Human Resources Tips for Busy Professionals During COVID-19

The coronavirus and the quarantine have had varying effects on business. One thing’s for sure, if a business is to survive this pandemic, it is going to need the best, most creative work from all of its employees. How can you get that best work when everyone is so stressed out?  Here are a few tips from some human resource professionals who thought they’d seen it all until this came along.

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Communicate Early and Often

Communication has always been important, but it is critical with everyone so far apart. There is a need to keep everyone informed even about things that might seem too basic to mention. Furthermore, employees should have a sense of how well the business is doing and whether layoffs are coming.  Even if there’s no danger of the business going under, employees will feel more secure if they are given regular reports on the company’s financial picture during the pandemic. 

Keep a Sense of Humor

It seems that everyone is having their struggles with technology. There is rarely a perfect conference call, much less Zoom call, where we aren’t coping with a problem. It may be bad reception for audio or video. It may be a coworker who can’t figure out how the system works. There has to be a lot of room for understanding. If we can laugh at the situation or ourselves, we can let go of the stress of this aspect of the new remote worklife. 

Ask How You Can Help

Every employee who is working remotely should be asked early and often if they have enough help to perform their tasks. Good HR managers should know, for instance, if their employee is raising kids or caring for elderly parents during the pandemic.  This isn’t simply out of kindness as some might think. Also it isn’t a sign of weakness as others might suggest. Knowing what is happening with your employees is smart business. It has always been smart to know what stresses them and now is certainly no exception.  

Be Ready to Hire

While some businesses are furloughing, others are hiring, particularly when it comes to technology jobs and to executive leadership.  Now more than ever, a business needs skilled leaders who can steer the ship through these troubled times.  Making new hires at the executive level can be difficult when everything has to be done remotely.  One effective approach is the executive recruitment research system.  This is tailored and targeted rather than broad and overreaching, allowing managers to avoid more expensive recruitment fees. 

Pay Attention to Morale

There may be simple incentives that you can provide to keep morale up.  CNN reports that some companies are renting hotel rooms to allow their stressed employees to get away from home for awhile. Some employers are taking advantage of home delivery services to send a treat box to their employees.  A simple gift certificate to restaurant delivery service is sure to be appreciated.

Talk About the Future

Right now there’s such a feeling of immediacy that we may not want to talk about the future. However, it is important to plan ahead. If you can include your employees in discussions about reopening the offices, you will build a sense of community.  There’s no need to make every decision now, but it will help if your employees know you care about what life will look like when we return to the workplace.