In these days of the Coronavirus outbreak, the role of HRM as a link between the team, management and the business itself is undeniable.
We will still be witnessing the economic and financial consequences of Coronavirus: you might recall the deep economic crisis the world was thrown into in 2008 (well, this is a very subjective forecast of ours).
On the positive side, the economic growth figures after the crisis were much higher than before. In 2008/2009 such strong startups as WhatsApp, Airbnb, Uber, GitHub and many more appeared.
So we are going to overcome this too!
At the moment, the two challenges for nearly ANY business are to:
- keep up the employee productivity
- not lose the current clients
The story is long regarding the latter (and a bit out of HR score in this context), so let’s talk about the first one — How do we keep our employees productive?
- Ensure safety in the current workplace if you are not making the shift to working remotely
- Develop a remote work guide and ensure that it is being implemented thoroughly across the teams
In the process of organizing remote work, a number of expected and unexpected challenges are going to pop, such as:
#1 Organizing the communication effectively
Communication definitely suffers: people experience difficulty in managing time, the communication narrows from team-level down to a two-person model, the team is gradually becoming less aware of each other, and so on, so forth.
Here are some useful steps that HR professionals can undertake to overcome the challenge #1:
✔ ️ Always have a Remote Work Guide, disseminate & integrate it across the whole team. It should be covering all the details, such as “If your message is more than 15 lines, then make a call instead of writing.”
✔ ️ Encourage online team coffee gatherings for at least once a day (it’s 10:00AM for our team, #magnusians love this!). Here it is essential to ask the team about the challenges they are facing, any interesting productivity hacks they have discovered, the articles they’ve read about staying motivated and productive in these difficult times. In short, it is a 15-minute get-together. In the case of large teams (i.e. 100+), discussions can be organized in separate — smaller teams.
✔ ️ Encourage status updates, e.g. — the employee notifies the team when he/she starts/finishes the work, goes to lunch, takes a day off, etc. It is not necessary to send a message each time: there are digital tools (such as Slack) that provide this feature.
✔ ️ Agree with the tech team on the key communication tools the team would need (such as TeamViewer, Krisp, Zoom, Slack, Skype, etc.), ensure that all the employees have these tools at home and are ready to use them.
✔ ️ Encourage the free flow of information, that is, take care that messages from management to the team and back are clear and accessible for all the stakeholders. After all, openness & transparency during hard times make people more team and company-oriented :)
✔ ️ Invest resources to educate managers even more on how to organize work remotely, and ensure proper teamwork during the process.
✔ ️ Follow up to make sure that the guidelines you have sent receive proper attention, for example, talk with the employees who do not follow the rules.
In case you need assistance — HRM specialists from Magnus can guide and help you through this building your all-inclusive Work From Home guide.
These are hard times. We all acknowledge that. And the world around us won’t be the same after what we are now going through. But it’s up to us to make it better later on. We do hope that we will overcome these hardships by staying organized and educated and by educating and uplifting those around us.
Stay safe and sane.
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