Workplace Public Health

Millions of HR professionals around the world have found themselves in an unfamiliar role over the past year: public health decision maker. To keep our teams healthy, our workplaces safe, and our organizations functioning, we’re scouring the news, following public health officials on Twitter, and scrambling to keep up with ever-changing guidelines and best practices. We’re building policies and making decisions that have life-or-death ramifications, often without expert guidance or experience. We’re mastering new modes of communication and asking for levels of trust from our people that stretch well outside the boundaries of business as usual. We are building the plane as we fly it through a thunderstorm. And we could use some support.

The Workplace Public Health Program was created by our partners at Nomadic with epidemiologists and public health experts from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. It is the world’s first training program for workplace public health specialists and we are excited to offer it to the Josh Bersin Academy community. No matter your title, role, or sector, this Program is built to help you meet the challenges we face today and beyond.

When you enroll in Workplace Public Health, you’ll go deep into the science of Covid-19 with the world’s leading epidemiologists, and look at the big public health problems every HR team and organization must anticipate and solve. You’ll create your own strategic prevention and intervention plans, and then pressure test them against various real world scenarios. Since half of the challenge is ensuring your workforce clearly understands the policy and trusts you, we’ll then guide you through public health leadership and communication tips.

Throughout the Program, you’ll find case studies and best practices from around the world that will prepare learners for a future in which public health incidences are a manageable reality. In a crisis of this scope and magnitude, there is no one outside of our organizations and communities that can save us. If we empower our teams and ourselves to do what needs to be done to keep our workforces safe, our organizations will survive and emerge stronger from this pandemic.

This Program is dedicated to the many public health workers globally who devote their lives to the science, management, research, awareness building, and implementation of public health initiatives and pandemic response.

It is also with heavy but hopeful hearts that we dedicate this Program—and the conversations it will inspire—to two public health heroes who were particularly impactful to the Nomadic family: Jennifer Schlecht and Dr. Carolyn Keith Burr.

  • ApproachOnline social learning, teams of 30-50

  • Learning Time5-8 Hours

  • Duration5 weeks. Next starting: Coming Soon
    View Program Schedule

Key Questions You’ll Explore in this Program

How do we best navigate the changing science around the transmission of SARS-CoV-2?

What are the main modes of transmission for viruses, and how does this impact our approach to policy making?

How do we safely manage reopening a workplace?

How can we most effectively communicate policies to our workforces and communities?

How has Covid-19 uniquely impacted our workplaces, and what can we learn from the experiences of others in industries outside of our own?

How should we prepare a policy for partially vaccinated workforce?

Field Manuals

The Workplace Public Health Program is made up of 5 Field Manuals (our version of an online module). Each one contains a variety of types of content and social exercises culminating in a mini-project, reflection, or debate. Each Field Manual will take you between 30-45 minutes to complete but you can jump on and off at your own pace, as often as you’d like. The deeper learning happens in the discussions with your fellow learners so be sure to check in on the conversations regularly.

The Science of Covid-19

Before we can make informed policy decisions about Covid-19, we have to understand how it works. In this Field Manual, we’ll walk through the science of SARS-CoV-2 transmission and begin to explore tactics for slowing its spread.

Policy Design

To keep our workforce healthy, we need policies that both prevent outbreaks from occurring and stop them from growing when they appear. This Field Manual is about how to design policies to meet both needs. It looks at how to use variables like social distance, cohorts, PPE, testing, isolation, contact tracing and more to design and implement a policy that works for your workforce.

Policy in Action

Covid-19 has a way of making the best laid plans go awry. As you bring people back into workplaces, the policy will inform some tough decisions for you. But it won't make them for you. You'll have to make sure your people really do have access to the PPE, tests, and isolation facilities they'll need to follow the policy. You'll have to trace contacts and isolate folks at risk who may not realize they've been exposed. You'll have to send people into isolation or make them get an extra test. This Field Manual is all about getting that done.

Public Health Leadership

Leadership is the single most important variable in how a team, organization, city, or country navigates the pandemic. And it's a different kind of HR leadership than we're used to. It's a mix of firmness and transparency. A willingness to make hard decisions balanced by an obsession with learning from mistakes. And the ultimate test leadership in a public health crisis is how we galvanize and empower our workforces to fight the pandemic themselves.

The Next Crisis

Some day the Covid-19 pandemic will end. When it does, there will be a natural tendency to forget what we've learned and to revert back to the way things used to be. This Field Manual is about how Workforce Public Health professionals can resist that tendency and work to institutionalize what we've learned during Covid-19 to create a healthier workforce over the long term and to be ready when the next crisis hits.

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