Human capital is one of the most valuable assets of every business. Managing human resources is an arduous task. Assuming responsibility for the workforce of a firm and managing their ‘collective’ needs is not clear-cut and will not require a strait jacket or one-size-fits-all approach.
Implementing the right approach and introducing necessary strategies towards managing and dealing with the welfare of people and other aspects of the value chain are very crucial for every organization. Ensuring that the concerns of the people are heard (even if they can’t be addressed immediately) plays an essential part in the dynamics of HR. More than ever, the role of HR has become more delicate in these times.
The COVID -19 pandemic resulted in dire consequences on people’s lives, businesses, and the economy as a whole. Many businesses have been forced to permanently shut down while others are slowly recouping their losses.
Companies have restructured their operations and re-strategized various aspects of their businesses such as digital presence, virtual systems, and agile work culture. HR dynamics is also changing rapidly with the introduction of new workflow processes and a majority of the world’s workforce working remotely.
One of the most critical roles HR will need to champion is to help their people navigate the effects COVID-19 presented. Here are a few ways HR can take charge and advocate for the needs of employees.
- Show empathy
Though the world is slowly easing into a Post-COVID world, people are still finding ways to adjust. This is the time to show employees that you genuinely care. You need to be compassionate in your actions and words. This is not the time to make unsavory remarks. Find out how they are coping with the situation; ask how you can help them deal with the situation and constantly look for ways the company can support employees.
- Communication and Engagement
Sharing up-to-date information in a consistent and timely manner is crucial in these times.HR should be poised to take responsibility and boost morale of employees. HR should utilize various communication channels to keep track of tasks and ensure effective communication. Use this opportunity to reassure staff of their value and contributions to the business and the measures being put in place to sustain the business.
In the event that the company has to make a tough decision to lay-off staff, slash salaries/benefits, know how to address these concerns. Going forward, HR will need to communicate fast-changing policies clearly and enhance communication between employees and management. Transparency at this point is crucial to foster teamwork and build trust.
- Employee Health & Wellbeing
The total well-being of staff should be the utmost priority of HR. When organizations face unforeseen circumstances, it affects employee morale, health, and stability. One major concern for employees is the issue of job security and it’s important to allay any fears or anxieties they might have. Safety should also remain a priority.
COVID-19 is still here and HR needs to ensure that all safety measures remain in place. Employees should be provided with necessary PPEs and other essential supplies during this period. Comprehensive well-being packages are also necessary to ensure productivity, employee satisfaction and commitment.
- Employee Support
HR should also ensure that employees have access to some form of ‘incentives’ during this period. Companies should implement policies such as flexible work hours remote work and other support packages.
- Learning & Development
As innovation, digitisation and technology take centre stage, HR will need to look at upskilling and encourage employees to learn new skills, take advantage of cross-training among others. Employees need to learn relevant skills in the digital economy. This will enhance efficiency and human capital development.
Post-COVID, HR will need to find a balance between the human and digital aspects of the workforce. HR will also need to implement relevant HR solutions to facilitate the smooth transition. This will make organizations resilient to future disruptions.
Taking these steps will ensure the total well-being and safety of employees. Doing this will let employees feel valued and ensure employee loyalty and trust, as well as strengthen organizational agility. Involving both leadership and employees in navigating this crisis will help mitigate the negative effects on the business and its people.
>>>Nana Akua Frimpomaa Amofa is a Writer and Creative Lead of Scripted Impressions, a creative consulting agency that helps individuals and brands tell their stories. She works as Senior Editor at El-Evangel Publications. Her work involves content development, strategy and review of publications. She is also the Project Lead for Community, a platform that provides support and resources to aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs. Connect with Nana Akua via Instagram/Twitter: @missamofa, LinkedIn: Nana Akua Frimpomaa Amofa, Email: [email protected]