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Are you only 'Sort of Ready' to deal with the pandemic? HR's main obstacles during COVID-19

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It is obvious that all those crisis management and continuity plans that were once buried for emergencies is now taken out and having every word scrutinised and executed in the best way possible. If we actually point out the top 2 priorities common to every organisation, it would be:

  1. Flexible working arrangements
  2. Increasing awareness and employee communication

But when talking about execution how ready are the HR teams?

According to research over 42% HR leaders believe that they are only moderately trained, equipped and ready to face the challenges. While 8% are sufficiently ready and 5% say that they are ill-equipped completely.

But Covid-10 has definitely opened eyes to the importance of HR strategies and its relevance to business continuity.

We constantly here about HR facing more challenges day by day but let's talk numbers,

  • 67% on business continuity plans
  • 64% on managing flexible work
  • 56% on handling communication with employees
  • 53% on workplace policies and employee concern
  • 43% on executing preventive measures
  • 25% on prevailing welfare policies

So how can HR teams communicate with their employees? Here are some tips adopted by employers around the world.

  • Provide constant updates regarding measures taken by the management. The worse thing you can do at a moment like this is to keep your employees in suspense.
  • Provide guidance and alternative commuting methods to employees travelling. Employee safety is of high importance, implement travel restrictions and focus on voluntary work from home.
  • Maintain engagement by sharing videos or emails from the management with your employees to give a sense of togetherness.
  • Share links to external sources of information that are verified and trusted to keep them informed of the happenings.
  • Communicate HR policies regarding the outbreak
  • Times like these can be straining your employees mentally as well. Be available for friendly chats and guide them through healthy conversations.
  • Create a response committee for immediate decision making purposes and split working arrangements for critical functions and roles.

As much as we focus on the sustenance of business activities, let's be humane for a while a think of small ways we could reach out to our employees.

  • Provide your employees with protective gears such as masks, gloves and sanitizers.
  • Consider the employees who need to report to work despite the restrictions, provide them with flexible working facilities and assistance programs giving them the opportunity to take care of their families as well.
  • Simplify the claim process and provide your employees with customer service hotlines as they would need assistance with multiple services and facilities much as network connections, transport, equipments, materials etc.
  • Reduction in working hours or flexible working for employees who have to take care of children at home due to closing of schools and day care centers.
  • If you have the opportunity or contacts to reach out to FMCG markets or convenience stores, share a few hampers or coupons with your employees to get their essential items.

At a time of need such as this, things go hand in hand. If you expect your employees to be dedicated to their work and give it their all to bring the organisation back to a neutral state, it is important that as an

employer for you to show concern towards your employees and their well being. After all they are your biggest assets and you need their support for the business to sustain and at the same time, they need you too in order for them to sustain.

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