Businesses are dependant to the greatest extent on their HR departments to support their workforce through the use of different procedures during these rough times. The global Covid-19 pandemic has presented serious mental, physical and financial problems to people all around the world. Organizations now have to rely more than ever on their HR departments to ensure their employees feel as safe as possible during this unprecedented and unpredictable time.
The challenges managers of the HR department have to face vary with the company’s location, sector and size, but it is clear that many businesses will have to tighten their belts. Instead of laying off workers or slashing wages, companies are seeking alternate corporate strategies such as using technology to support work-from-home or reviewing costs to stretch the budget.
This article explores the main challenges faced by HR professionals, as well as advice on processes that can be implemented to overcome these challenges during this difficult period.
Managing Remote Work
The adoption of remote work culture is not as seamless as it seems. Less than 50% of companies had a remote work program, Before the COVID-19 outbreaks. Many working sectors such as Banks, regulated industries, and many financial services companies did not encourage remote working. Now almost all of them rushing to build remote work strategies.
This has increased to many undiscovered concerns. HR managers are trying to build logical routes and strategies to control the challenges that it brings. Strategies are no more designed periodically or in advance but in real-time. The focus on employee productivity and engagement has shifted to quick responses and diagnosis. To provide employees with the best resources and also gather real-time updates from them from time to time to untangle the intricacies and offer support.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
The sudden shift in work culture took a toll on overall employee health and wellbeing. Stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues have always been there, and it is no new story. Organizations have always been initiating wellness programs and providing employees with security, health benefits, and flexibility to help them overcome their health issues. But the sudden COVID-19 outbreak has brought the employees’ mental problems in the front seat.
When you have your workers working in an office work environment, you at least understand their pulse and sensitivity, and that helps you immensely to tackle the issues. But employees going remote, communication routes have been significantly compromised, leaving the managers clueless or at least less conscious. In a recent COVID-19 pulse survey, HR professionals across the globe responded health and wellbeing of the workers to be a major concern.
One of the major reasons why HR teams are struggling is due to inadequate mobility.
Most of the HR teams are not delineate for agility and this influence the HR professional big time. In this disaster, it is expository to respond fast and move quickly. But before any steps, there are many authorizations to take. This slows down the process of collecting data and takes instantaneous measures that are needed by crises. To re-prioritizing company goals and become more agile in their approach and to have the right communication and alignment among middle management and executives is the need of the hour now.
Communication is another major challenge that is on the priority list. Communication, in itself, is a critical aspect that needs to be taken into account whether or not the workforce is working remotely. Without the right communication channels, it becomes difficult to manage a workforce. The COVID-19 crisis had the HR professionals on toes and kept them looking for the right remote working tools that suit their culture. Though tools like Zoom or Slack are commonly used to meet the needs of the workforce, it certainly is not enough to get everyone on the same page.
Rapid policy change
Due to covid19, this time becomes the most difficult patch of this era which affects mostly all the company’s policy. As the HR department has vast responsibilities of company policies and the respective department is majorly accountable for approximately all the shares of company policy.
The HR department should consider the mentioned elements which include the fast and easy communication to their entire staff member to avoid any delay of the new implementation of the important immediate policy change due to new government guidelines. They should consider using new webinars that are necessary to communicate to get out of this business disruption time going on nowadays. they should be easy going and flexible with their employee and should make some strong decisions with respect to their teams as every policy could not be changed due to the continuous changing of circumstances over the past few weeks.
We have noted some very kind-hearted and feasible acts during this covid19 pandemic. It is necessarily important to follow the HR department guidelines during this time as they are experienced in defending their employee
Unpredictability can immobilize anyone the overwhelming sensation of not understanding what the future hold or what measures to take to continue authoritative tasks is a colossal test. Everyone is affected by unpredictability more or less. The whole team is suffering for example the employee suffers from mental pressure as they are unaware of what the consequence might be. And the HR team is struggling to keep everything in order. To react to this emergency it’s important to create successful measures and methodologies for all.
The major goal of the company is to ensure the potency of its worker. It becomes extremely difficult to keep the workers engage when they are working distantly and that too in a disaster. Keeping everyone on the same page is difficult as the inside transmission is compromised.
As you can see, this article is not on the common HR challenges that are related to recruitment, training, and development, performance appraisal, or keeping a balance between the management and employees. It’s on the current crisis that HR is dealing with.
Submitted by YUSRA ALI, Date 28 Dec 2020