Employers are working closely with their Human Resource department heads in order to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic effectively. With almost every business having been forced to develop an immediate response, including adaptation and improvement of remote work policies and procedures, it's up to human resources to adjust the way these processes are run. Here are three ways HR has been transformed by COVID-19.
Remote Work as Permanent Fixture
Many organizations had to make rapid changes to allow for their employees to work remotely. While there are many jobs that can't be done remotely, employers found out during the pandemic that some jobs could be done more efficiently and effectively from home. Even after the pandemic subsides, we expect to see remote work as a permanent feature for many organizations that didn't offer it before. Until then, many people will continue working remotely long after businesses return to normal.
What this means for HR is that it needs to start collaborating with the other departments, including finance and IT to implement new rules that address meeting schedules, k communications, financing remote equipment, changing of job descriptions, monitoring and enforcing attendance, and more. It's important to look at what items HR is responsible for must be changed, including talent acquisition and development, discipline, benefits, and more.
Until then, it's crucial for HR to monitor and maintain morale by creating a process for checking in with employees and helping them deal with added stress during the pandemic.
Talent Acquisition and Retention
Companies and industries have had to make massive layoffs throughout the pandemic. Now, as many companies and businesses reopen, they'll need to find a way to welcome their employees back and find new talent if they happened to lose employees to other jobs during the pandemic.
Not to mention, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the economy, which means that many businesses will have to cut costs by laying off their workforce or doing hiring freezes. This may require reliance on contractors and freelancers along with temp workers in the early stages of COVID-19 recovery.
HR should put the company's employees who have been laid off or had their hours reduced first before hiring new employees. It's possible businesses will hire employees back as 1099 contracts short-term or help them get temporary jobs in order to help those who have worked for them for many years.
While companies may not be hiring right now, it's always a good idea to keep the talent pool full and maintain contact with prospective hires.
Remote Workforce Engagement
During a time of uncertainty, it's important to keep employees engaged and productive. As keeping employees happy within the company is one of HR's most important roles, this process will have to reform in order to meet any new needs of the remote workforce. For example, keeping morale up can be difficult when employees don't see their coworkers or managers. It's important to keep frequent communication not so companies can micromanage their employees, but so they can ensure that they are enthused about how their role has changed.
As you know, employees who feel valued and cared for will be more productive, which will benefit the business. Working remotely is a new type of job for many people who are used to going to a physical location. Not to mention, with the added stress of a pandemic and moral fatigue, it's up to HR to ensure that employees are cared for.
During the pandemic, many families are faced with financial stress. Now is a good time to investigate options when it comes to lessening their burdens. These can include daily or weekly pay or subsidized loans.
Now is the time for businesses to prove their loyalty to their employees, and in doing so, they'll see employee loyalty to the company.
With more people working remotely, HR should expect to make new policies and revisit any law concerns when it comes to compliance. These can include:
• Permitted actions under ADA, FMLA, and other statute and regulations
• Disability-related inquiries
• Leave policies
• Teleworking policies that protect employees
As businesses continue through these unprecedented times, these policies will need to be revised regularly to fit new processes.
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