Coronavirus is bringing challenges to many work places and we have had to re-think the way we live, work and function. HR departments will now feel responsibility like they have never felt before. In a relatively short time the societal and economic norms that we are so used to have undergone huge change, and the way we do our jobs has also undergone huge change.
I’m sure many have noticed that along with these changes has come with a lot of new information being thrown at us and it is hard to know what is relevant to yourself and what isn’t. As HR professionals, employees will look to you for advice. If you are overwhelmed by all the information coming your way then we have put together / can propose our top tips for you …..
Communicate clearly with your staff and regularly as the situation changes
Employees will understandably fear the risks Covid-19 has on your business. Clear communication is essential during a global crisis, especially in a situation that is constantly changing from day to day. Make sure employees are aware of any changes the business is making due to Covid-19, many will be expecting changes to the company and maybe their work load.
Encourage good hygiene and a common sense approach
If you are a key worker and have to continue attending your workplace, the risk of infection can be reduced by providing soap and hand sanitisers, especially in communal areas such as kitchens and social areas. Employees should also be reminded to observe social distancing at all times.
Encourage employees to work from home where possible
If you are not a key worker and can carry out your work at home then it is important to make sure that employees have all necessary technology to assist them, this will help keep the business running while keeping employees safe. Video conference calls are a great way to keep in contact with the team while away from the office.
Keep job applicants informed
It is an uncertain time within recruitment, however some companies are still recruiting. While normal interview situations are not possible, video interviews are a possible solution to employing new staff without risking the health of anyone involved. Job applicants are likely to be worried about the state of their job applications. It’s important for HR professionals to clearly communicate what the next steps will be for both internal and external job applications.
Develop a contingency plan to prepare for the future
Appointing a specific person or team to deal with the changes to your business during a crisis is a sensible precaution – as organisations who have taken a more serious, business-wide approach during previous global outbreaks have lessened the impact.
HR leaders also need to consider if you have enough employees to take care of business-critical operations – promoting transferable skills is a useful way of covering staff shortages. Adopting creative resourcing solutions like staggering shifts or designating separate teams means there are fewer people in the workplace at any one time.
The dramatically changing situation that many businesses are facing in the response to COVID-19 emphasises the need for organisations to be able to adjust to unsettled circumstances.