Employee Update #9 Re: COVID-19

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After careful consideration, we are ready to roll out our re-opening guidelines. As I mentioned last week, our goal moving forward is to find a balance between protecting our employees and meeting the needs of our customers.

Over the course of the last two months we have many new experiences to navigate and I believe we’ve gotten things approximately right. It hasn’t been perfect, but hope our values have offered resounding guidance in our decision-making and we will be sure that they continue to do so. It has been helpful to hear your feedback throughout this process and we hope you continue to share your thoughts with us as we navigate through this next chapter. We had tremendous participation in the survey sent a couple weeks ago and I look forward to sharing those results with you. Look for that in the coming weeks.

The following recommendations are provided to do our best in protecting each other and our communities. It’s going to take each of us, to do our part, to make this work effectively.

  • As of Tuesday, May 26th our closed offices will re-open. All lobbies will also open to customer traffic.
  • Lobby hours will be temporarily reduced to 9 am to 3 pm.
    • This sends a message to our communities that we are taking this slow, trying to reduce the amount of time our teams are exposed to the public and will allow everyone some additional time to work on items that may have built up while we’ve been working remotely.
  • Employees will be returning to the office if their job provides service to customers in our lobbies. Exceptions may be made for those with high risk factors or lack of childcare assistance. Please contact your supervisor directly to discuss these items.
  • Employees that can work from home and do not have in-office and/or lobby customer servicing requirements will continue to work from home. This will allows us to watch the situation, understand our customer’s needs and bring back more employees when the time is appropriate.
  • Each President or location leader will work with HR and managers at the location to determine individual plans to maintain social distancing, bringing back teams only if there is adequate space to do so.

Individual Safety Recommendations

It is recommended that all employees practice extreme safety. This will protect each other and limit the possibility for positive cases within our locations. Choice will work to provide masks, gloves, sneeze guards, disinfectant wipes, sprays, and hand sanitizer for your use. Please help us be proactive in keeping these supplies stocked. There is usually extra time required when ordering these supplies. Below are safety recommendations.

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Take your temperature prior to coming to work.
  • Practice social distancing (at work and at home).
  • If unable to practice social distancing, consider wearing a mask.
  • No travel between locations (where possible).
  • Limit the use of the lunchroom to (refrigerator, microwave, sink).
  • Sanitize all surfaces after touching.
  • Wash hands after handling cash or mail.
  • Clear off work surfaces nightly so that thorough cleaning can be completed.

Customer Service Safety Recommendations

  • We are looking into options for tracking lobby traffic for both customers and non-customers – more information to follow.
  • Adhere to six-foot markings on the ground.
  • We will continue to recommend drive-through, night drop and online banking.
  • Use hand sanitizer at entry and exit.
  • Face masks will be available when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Continue to promote phone or video meetings.
  • Limit time spent in the bank to amount necessary to perform transactions.
  • Remove magazines, cookies, candy, coffee, etc.
  • Conduct fact-to-face customer meetings outside of the office and choose an outdoor venue when possible.
  • When meeting utilize conference rooms instead of offices when possible.
  • Wipe down the area and seat after each customer use.

Facility Safety Recommendations

  • Increase cleaning schedule, if not already daily.
  • Designate certain offices and meeting rooms for customers. Disinfect before and after appointments.
  • Each location is looking into adding touchless equipment in common areas, including paper towels and soap dispensers where feasible.
  • Add hygiene posters to common areas (will be provided).
  • Add “barriers” and sneeze guards to customer service areas.
  • Remove seating in the lobby/common wait areas except at teller desks.
  • Remove upholstered furniture and change to options that can be easily wiped down.
  • Remove “Check desk” items (pens, brochures, etc.) for completing deposit slips.
  • Sanitize pens after each customer use.

The Presidents met yesterday to discuss these changes and to start putting practices into place. Please reach out to the Presidents, Location Leaders or HR with any questions on this re-opening plan. They are also preparing additional safety measures that would even further establish the response plan to any positive cases that we may experience.

From everyone on the pandemic team, we thank you for how you stepped up to the plate in each stage thus far. The next four days will be filled with planning and preparation and I know these steps don’t just take care of themselves, but by everyone working together. Thank you for shifting priorities and helping us set up our locations allowing us to see our customers face-to-face once again.

Stay safe and take care,





 Brian Johnson, CEO