28 Jul 5 Ways the COVID-19 Crisis Will Transform HR’s Role
Human Resources is at the front lines of employers’ response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The crisis is forcing almost every business to immediately develop, adapt or improve remote work policies and procedures.
As HR pros struggle to keep employees safe and informed, it helps to think about what changes will be more permanent and how you’ll guide employees and organizational leadership through those changes.
Here are 5 effects that you’ll likely be dealing with long after things return to “normal.”
Remote work will be a permanent feature for more organizations.
And that is a good thing, because in addition to workers moving to remote temporarily as we weather this crisis, many will continue working remotely at least part of the time after businesses re-open their doors.
Luckily, for most employers, the technology and communications infrastructure needed for successful remote work are available to employees.
But HR needs to start now, collaborating closely with Finance, IT and other departments to develop and implement new rules. Among the questions that need to be addressed:
- How will managers translate existing work rules, meeting schedules and communications strategies to the new reality?
- Who will pay for remote workers’ connectivity and any required equipment, like printers, monitors, headset, etc.?
- How will you recover them if someone quits or is fired?
- How must job descriptions change to accommodate part- or full-time remote work?
- How will you monitor and enforce attendance?
- What HR functions must adapt? – talent acquisition and development, discipline, benefits and compensation all introduce their own challenges in a remote work environment.
And in the meantime, HR’s role in monitoring and maintaining morale becomes even more crucial.
It is a good idea to create a formal process for checking in with remote employees to ask how they are dealing with the added stress during the crisis — and to keep on top of any issues after things return to a new normal.
Are they staying in touch with their colleagues and manager? Do they need anything to help stay productive? Are they aware of available emotional health resources and how to access them?
It will also become clear over the coming weeks what jobs cannot be done effectively offsite. You’ll need to start on contingency plans and work policies for those, as well.
Nurturing culture gets more challenging in dispersed workplaces
Workers and business leaders tell researchers they believe a strong and well-defined organizational culture is critical to long-term success.