H1N1 Guide for HRs

New H1N1 Guide Offers Practical Tools, Tips for HR Professionals

Human resource professionals looking to fast-track preparedness and response efforts for the H1N1 pandemic have a new resource at their disposal. The University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), in collaboration with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and contractual financial support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have released a new, free toolkit, "Doing Business During an Influenza Pandemic: Human Resource Policies, Protocols, Templates, Tools, & Tips."

"We're beyond theory and onto execution. The pandemic is here. And we need every business to recognize the impact it can have. It's not too late, but time is of the essence," said CIDRAP Director Michael T. Osterholm, Ph.D., M.P.H.

The toolkit, available as a 42-page PDF, is designed for organizations of all sizes and is intended to:

  • Help HR professionals new to pandemic planning come up to speed quickly on high-priority HR issues related to operating during an influenza pandemic
  • Provide concrete ways that organizations can implement federal guidance
  • Offer new ideas that can be used to improve existing plans
  • Serve as a reference for benchmarking.

The guide includes:

  • Lessons learned by HR professionals whose planning efforts and response skills were tested during the early, chaotic days of the H1N1 pandemic this spring.
  • Original content from CIDRAP and SHRM (the CIDRAP Business Source and the SHRM Knowledge Center) and respective Web sites.
  • Vetted, authoritative sources, including practical, science-based information from CDC and other government agencies.
According to Steve Miranda, SHRM's chief HR and content integration officer, "HR professionals should neither overreact to the potential of H1N1 nor minimize its possible seriousness. This will not be a conventional flu season, and our level of preparedness must be raised accordingly."

To help HR professionals navigate this unconventional flu season, the toolkit includes a checklist, cross-referenced to the toolkit’s policies, protocols, templates, and tips to assess an organization's current level of preparedness, identify gaps, and benchmark efforts. The toolkit is downloadable for no charge at both www.cidrapsource.com/hrtoolkit and www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/safetysecurity/articles/Documents/CIDRAPTOOLKIT.pdf.

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