informing employees on health and safety procedures isn’t enough.

To be truly effective, there must be a guarantee that those procedures will be followed to the letter.

Some of our customers are creating campaigns within YOOBIC to share health and safety protocols with stores.

YOOBIC Health & Safety Guidelines

Stores then implement policies, protocols and guidelines and submit the mission back to HQ.

HQ then verifies store compliance with health and safety policies, and if some stores need extra support to be fully compliant they can send them checklists or get an area manager involved.

5) Monitoring stock of essential items across the store network

With photos of empty grocery store shelves cropping up on the news and social media, it’s more important now than ever to have complete visibility into stock levels on essential items like non-perishable food and toilet paper.

Some of our customers are proactively preventing shortages by creating campaigns for stores to report when they’re low or out of stock of certain items.

Stock Check Screenshot YOOBIC

Stores report on their stock levels, including photos if necessary, and then send the completed campaign back to HQ.

HQ can track low stock alerts and make supplier adjustments where necessary.

6) Centralizing information about absences and quarantines for every store employee

Typically, HQ doesn’t have much visibility into absences of frontline employees.

But as the Coronavirus impacts exponentially more people every day, it's essential for retail and hospitality companies to make sure absence and quarantine policies are being followed to the letter.

Some of our customers are tackling this by creating campaigns in YOOBIC to share policies with store managers and have store managers report back if any staff are absent or quarantined.

YOOBIC Absence Policy

This enables HQ to have accurate data from across the organization and take data-driven decisions where necessary to protect everyone’s safety.

7) Switching to Virtual Store Visits

If area manager travel is banned or discouraged, retailers can leverage technology to help area managers complete their store visits - without actually having to set foot in a store.

In YOOBIC, HQ can create campaigns for store managers to take pictures and videos of what an area manager would usually cover during their visit and send them to their area manager.

The area manager can then go over these with store managers on the phone.

The area manager can complete their visit virtually using the YOOBIC store visit tool, create a visit report and send an action plan for store improvement if necessary.

Store-visit-checklist-

8) Providing interactive and collaborative training to frontline employees on preventative measures

It’s critical to the safety of customers and employees that employees retain knowledge on how to protect themselves and others from contracting COVID-19.

Reformatting training into short, easy digestible chunks, also know as microlearning, has been proven to boost information retention and is ideal for deskless employees who are always on the go.

Some of our customers have created short lessons with quizzes about Coronavirus for employees to complete on YOOBIC's collaborative learning app, Boost. 

YOOBIC Boost Training CoronavirusUsing quizzes ensures all employees have completed the required trainings, and gives HQ visibility into which employees have and haven’t completed the training.

Some of our customers are also taking advantage of reduced working hours employees may be experiencing to refocus employees on training courses about product knowledge, customer service skills and more, at home on their mobile devices. 

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We’ve opened up access to our collaborative learning and engagement app, YOOBIC Boost, to help those on the front line of the crisis - grocery retailers, pharmacies, and healthcare services - as well as educational and governmental organizations.

With YOOBIC Boost you can also connect and communicate with all your employees in real-time during the crisis through live video, surveys and polls.

Request your free Boost account here

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