Ebola Crisis Plan? Here’s What HR Should Do If They Get Asked About It

Wait for it…

Any minute now some executive is going to come into your office and ask “you” what you’re doing about this Ebola outbreak!

I’m not trying to slight the importance and the tragedy that disease is creating in West Africa, because it’s horrific. But our American media is bringing this to hysteria levels in the States (see video below)! As of this writing, there are three (3) confirmed cases of Ebola in the U.S. and one death.

A question HR may need to answer soon

Yesterday in the U.S., approximately, this many people died from:

  • Heart Disease — 1,637;
  • Cancer — 1,574;
  • Stroke — 354;
  • Accidents — 331;
  • Flu — 139.

That’s each day people!

But you, my fellow HR Pros, are going to have to answer this question very, very soon. What is “your” plan to address Ebola?

It’s not, “hey how about we actually fund our wellness program properly and maybe we can really save some of our employees from what’s going to kill them, like eating crappy food, smoking, drinking themselves to death, texting while driving, NOT getting the freaking flu shot we pay for?” I could go on.

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Here is your basic Ebola plan

But, here’s your plan for Ebola. It will keep your executives off your back so you can get back to real work.

  • Step 1We are going to insist all of our employees get flu shots this season. Why? Because Ebola symptoms mirror flu symptoms, so it’s just a matter of time until Tammy, our in-house hypochondriac, comes to me telling me she has Ebola and the entire staff freaks out!
  • Step 2We are going to communicate with our employees about the realities of how one catches Ebola. The Centers for Disease Control has many of these documents and videos.
  • Step 3We are going to tell our employees if they have a fever to stay home until it’s gone. Also, let them know that fevers actually can happen on any day, not just Mondays and Fridays.
  • Step 4We are going to give some statistics about the risks of one of our employees catching Ebola in cute little pictures, like one that shows a person getting struck by lightning and eaten by a shark at the same time. You have more of a chance of this happening than contracting Ebola in the U.S.
  • Step 5You will keep asking the executive who asked you about your Ebola Crisis Plan if they are feeling well, because they don’t look well.

Really, a flu shot is more valuable

Seriously though, get your employees to get a flu shot this season! It might be the one thing that will help them out — not against Ebola, but with actually keeping themselves healthy.

They don’t need help from Ebola … yet.

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.

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2 Comments on “Ebola Crisis Plan? Here’s What HR Should Do If They Get Asked About It

  1. Love this!! Thank you! I have an employee who is afraid she has caught Ebola because she was in the same airport as the nurse who traveled after treating Mr. Duncan — who didn’t have any symptoms when she traveled. The *airport*!

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