The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted daily operations for many organizations and businesses. Human resource managers are scrambling to respond to the changes brought about by the virus. Social distancing and other measures are the new norms. Below are ways the Human resource department should react to protect their employees and business;
- Encourage working remotely
To prevent further spread of the virus, companies have been asked to allow their employees to work from home. HR personnel needs to trust the employees with delivering on the deliverables. Communications channels need to be put in place to ensure the various teams are collaborating on the projects at hand.
2. Look into and plan on employee healthcare
This is the time to look into the employees’ medical records to determine the vulnerable employees and offer help where possible. Help can come in the form of paid leave, Financial aid, Health, and wellbeing check programs.
Employees’ mental health is important and should also be prioritized. For many employees, stress, worry, anxiety, and isolation may take a toll on them. Psychological support should be available to all employees. HR practitioners should consider bringing in a health specialist to host an online q/a with the employees.
3. Effective communication
Communication is what fuels all company activities. Human resource personnel should see to it that there is an internal communication plan where timely information is relayed to the employees. It is important for HR to explain how decisions are being arrived at and in an empathetic tone. Two-way discussion and open-door policy should be encouraged so that misunderstandings can be addressed, This will leave no room for assumptions and workplace rumors.
4. Implement HR policies in the Business Continuity plan
During this period, HR personnel should be quite involved in implementing the Business continuity plan in place or be part of creating one. Human resource managers must balance the needs of the people with the need to keep business afloat. Assessment should be done to see who does what, What can be paused during the pandemic, what task can be reallocated, and what tasks are essential for the business survival in the long run.
5. Support global efforts of containing the virus
HR Professionals should take the role of being Covid-19 ambassador in their workplace by building habits around good hygiene. Working on rotation and maintaining social distance should also be practiced by employees who have to be in the office so as to avoid overcrowding.
Health drills should be carried out to show the employees measures to take if a colleague is suspected to be Covid-19 positive. Workplace fumigation should also be carried out to curb the spread of the virus. Work travel should also be halted unless the employee is providing essential service.
6. Encourage problem-solving approach to emerging issues
Working during the corona pandemic has its share of challenges. Everyone during this period is battling a silent battle ranging from fear of job loss, worry over losses, fear of contracting the virus among others. Productivity is still needed in the workplace, This is the time for HR to challenge employees to be proactive and come up with routines that work for both individuals and teams, manage time and work on achieving projected results. Volunteering to take up extra tasks should also be encouraged to ensure tasks are delivered within deadlines.
7. Focus on reskilling
The use of technology has become inevitable during the corona pandemic. Due to the reduced face to face interaction, most people have turned to technology. This has resulted in people learning new skills and keep up with the digital transformation. The need to increase productivity at a time where layoffs are being witnessed everywhere has also lead to a surge in reskilling.HR practitioners should be there to assist in these as it will be of great benefit to the organizations even after the pandemic by offering relevant training online.
Covid-19 Coronavirus has completely changed the workplace as we traditionally knew it to be. It Is time to welcome and adapt to the new normal. For HR professionals keeping employees productive, motivated, connected, and engaged should be their main focus.
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