Three challenges facing HR during the Covid-19 pandemic

Businesses are relying more than ever on their HR departments to support their employees through the use of processes during these turbulent times

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The global Covid-19 pandemic has presented serious mental, physical and financial complications to people everywhere. Organizations now have to rely more than ever on their HR departments to ensure their workforce feel as safe as possible during this unprecedented and unpredictable time.

This blog post explores three main challenges faced by HR professionals along with advice on processes that can be implemented to overcome them during this period.

Communication

With information from governments, health authorities and labor organizations continually changing, companies need to communicate with their employees quickly as they react to changes even quicker.

CEOs and managers should connect with their staff daily to reassure them that the business is reviewing government guidelines and how they plan to comply with them. They should also 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. Finally, a space should be provided for employees to chat as if in the office such as a virtual coffee break. Talking things through with others will really help during this distressing time.

Trust

Where possible, many companies have now moved to remote working and unfortunately this was not 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 can increase trust across departments. Daily stand ups can be scheduled 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 and to employees.

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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.

There are some elements that HR departments should consider. Fast communication is key at this time and they should ensure that the business has the ability to communicate to all staff (even out of hours) when an important immediate policy change is needed due to new government guidelines. They should 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 has been experienced. They should try to be flexible and empower managers to make decisions in relation to their teams as it is too difficult to have a policy for absolutely everything that has changed over the past few weeks.

We have seen and heard of many acts of kindness during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is very important that businesses listen to their HR Departments during this time as they have the best experience in protecting employees.

FlowForma may be able to assist HR departments with their processes during this time of rapid change. To request a demo or if you are a current customer, you can call the company’s advisory support team here.

A version of this article was originally published as 3 Challenges Faced By Human Resources During The COVID-19 Pandemic.

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