Post-Pandemic Business Recovery Depends on HR First Responders

HR first responders
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Liz Strikwerda

Content strategist and corporate blogger (2000+ posts). Her work has been featured on G2's Learning Hub, Human Resources Today, Better Buys and over 500 business websites. She plays bluegrass mandolin and enjoys sailing her catamaran and hiking in the red rock wilderness of southern Utah. Connect with me on LinkedIn

Post-COVID business recovery depends on HR leadership. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., President & CEO at SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), characterized HR professionals as corporate first responders. They are on the front lines helping organizations work through pandemic-triggered disruption.

HR will need to be the stewards of physical and mental health, continuity, and wellness. Johnny C. Taylor Jr.

Retool, Retrench, and Rebuild Framework

In the rebuilding phase, HR first responders will help restore economic security for businesses, communities, employees and their families.

 

How has the pandemic required HR leadership?

  • Abrupt workforce relocation due to shelter-in-place and lockdown orders
  • Widespread absences due to quarantined employees, sick employees, and employees who can’t work due to lack of childcare
  • Mass lay-offs and furloughs for businesses that had to close temporarily or reduce services
  • Employee fear and anxiety
  • High volume hiring for essential businesses and industries
  • Managing new paid sick leave, expanded FMLA and Paycheck Protection Loan qualification
  • Employee health and wellness policies

How can Human Resources drive business recovery? With ingenuity, agility and compassion.

In the earliest days, we thought [coronavirus] was strictly a healthcare issue. But it became clear how quickly it morphed into a people issue and how CHROs are playing a critical role in helping their companies get through this. Johnny C. Taylor Jr.

SwipeClock WorkforceHUB Human Resources Management System (HRMS) is your first responder toolkit.

HR First Responder Toolkit For Business Recovery

WorkforceHUB includes the following:

  • TimeWorksPlus for mobile and remote employee timekeeping
    • Geolocation and geofencing for location tracking
  • ApplicantStack for mobile applicant tracking and remote hiring
    • In-application texting
    • Video interviewing capability
    • Structured interview scripts
    • Designed for essential business high-volume hiring
  • Absence management
  • Remote onboarding/offboarding
    • Online new hire portal with e-signature
    • Onboarding checklists for administrations with completion tracking
    • 100% remote onboarding/offboarding
  • Shift planning platform
    • Staggered schedules
    • Schedule rules for occupancy limits
    • Complicated team scheduling rotation for social distancing
  • Employee wellness and engagement
    • Manager checkins
    • Recognition wall
    • Anonymous suggestion box
  • TimeWorksTouch employee time clock
    • Biometric time clock with bacteria-resistant fingerprint register
    • Customizable prompts for COVID-19 symptom checking
    • Syncs with TimeWorksPlus for onsite and offsite clock in/out

HR first responders are exceptional communicators

As you create your business recovery plan, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of effective communication. The landscape has changed dramatically. As employees come back to the office, they will encounter a whole bunch of new rules. Workstations will be rearranged. There will be social distancing policies. They will have less face-to-face interaction with coworkers. Consistent, concise communication will help them succeed.

Dangerous rumors and worker fears can spread as quickly as a virus. It is imperative for companies to be able to reach all workers, including those not at the worksite, with regular, internally coordinated, factual updates about infection control, symptoms, and company policy regarding remote work and circumstances in which employees might be excluded from or allowed to return to the workplace. These communications should come from or be vetted by the emergency response team, and they should be carefully coordinated to avoid inconsistent policies being communicated by different managers or functions. Clearly this requires organizations to maintain current phone/text and email contact information for all employees and test organization-wide communication periodically. If you don’t have a current, universal contact capability already, now is a good time to create this. Harvard Business Review

Managers will need to over-communicate. They should interact with employees face-to-face (six feet apart, of course) as much as possible. They need to continue supporting at-home employees daily (or more often) by video conference. An HRMS can support communication by automating announcements, alerts, symptom checking, and policy education and reminders.

Our employees right now are looking for our leadership. They want to know that we can handle the unexpected. They want answers to their questions. While we might not know what’s happening with the virus, we do know how to run the business. Sharyn Lauby, HR Bartender

Human Resources is stepping up

HR first responders are up to the task. They will lead America’s businesses into a bright post-pandemic future.

Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

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