COVID-19 Screening questionnaire form with stethoscope on it. Closeup.

In a survey of retail and hospitality industry decision-makers, Multimedia Plus found executives having to revise operational plans after they reopened doors following a relaxation of COVID-19-forced restrictions this summer.

The training and communications technology company also said respondents cited leadership development and training on a variety of topics as top priorities for next year.

“Executives in retail and hospitality are challenged to keep up with operational procedures based on the number of COVID-19 outbreaks, the mandates of state and local government requirements and based on the needs of staff and guests,” the company said in a statement. “The number of adjustments is still in flux and is being updated on an ongoing basis.”

The survey found that 78 percent of respondents “said that they have revised operational procedures since reopening three or more times,” while 11 percent said revisions were done twice and 4 percent said just once.

When asked about health screenings, the results of the survey showed that 50 percent of respondents were using only a verbal acknowledgment company-wide. And while checks “are being implemented in various ways, only 30 percent are tracking digitally,” the report noted.

With pre-shift employee health screenings, 50 percent used verbal acknowledgment while 25 percent used signatures and 25 percent used a digital acknowledgment. Just 5 percent had an electronic display pass in use.

David Harouche, chief executive officer and founder of Multimedia Plus, said the survey showed there is an opportunity for leveraging technology as part of adjusting to a “new normal.”

David Harouche

David Harouche  Courtesy image.

“In order to keep up with the pace of changes, retailers and hospitality executives are using mobile technology and maximizing those resources to incorporate changes in operational procedures,” he explained. “The acknowledgment of pre-shift employee health screening via employee mobile devices is just beginning as managing daily checks of thousands of employees is still a manual process for most organizations.”

Harouche said companies that have “robust mobile training and communication platforms in place have been better equipped to reopen with smoother transitions. We see this trend continuing as teams across the United States need to be flexible and agile.”

Other findings of the report showed that diversity and inclusion training is a top priority as well as leadership development and safety training. New operations and product knowledge training also ranked high.

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