Whether staff are now remotely working for the foreseeable future or are slowly being reintroduced back into the workplace, one thing most businesses have in common during the pandemic is the swift adaptation of management.
Even if businesses have felt little impact of COVID-19, social distancing measures and shielding vulnerable colleagues has been the number one factor to consider in the past few months and will continue to be so for a long time.
HR systems that operate in the cloud have proven to be one of the most important investments for businesses and those who previously implemented this HR software are now realising its true potential during the crisis.
Those who did not already have this form of software in place are now making the decision to enforce these systems, to alleviate HR staff, managers and employees from the headache of trying to achieve ‘normal’ in very abnormal times.
Both are now seeing that communication and management have changed and this won’t be temporary as companies around the world are making decisions to continue allowing staff to work from home, even after the pandemic is over.
Below, we explore how management is coping with the new normal and overcoming problems when it comes to managing staff during Covid-19.
Even with staff at home every day, they still need to take time off working busy working schedules.
This could be for typical annual leave or other pandemic related reasons, such as sick leave, self-isolation, caring for children who are unable to return to school or vulnerable family members who are shielding.
When in the office, it is easy to track who is on leave and whether it is viable to approve leave for others. However, with everyone working remotely, it can easily become tricky and keeping track of leave can turn into an arduous task.
This is why HR teams and management are turning to HR software, not only does this ensure staff are not going over their leave allowance, it also gives an insight into those who have already requested this time off.
This allows management to easily determine if teams or departments are understaffed, an issue that cannot be avoided if those team members have contracted the virus.
Therefore, management can quickly identify teams that require extra support, ensuring workloads are spread and these teams do not fall behind.
While promotions and bonuses may be on hold, training should still continue among the workforce. Not only does this provide benefits to a business, but also shows employees that management values them and their progression, even in an uncertain economy.
Very few sectors are used to remote training and may find this tricky without the right tools to do so. HR software provides the means for staff to train at a time that is convenient for them while keeping training consistent throughout departments.
These training sessions can be written by management with in-depth texts or videos or can be as simple as adding links to webinars or online training videos.
This reduces pressure on all parties when it comes to collating everyone online at the same time while removing the added issues of faulty internet connections and webcams.
Management can track who has completed this training so staff can be chased if needed.
Looking after staff wellbeing, especially at this time, is crucial and the responsibility of HR teams and management.
Asking staff members how they are feeling and if they need any support isn’t always effective. Many staff members are reluctant to show they are struggling.
HR systems provide a platform for staff to complete questionnaires in relation to their mental health and provide an insight into staff wellbeing, they can also be completed anonymously if needed.
HR teams can analyse this data and provide extra support and resources where needed. The data can also be used as an insight to any correlation between teams and staff members, showing that those particular departments may need extra aid or perhaps reshuffling to remove strain from employees.
Communication is key in any sector and is even more important during this time. However, casual conversations and impromptu meetings are no longer the norm and relaying information throughout the workforce can be a struggle.
While emails have been a staple of communication for many years, they can easily be lost or ignored in inboxes, especially as employees receive a record number due to face-to-face contact now being lost.
HR platforms provide a way to communicate information of any size to employees. With open trackers, management can see who has opened these messages so staff can be chased if needed.
When it comes to important and critical messages, the added feature of having staff members ‘tick to agree’ they have read and understood this information is a valuable tool during this time.
This means there can be no confusion in the future with any colleague stating they were not aware of any of this data.
Onboarding is still an essential part of all businesses and managing this properly is important, especially during COVID-19.
Utilising HR software to do everything from advertising a role to first-day introductions ensures a smooth process and consistency within all new starters.
Applicants can be quickly grouped and mass messages sent to those who are and are not successful, alleviating a very repetitive and time-consuming task from the HR team.
New starter packs can be generated and shared with successful applicants so forms can be completed and safely stored before their first day. Employee profiles can also be generated so these new starters can get to know their team without being physically present.
Without being within our offices or other professional buildings, the most crucial thing to consider is proper communication across the board throughout the workforce. Businesses are making investments in new software to ease the pressure on management and their teams and by doing so, it can make this pandemic easier on all parties.
We have discovered this will be our normality for the foreseeable future so it’s important to nail these systems as early as possible and reduce stress and pressure on all.
HR Future Staff Writer, United Kingdom.