Effective Strategies to Handle Covid-19 Challenges for HR Professionals

Effective Strategies to Handle Covid-19 Challenges for HR Professionals

Effective Strategies to Handle Covid-19 Challenges for HR Professionals

Covid-19 outbreak has changed business world drastically. The sudden shift in work culture has brought new challenges for HR. The top priority for HR professionals and business owners is now crisis response and how to keep the employees engaged, provide the right communication channels and tools for remote work. Let’s discuss some of the top challenges faced by HR Professionals and businesses and some potential solutions:

Until now even in the 6th month of the outbreak, uncertainty remains the top challenge for HR as well as for people in general. On one hand businesses are announced to be reopened, on the other hand, the covid-19 cases are rapidly increasing throughout the World. People are like, “We don’t know what’s going to happen?” Uncertainty can paralyze anyone. The daunting feeling of not knowing what the future holds or what measures to take to sustain organizational operations is a huge challenge. We all are more or less affected by uncertainty. Employees are affected mentally, not knowing what the future holds for them, and the HR teams are struggling to put everything in alignment. To respond to the crisis and develop effective measures and strategies for all. Having 2-3 alternative plans can help in this challenging situation. Plan A for gradual reopening, Plan B for a complete reopening, and worst case scenario a Plan C for a potential lock down again.   

The ultimate company goal is the productivity of its employees. It becomes challenging to keep the employees engaged when they are working remotely and that too, in a crisis. The internal communication is compromised, and keeping everyone on the same page becomes tough. With remote working, it is difficult to follow a routine and even except a systematic workflow. When the teams are cross-functional, you have little power to manage them. Not updating them regularly or not arranging meetings/ sessions can impact their morale to a great extent. Remember, communication is the key. Best possible solution is to keep weekly meetings alive whether on virtual platforms or if in person maintaining proper social distancing measures.

The impending economic downturn is coming our way, and businesses are gearing up to tackle it. COVID-19 also promises to change consumer behaviors and hence a lot of industries; Aviation, lifestyle & hospitality to name a few, would need to adopt new business models to curb falling revenues.  The economic restart is going to be slow and cautious, but what would become critical for the success of a sharp V-shaped economic recovery would be a period of evolving business models.

As HR professionals, it is extremely critical to have our eyes & ears on the strategy table to partner on the changes being adopted, learn quickly to understand the new talent market, and solve for the talent gap within our respective Organizations.

Employees look to leaders for reassurance, especially in times of instability. It is important that those in leadership roles communicate clearly with managers and staff and demonstrate a clear commitment to employee health and business sustainability. Let employees of all levels know the current plan and possibilities for the future.

Understand that employees are receiving conflicting forecasts and advice from the local, state, and national governments –not to mention social media disinformation. Contextualize updates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) with specific instructions on how your company will be adapting recommendations and moving forward. 

One of the biggest challenges for HR that companies are facing during COVID-19 is the scope of the disruption. With schools and non-essential businesses closed or moving online, employees will need flexibility and understanding as they try to re-establish a work-life balance. Companies can support employees who are quarantined or self-isolated by expanding paid time off policies or facilitating remote work.