The ongoing pandemic has changed the functioning of the world overnight, and that has had an impact on several lives. Many businesses suffered losses, some had to close down, yet people are looking for a way to find a solution to keep the employees productive and safe. This situation has created a lot of challenges for HR worldwide. Creating policies for employee protection and implementing them is the deciding factor for breaking or making the business.
No one ever thought what 2020 could bring and surely HR professionals were not prepared for the challenges that sprung up because of Covid-19. The HR department has been doing its best to keep things in alignment keeping everyone’s perspective in mind.
The top challenges faced by HR in the outbreak-
- Mental Health-
The shift in work culture happened overnight and that has taken a toll on the mental health of employees and overall well-being. Corporates have always encouraged wellness programs to provide the employees with the flexibility and health benefits to overcome their issues. But the Covid-19 outbreak has made it worse.
With the increase in work from home culture, it is challenging to understand the issues that the employees face while working from home leaving the HR personnel clueless. This is one of the major concerns of HR all around the world.
- Lack of swiftness in work-
Another challenge faced by HR is dealing with the agility. In crisis situations, it is important to respond quickly. The hierarchy for employees to follow for approval takes a long time, thus slowing down the process of gathering data to meet the crisis. The burden falls on HR to create more agility in approach and minimize delays. The company objectives and goals also need to be reframed and communicated in the right way to survive the crisis.
- Managing work from home–
Remote work is the need of the hour, but it is not as seamless as it perceived to be. Until this outbreak, many companies discouraged a work from home methods of working, for example, banks, financial sector, certain businesses but overnight they were forced to work on their business strategies to run their ongoing businesses.
This move has also given rise to problems. HR is now working on addressing the problems and sorting them out in real-time. Boosting employee productivity, gaining feedback has become challenging and a major concern.
The pandemic has created uncertainty around various things. Being unable to plan, unsure about the future has made it very challenging to fulfill the goals of the organization. This sudden change has affected the mental health of employees, as they are unsure of the future. HR has been facing challenges to align the challenges and boost employees’ mental health through online workshops, building strategies, etc.
- Communicating with employees–
One of the top priority challenges faced by HR all over is a communication gap with the employees. The lack of communication channels makes it more difficult. It has kept the HR professionals thinking to find ways to look out for strategies to suit the new work culture.
- Hiring and layoffs–
With business at a standstill, several companies have started to layoff their employees. The HR professionals have been burning the midnight oil to draft policies to provide the maximum benefit possible to the employees. They have to be firm in saying a NO while putting out other options and actions to the leaders.
An outbreak targets the most valuable blessings – the employees. This can last longer than imagined, if not anything else they must look out for absenteeism. It does not make sense for HR leaders to wait for a crisis to happen to act upon it. Policies, stand by options must be planned and drafted in advance to avoid any damages faced in case there’s a huge outbreak.
Be thorough with the situation to address the employee’s concerns. Inform them about the disease, how it spreads, treatment procedure, and other important data related to it.
The pandemic has created turmoil for work and the employees. This has forced the HR departments of every company to work on a disaster plan in case of an outbreak of such large scale diseases.