The Convenience Store Manager’s Role in Disease Prevention
In large part, disease prevention comes down to the choices individuals make both to protect themselves from getting sick, and protecting those around them if they do get sick. Convenience store managers have additional responsibilities to keep their customers and employees safe from dangerous contagions.
First, let’s look at it from your customer’s perspective. They expect – and deserve – a clean store. When they have additional concerns about germs, you need to address those concerns front and center. Increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing surfaces, especially public touch-points most susceptible to contact. These include self-serve food and drink areas, kiosks, ATMs, POS systems, countertops, doorknobs and handles, and areas throughout the restroom. Outside your store, clean and disinfect pump handles, pump displays, trash can lids, and even the windshield-washer brush. To further help alleviate customer concerns, consider having hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes available for customers to use.
Next, remember that you have a responsibility to provide your employees with a safe working environment. When there is an in increase in risk from disease, re-train all your employees on proper cleaning and disinfecting methods, including the safe and effective use of chemicals. Make sure you have an ample supply of personal protective equipment for employees to use when cleaning and disinfecting. Provide additional protective supplies, such as hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, disinfectant soap, and single use towels employees can use as needed. Talk to employees daily about what they can do to prevent the spread of germs, including washing their hands frequently and not touching their face. If you haven’t already, post proper hand-washing guidelines at every sink, including the need to scrub hands for at least 20 seconds. Encourage employees to support each other in providing a safe working environment.
Finally, take a look in the mirror. Are you doing everything you can to keep yourself healthy? Do your internal policies support the health of your employees and customers? A recent study showed that up to 90 percent of workers are inclined to go to work when they’re sick. It’s not likely any of your employees can work from home and they may worry about job security if they call out. During times of particular concern about disease outbreak, convenience store managers must consider how their absence policies might impact whether an employee stays home or comes in sick. To encourage employees to support public health and stay home when they’re sick, the CDC recommends that employers establish “nonpunitive” sick leave policies.
Train Your Staff on Disease Prevention
Let your staff know their health is important to you. Click here for a free online course on disease prevention you can use right now.
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