Organizations across the globe are in turmoil, and they’ll need their workforce to function at maximum capacity to survive. Meanwhile, employees are struggling mentally and physically because of the stress a pandemic brings and are trying to muster up the energy to get their work done.
HR is key to managing all of this.
You, HR, are in a unique position to build trust with staff while simultaneously pushing them to meet strategic long-term objectives – and your organization will need to lean on your ability moving forward.
HR, you are also in a unique position to manage this pandemic because you’re especially equipped to deal with crisis. Let’s face it, regular, pre-COVID days were sometimes (dare I say, most of the time?) high stress and feeling crisis-y.
Here are four areas I know you’re focusing on right now, making you uniquely valuable right now.
Employee success and, in turn, business continuity. You keep employee anxiety down and trust in leadership up. You can bet that employees who lost income due to layoffs or furloughs will seek ways to regain it, and a plaintiff’s attorney is an easy route for them to take. You’re doing everything you can to prevent this.
Compliance. You’re ensuring the organization is 100% compliant now and in the future. Compliance keeps you out of trouble, but COVID-safety compliance sends the message your organization cares about employee well-being. Bonus: it keeps your organization away from bad press, and you’ve got some material for your employer branding.
Employee-centric perspectives and communication. In crisis mode it’s easy to cut costs related to perks, hours, or benefits. While preserving cash is important for long-term survival, employees are going to reach their own conclusions unless you’re transparent. You’re ensuring decisions, and communication about them, are employee-centric.
High productivity and low negativity. You’re ensuring employees feel their mental well-being is cared for, and your loyalty to them will translate into their loyalty for the organization. Culture initiatives may also increase employee retention once this is all over – employees will remember the way they were treated during difficult times.
A new normal is coming and at the end of the day, everyone has an important role from lower level employees all the way up to senior management. In fact, we made a one-pager for you with all the various roles being played.
You’ve been preparing your whole career to manage crisis on a large scale, and you can make a huge difference in the success of your organization now and in the future.
You got this.
To help, my team and I put together a webinar entitled: BEYOND SAFETY: Reopening & Rebuilding Your Workplace with Employee Needs & Organizational Culture in Mind.
It’s on June 16th, and you can register here.
We know there’s a ton of information out there on regulations and safety, so we’re not going there. This webinar is about reopening with core values, emotions, and people in mind.
Catherine Mattice Zundel, CEO
PS. I’m going to lay out some tips for your communication plan as you reopen, share some insights on your employees, and discuss infusing your culture with safety.