Covid19 – The Impact on HR

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Many people are talking about the impact of COVID-19 on Human Resources. During
these crises the role of Human Resources has completely transformed but how exactly it
has changed and what measures are being taken into consideration for the same?

A survey, conducted recently has shown that the top issue on the minds’ of Human
Resources team now is to take care of the health of the employees followed by a transition to remote work and creating employee engagement. There is no physical workplace at all, all the employees are working from their homes as a result most of the multinational companies are developing remote work programs. In fact, it’s really astonishing that before the crises less than 50% of the companies even had a remote work program.

Human Resources are trying their best to protect the jobs of the employees, for the same
they are creating many new job roles. Recently, Accenture and Verizon have launched a
new initiative that aims to get together all those workers who have lost their jobs during their pandemic and the companies who are still booming in these times.

The new program, dubbed People + Work Connect, is “an analytics-based platform powered by Accenture,” the company said in a statement.

Whereas, the top most issue which is troubling the employees is the security of their jobs accompanied by personal health and taking care of their families financially. The survey shows that remote working comes after all of this. It may not be surprising that financial stress hits the top of the list. Issues like mental health, working in a stressful environment, financial problems were present prior to the crisis also but now these issues have become indispensable as well as urgent. Being productive and social isolation are least important issues in the minds of employees right now. Only 8% of the employees are worried about their work-life balance.

Companies are coming up with new ideas and programs to cope up with all of this. More than 70% of the companies are reforming their HR priorities. The question is what all
programs have been successful.

Virtual coffee breaks and happy hour games helped immensely in socialising the employee. Clear and transparent communication from the senior managers and leaders is also working out great as it helps to answer all the queries, doubts of the employees in this anxious situation. Connecting virtually through various apps helps the employees to stay connected. In this period 66% of companies allow remote work and 16% are already fully remote.

Companies have created centralized communication systems on COVID-19 and consistent HR policies have made an impact on the successful remote work programs.
Companies are asking for regular feedback from their employees to understand them
better and plan accordingly.

At the same time companies are facing many challenges too-

  • The communication is not two-way as mostly top leaders are passing on the information.
  • Synchronizing the responses across different teams, regions, departments.
  • Companies are not able to respond to the needs of the customers quickly. The sales as
    well as marketing team are not able to target the customers through their messages and
    strategies.
  • Too many approvals/bottlenecks are required to take swift decisions.


WHAT ARE THE RELEVANT SOLUTIONS TO COPE UP WITH THESE
CHALLENGES?


HR people need to provide training to the employees so that they can get adapted to this new system of work from home. Focus should be shifted from economy to people. Try establishing lost cost involving minimal efforts yet retaining employees at a high rate. Hire the employees who are well versed with apps for virtual communications and are a continuous learner. All the flexibility should be provided in the working hours. Most
importantly, they should try spreading positivity in chaos.

Source of the survey- COVID-19: The Pulse of HR – What Is HR Doing Now? By
JOSHBERSIN