In the midst of the current COVID-19 crisis, many companies have entered uncharted territory. Countries around the world are taking unprecedented safety measures that affect the daily lives of their citizens, but also impact the functioning of businesses and the economy as a whole. Organizations have to ensure the safety of their employees and the continuity of their operations.
HR plays a crucial role in managing the COVID-19 response at an organization. However, these extraordinary circumstances are to navigate. That’s why we’ve put together useful HR resources to help point you in the right direction.
We will keep updating this page and continue to provide you with actionable information.
- General information for employers
- Information on internal communication, company policies, and response plans
- Tips on external communication
- Facilitating remote work
- Impact on recruiting
Before you continue
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General information for employers
Businesses and employers need guidance on how to proceed in times of the COVID-19 outbreak. What are the recommendations that they should follow? What should they consider when planning for the developing situation? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides updated information and official recommendations for employers.
Employers need to ask themselves how they can best protect their employees from exposure to the COVID-19 virus, how they need to revise their travel policies, but also how they can help their employees to achieve maximum productivity when working remotely.
Despite being in an unexpected situation, you as an organization have to make sure that you have a business continuity plan in place and that you have an idea how you can get through this period. Having such a plan will help you assist your customers and respond to their needs but also make your path clearer for your employees. Barend Raaff, CEO at Harver, has put together a great presentation on moving businesses to the post-COVID-19 era that you can tailor to your own strategy.
Information on internal communication, company policies, and response plans
The current COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented situation for employers. That’s why organizations often don’t have official company policies, response plans or guides on what to do in these unusual circumstances and they need to adapt their regular employee policies fast. You don’t have to do it from scratch. Workable has prepared a useful coronavirus (COVID-19) company policy sample to help you adjust to the new reality quickly.
As an employer, you probably have many questions right now about how to communicate with your employees about COVID-19, how to minimize the risk of spreading the virus at your workplace, how to transition your company to remote working, and more. If you are looking for guidance on specific actions you can take to ensure the safety of your team and keep running your business as smoothly as possible, check out the COVID-19 Company Playbook by Ask Almanac. This resource contains useful templates and checklists and is updated regularly.
Different organizations are facing different challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While some companies are transitioning to working for home, it is impossible for many others, for example, retailers or healthcare workers.
What’s more, while on one hand, some organizations continue to hire people and even ramp up their recruiting efforts, others are figuring out how to avoid laying off their staff.
Everyone is trying to find out how they can move on but the COVID-19 situation we’ve found ourselves in is new to everyone. That’s where the HR community comes in. This crowdsourced document provides you with a wealth of information on a wide range of HR COVID-19 related topics including response plans, support resources, remote work, legal information, travel impact, news, and more.
Are you wondering how you can make sure that you’re keeping your employees informed and that you’re continuously monitoring the impact COVID-19 has on your business and your staff? Gallup has gathered the strategies and policies from CHROs of the world’s largest companies and put together a comprehensive guide with detailed information on how these businesses are dealing with the current situation.
Tips on external communication
While it is important to keep your employees in the loop of what is happening in your organization during the COVID-19 outbreak, it is just as important to manage the external communication to provide information to your clients and customers. Check out the actionable best practices for communication management in times of COVID-19.
Facilitating remote work
Nearly half of North American companies are currently implementing remote work policies to curb the spread of COVID-19 and keep their workforce safe. And while many of them are already familiar with remote work, working from home on such scale is new to them and that’s why they are looking for ways to keep their employees focused, productive, and engaged. Gallup has created a guide for leaders who have their teams working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Working from home might be new and challenging for you as a leader, but it is just as tough for your newly remote employees. That’s why setting clear expectations, establishing open communication and collaboration channels, and accommodating flexible schedules is key to transitioning to remote work successfully.
Keeping your employees engaged is not an easy task. Even more so when they’re suddenly working from home and might struggle with feelings of uncertainty and isolation. However, it’s your employees that you need the most to help you get through this crisis. That’s why keeping your staff engaged throughout the COVID-19 pandemic is crucial.
When working remotely, even if it is just for a limited time period, you need to have effective tools in place to communicate and collaborate with your team, as well as to continue learning. Many software companies are making their paid tools temporarily free of charge so that they can ease the transition to remote work. There are multiple tools that HR professionals can find useful in their day-to-day work during COVID-19. Take a look.
Impact on recruiting
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the recruitment drive in companies all around the world. Organizations like Amazon and Google have banned on-site interviews and moved them online. However, many companies have frozen their hiring efforts for the moment in light of the economic uncertainty ahead of us.
Companies that continue to hire new people throughout the pandemic have had to make changes to their recruiting process. Both employers and job seekers have to adapt to the new temporary reality. The key is to be agile, flexible and to embrace digital transformation.
One of the ways to continue your hiring process amid the COVID-19 outbreak is to interview your candidates via video. In fact, the number of companies using video interviews in their hiring process has grown by 67% in recent weeks. Many of them are new to video or virtual interviewing.
So what are the best practices and tools for video interviewing in recruitment? How can you ensure unbiased selection and great candidate experience?
It is impossible to predict the full consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world of work and on recruiting, Jim Stroud has looked into how history repeats itself and what we can take from it and apply to what we’re currently going through in terms of work.
Return to work
A lot of companies have been forced to lay off or furlough their employees to stay afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as countries are slowly reopening their economies, businesses are starting to ramp up their workforce again. 89% of small business owners are planning to rehire at least some employees they had laid off or furloughed due to COVID-19.
So how do you go about rehiring former employees?
The workplace is changing. Offices operate with limited capacity, the workplace design has to be adjusted but people coming back to the office also need to adapt to this different environment. How can you make sure that they are safe and productive?
Over to you
As an HR or talent professional, you can support your organization in these trying times. By staying up to date with the newest developments and educating yourself of what you as a company can do to support your employees, you can help get your business through this difficult period and ease the transition into the new, post COVID-19 reality that is awaiting us (hopefully) soon.