By Michelle Murtha, Sr. Business Process Consultant and Solutions Architect, GlideFast Consulting
Many organizations are starting to ponder how to safely get their employees back to work as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. In response, a number of companies are creating technology solutions that can assist organizations with such a significant effort. If your organization is already leveraging ServiceNow, you’re likely familiar with their Safe Workplace Suite. Before you embark on such an implementation, however, you will want to assess your company’s appetite and readiness to take advantage of ServiceNow’s solutions.
ServiceNow Safe Workplace Suite
The ServiceNow Safe Workplace Suite offers a number of workplace solutions, from surveying staff readiness to tracking employee cases, exposures, and vaccinations, to assigning sanitation tasks to managing PPE inventory.
Having helped three different clients with various return-to-work processes, GlideFast Consulting has come to learn that there is a variety of approaches for getting your employees back to the office. One size does not fit all.
Challenges of Returning To Work
Regardless of their specific technology and staffing models, each of our clients has faced the following three challenges:
1. Decision-making during a constant state of flux – Everything we know (and don’t know) about COVID-19 is changing all the time. This has made defining and adhering to requirements quite difficult. Just when you think you have a reliable process defined, another new piece of information is introduced and you have to re-engineer your process.
You’ve heard it before: The only constant in life is change. In this case, take it to heart. There are so many elements of the pandemic that an organization cannot control, so expect frequent changes and quick pivots. Build in a buffer to account for continuous refactoring, because it will happen.
2. Understanding legal and privacy regulations – When it comes to personal health data, laws and regulations drastically vary for every country, especially when it comes to what data an employer can collect and store and what information they can require an employee to disclose.
For example, in the U.S., an employer can require an employee to answer health questions and have their temperature recorded daily in a computer system, as long as Personal Health Information (PHI) is protected per HIPAA laws. But in some European countries, employers cannot even ask their employees if they are “feeling well”. Taking their temperature and tracking the results within a system is a major legal violation.
Be sure you have a reliable HR legal team to consult you through this process early and often to ensure you are not violating any privacy regulations.
3. Navigating employee culture and management mandates – Before diving into the Safe Workplace Suite, you must determine if your organization is truly prepared to adopt the applications. What is leadership and management’s appetite for requiring employee compliance with certain return-to-work activities?
GlideFast’s clients raised the following concerns with the suite, which prevented the full use of its applications:
Requiring hourly employees to fill out a daily digital online health certification via personal mobile device prior to shift start to be granted onsite access
Requiring onsite employees to digitally log who they spoke to or met with in person on a daily basis
Allowing entry security guards system access to enter temperature and PPE checks
Limiting office space reservations and/or requiring advanced booking
Automatically quarantining anyone who was potentially exposed
How to handle someone who accidentally answered a question wrong and is now quarantined
Allowing a manager to dictate when employees need to be onsite
All of these discussions, and many more, require senior leadership to weigh in and guide the conversation to ensure the return-to-work program aligns with company culture and policy.
Implementing ServiceNow Safe Workplace Suite
Use the above topics to start the return-to-work conversation with decision-makers at your organization. Begin to define what a successful return to the office will look like for your unique team.
Whether you’re ready to implement and adopt applications within the Safe Workplace Suite, or still determining if these solutions are the right fit for your organization, GlideFast Consulting would be pleased to support you on your return-to-work journey. Reach out to our team here.
About GlideFast Consulting
GlideFast Consulting is an Elite ServiceNow Partner and professional services firm that provides tailored solutions and professional services for ServiceNow implementations, integrations, managed support services, application development, and training. Reach out to our team here.