Businesses all over the world – particularly in countries where the COVID-19 pandemic remains a significant hazard – are torn between two matters of great urgency: protecting the health of customers and employees and transitioning gradually back into selling from brick-and-mortar locations. The latter is important for these businesses to pick up steam in a still-uncertain economy, but ignoring the former could ultimately be more economically damaging (if it led to a government-mandated closure, for example).
Recently, industry leaders and experts have mulled over how to walk such a tightrope between safety and commerce. More than a few have come to a similar conclusion – that these duties could be overseen by a new C-level staff member with considerable health care experience – and are bringing these professionals into the fold or plan to soon, as RetailWire noted. Recruitment Consultants at YES Partners could be just who you need to find individuals with these unique qualifications.
Navigating uncharted waters
In an April 22 interview with CNBC, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian emphasized the need for individuals with specific health care qualifications to assume such duties, because the circumstances were so unique.
"One of the challenges with this virus … is that it's turning a bunch of CEOs into health care CEOs overnight," Bastian told the news provider. "I'm not a health care CEO, I'm an airline CEO. But we're enlisting the best medical advisers to make certain that we have insight into everything from the diagnostics, and the testing protocols, and what works, and how can we translate that into our business model."
Consulting firm Cambridge Retail Partners came to a similar conclusion in its May 2020 study on the subject.
"Customer experience and employee satisfaction are more dependent on enhanced protection protocols than ever before … [A] chief health officer is needed to establish a vision for chain-wide public health and to ensure store-level initiatives are executed timely and effectively."
David Agus, a medical doctor and professor at the University of Southern California, believes "chief health officer" to be the proper title because it best sums up the responsibilities of the role, according to his article for Salesforce.
These new executives' duties should include determining staggered shifts for essential in-office workers, establishing health surveillance (temperature checks or actual COVID tests, if qualified to administer them), revising floor plans to allow for social distancing, determining regular sanitization processes and more. Other departments, such as HR and facilities management, can provide invaluable assistance in enforcing mask-wearing, disinfecting workspaces daily, ensuring symptomatic workers immediately go home, having all remote-capable staff stay home and keeping the organization compliant with all applicable local, state and federal guidelines.
With years of experience at our hands and a global reach, YES Partners is well-equipped to help companies find professionals qualified to take on the unique duties of a chief health officer in retail or any other sector. To see some of the roles that we have already successfully placed, click here.
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