The swine flu is thankfully less severe than anticipated and certainly not the "pandemic" that was feared and even predicted. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports at least 5,469 cases of swine flu in the United States with Pennsylvania accounting for 55 cases. Six deaths are linked to the outbreak. The CDC continues to warn that, "we are not out of the woods."
Managing communications about a potential pandemic is a "no win" situation for government agencies. The risks of over and under communicating are evident when one compares the approaches of the Mexican and U.S. governments. Commentators are already analyzing the swine flu "overreaction overreaction" and its impact on the next potentially real pandemic.
The communication and response from the Human Resource department can create the same credibility gap that governments face. Human Resource Professionals should book mark some of the resources that emerged from this go round some of which we identified in our prior post as well as the EEOC’s Guidance "ADA-Compliant Employer Preparedness for the H1N1 Flu Virus."
Employers should view the pandemic false alarm as an opportunity to plan for all manner of business "disasters." The following are some addition areas of planning and development of an action plan include the following: