COVID-19 has presented the world with serious problems that we hoped we would never come across in our lifetime but here we are. People have been affected in so many ways, mentally, physically, financially across the world. It's a scary time for everyone to experience and now more than ever businesses are relying on our HR departments to ensure that our employees can feel as safe as possible during this turbulent time.
In this post I will discuss three of the main challenges faced by HR professionals during this time and some useful tips that might help during this period.
Communication is key during this pandemic, with information changing on a daily basis. Employees are overwhelmed with the constant changes that governments have to put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. Companies need to act quickly in reaction to these changes and communicate even quicker.
- CEO's and managers should connect with their staff daily and reassure them that the business is reviewing any governments guidelines and how they plan to comply with them
- CEO's should update employees on a weekly basis on how the business is performing and reassure staff that they are investigating all government assistance in order to protect employees
- A space should be provided for employees to chat as if in the office, like a virtual coffee break, as talking things through with others can really help during this distressing time. Everyone is anxious about something at this time
Many companies where possible have now moved to remote working, and unfortunately this wasn’t by choice. This is a major culture change to a lot of businesses that has just happened overnight. Trust is an essential element of working from home.
Some techniques that can increase trust over departments are:
- Daily stand ups where managers discuss work priorities per day for the team and themselves and enquire from employees if there are any blockers preventing the execution of their work
- Team and employee performance should be measured by KPI metrics which should be reported weekly by each team to the CEO
- Managers and the CEO should facilitate and enable frequent and honest communication from/to employees
3. Rapid Policy Change
As these are extraordinary times nearly every company policy has been affected and needs to be updated for COVID-19 clauses. As HR departments are accountable for the lion’s share of company policies, they have a lot of work on their plate with very little time.
Some things HR departments should consider are:
- Fast communication is key at this time, ensure your business has the ability to communicate to all staff (even out of hours) when an important immediate policy change is needed due to a change in government guidelines
- Take advantage of the numerous webinars that companies are providing in order to arm people with advice and the tools necessary to get through the business disruption that’s been experienced
- Try to be flexible and empower managers to make decisions in relation to their teams, it is too difficult to have a policy for absolutely everything that has changed over the past few weeks
We have seen/heard of many acts of kindness during the COVID-19 Pandemic. I think its very important that we listen to our HR Departments during this time as they have the best experience in protecting our employees.
For HR departments themselves, FlowForma may be able to assist you with your processes during this time of rapid change. Please request a demo or if you are a current customer please feel free to call our advisory support team.