2013 Flu Season – Credit Union Pandemic Planning

by Robin Remines

Protect your credit union now – worse flu season in a decade can halt your operations!

The 2012-2013 Seasonal Flu season is making itself well known across the United States. It technically isn’t a pandemic, in fact – I believe the terminology being used at this point is an epidemic. But all I know is our local hospitals are on lockdown and restricting and/or eliminating visitations in an effort to contain the seasonal flu virus. According to the National Institute of Health, each year nearly 111 million workdays equaling approximately $7 billion per year in sick days and lost productivity are lost each year due to the seasonal flu. If you only write plans based on what NCUA requires you to plan for – then this post isn’t for you. If however, you are a strong advocate for preventive actions that can reduce the impact this threat has on your credit union then you’re in the right place. Read on for the top ways to create operational resiliency during a tough flu season.

1) If you’re sick, stay home! – The flu virus is highly contagious and it goes without saying that if you’re sick, you should stay home. However, due to fears associated with lost pay and/or losing a job many individuals will choose to come to work when they are sick. Relook your “sick leave” practices and culture. What are you communicating to your staff? Better yet, are YOU coming in sick and creating pressure for others to show up regardless of their health? In this situation, have a heart. Tell employees to stay home until they are better. Gently send the sick staffer home that showed up to process payroll or didn’t want to mess up their perfect attendance record. Removing the threat will reduce the risk of contaminating others.

2) Reduce the number of meetings being held – The more people in a room, the more likely the transmission of germs/virus. Postpone meetings or reschedule them online. This includes non-critical vendor visits, sales demos or annual events. Communicate to staff at all levels to ensure adherence.

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