The past few weeks have been a roller coaster. Many people are working from home, some businesses have had to close their doors, and we are all remaining vigilant about our health and the health of those around us.
As a provider of human resources to small to mid-sized businesses, Propel HR has been extremely busy helping our clients navigate the new normal. We have helped clients reduce their workforces, secure loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, and provide paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA). Each week, new regulations are released in response to this pandemic, and it is imperative that businesses stay current with the guidelines and make the best decisions to protect their employees and their bottom line.
Employees are the greatest assets of businesses, and typically the Human Resources department manages everything from hiring to compliance to discipline. Handling HR matters can be tricky during normal times, but what does HR look like in the time of COVID-19?
HR DURING COVID-19
Hiring Virtually. Many companies have had to reduce their workforce, but there are still industries hiring, and hopefully soon, more will be back on track to resume pre-pandemic hiring strategies. The typical interview and onboarding process will most likely look very different going forward. Remember to follow the same hiring guidelines and use technology as your vehicle during the process.
Performance Management. Many managers have struggled with how to manage employees working from home. Although challenging, it is basically the same as when employees are in the workplace. Focus on the work quality, communicate frequently, and document everything. Schedule daily check-ins with your team to keep everyone on track.
Ease Health Concerns. It is natural for everyone to experience anxiety right now and it is important that business leaders are sensitive to this. If your workplace is open, sanitize frequently, enforce social distancing, and guide employees through potential paid leave options if they are impacted by COVID-19 personally. Be vigilant when it comes to the safety of your workforce.
Promote a Positive Culture. Now more than ever, a positive culture is imperative. It is important for employees to feel valued and a part of the team. Use tools such as Microsoft Teams or Slack to keep an open line of communication while working from home. Reach out to colleagues by telephone and take time to listen to their concerns. We may not be able to gather together for celebrations, but we can still share good news and celebrate virtually.
Plan for Post-Pandemic. What does your workplace look like after COVID-19? Will employees still be able to telecommute? Will there be a staggered reopening? What measures are necessary to maintain a safe workplace? How will you address health concerns? Now is the time to prepare.
Most importantly, remember the human in Human Resources. This is a time of uncertainty for everyone and compassion is key. COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it. There may be a new normal for a while and the new normal may require a new way of thinking about HR.
About Propel HR. Propel HR is an IRS-certified PEO that has been a leading provider of human resources and payroll solutions for more than 20 years. Propel partners with small to midsized businesses to manage payroll, employee benefits, compliance and risks, and other HR functions in a way that maximizes efficiency and reduces costs. For more information, visit www.propelhr.com.
Lee Yarborough and her father, Braxton Cutchin, founded the company in 1996. She has served on the Board of Directors of NAPEO and currently serves as the Chair for the NAPEO Carolinas Leadership Council. In 2015, she was named a Fellow of the eleventh class of the Liberty Fellowship Program and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Lee also serves on the Executive Board of Public Education Partners and is the founder and director of Read Up Greenville, a young adult and middle grades book festival in downtown Greenville, SC.