Employee safety on Workplace
NOTE: Safety Check and Workplace are not intended to replace your emergency operations processes and should be used in conjunction with any other emergency operations your organisation already has in place.
An effective employee safety approach does not begin and end during a crisis. It needs to be well thought out so employees are aware that there is an employee safety strategy and know what they should do in case of an emergency. Making Workplace a part of your employee safety strategy ensures that your employees can use a tool they're already familiar with to get help if they need it.
Make Workplace a part of your employee safety strategy
Create a safe place for employees to ask security questions and also have a clear line of communication established to educate employees on your organisation's emergency plan.
Create a 'Global security Q&A' group
- Use this open group as a place to keep employees informed during an emergency and to get feedback from your employees on physical and technological security concerns. Encourage people to post in this group if they have a question or concern about something happening at a work location (from suspicious activity to a natural disaster).
- Have a consistent format to differentiate your emergency posts from informational posts. Emergency posts can be marked as important so that you increase visibility across your organisation.
- Ensure that you have a team of group admins to field questions that come in from employees. If you have a global workforce or one that works 24 hours a day, it's especially important to set expectations on response time.
- If there is an emergency, post about it in this group and mark the post as important to increase visibility. If you use Safety Check (see more about this feature below), make sure that you link to this group for employees to stay updated on the emergency.
- Also make sure that you offer a confidential way to raise concerns – this group should be used for public information.
- Pro tip: Add a pinned post with important employee safety information that employees can easily access from this group. Link to any important documents and sites outside Workplace in this pinned post.
Take action with Safety Check
Safety Check for Workplace enables you to quickly contact employees to confirm who is safe and who needs help during an emergency no matter who they are or where they are based. While the hope is that you never need to use Safety Check, being able to act quickly and thoughtfully in a crisis is crucial. Here are best practices when using Safety Check.
Employee communication strategy
- Have the CEO announce Safety Check to all employees across all your communication channels, including Workplace, email and upcoming all-hands events. Help employees understand that their safety is the organisation's number one concern.
- Pro tip: Make it clear that Safety Check will only be used in real emergencies or announced drills so that employees know to ALWAYS take Safety Check seriously. Do not dilute the importance of Safety Check by using it for other purposes.
- Create a mail merge email to all unclaimed Workplace users with the Safety Check message. To be able to account for the safety of all work community members using Safety Check, employees need to claim their Workplace account if they have not already. You can find mail merge instructions and a Safety Check email template here.
- Inform all employees that an emergency readiness drill will be conducted on <DATE> to encourage 100% participation.
- Include instructions to download Workplace and Workplace Chat on their mobile devices (iOS or Android) in the communication. The ability to connect with employees, particularly in an emergency, is critical and if people are not on Workplace, you cannot monitor their safety with Safety Check.
- Use a group to coordinate amongst those who will be responsible for employee safety in a crisis. This is commonly a team of people who work in security and HR and each of them should be added as Safety Operators who can use Safety Check.
- Create clear assignments of who is responsible for messaging & deployment of Safety Checks at all times considering:
- Teams to be involved
- Coverage by region
- Coverage by schedule
- Coverage over holidays
- Set your standards for how to react in a given crisis. By crisis type determine:
- Do we plan to close our facilities?
- What level of staffing will we maintain in threatened locations?
- What services can we provide for our employees?
- What messages might we need to send to our affected employees at each stage of the emergency?
- Safety Check includes a drill functionality that you can send to familiarise employees with Safety Check and can be a part of your emergency drill process.
- It is important that you conduct regular drills using Safety Check in order to familiarise employees with the feature. DO NOT use Safety Check for reasons unrelated to employee safety. This will dilute the effectiveness of the tool in the case of a real life crisis.
Regularly review your employee safety approach
To improve responses to future emergency situations, it is important to conduct a thorough analysis and review after an emergency occurs. You can refer back to your Safety Check crisis event at any time in the Safety Check dashboard. You can also export your results to more easily analyse response data by user.
Things to review:
- How well coordinated was the Safety team in getting the Safety Check sent and monitoring responses?
- How many employees used Safety Check who were sent the message? How many did not?
- Follow up with those who did not respond to the Safety Check to learn why they did not respond. Build their feedback into your employee safety approach for any future Safety Checks that you may need to send.
- Train all new hires on what Safety Check is and how to use it
- Make this training a part of your annual employee training
- One very important element of Safety Check is getting all employees onto Workplace. By making Workplace mandatory during employee onboarding, you improve your ability to check on each employee's safety during a crisis.