As challenges in our professional and personal lives go, the coronavirus is unprecedented. Increased home working, the need to self-isolate or reduce social contact, plus the worries about health, finances, and the future mean that it’s more important now than ever that as an HR manager, you keep in touch with employees during this difficult time.
As well as that, there will come a time when we return to some sort of normality, so as well as managing the current situation in an empathetic and measured way, it’s important to keep moving forward. Here’s how to maintain business as usual when things feel very unusual.
Managing remote working
In my last blog, I mentioned how looking after your employees’ wellbeing should be at the heart of your response to managing the current situation. This is especially important now that many employees are working from home in isolation and feeling a huge amount of pressure.
Employees will remember how they were treated during this very difficult time, so showing them that you care and that they are appreciated will go a long way, both now and when things return to normal.
Stay in touch
This is so important to reduce feelings of isolation and keep everyone on track. We are fortunate to have access to technology that allows us to touch base with each other, and it doesn’t always have to be about work. Make a point of asking how people are.
Encourage employees to have a routine
Remote working requires a lot of motivation and it’s easy to slip into bad habits if you’re not disciplined as there are so many distractions. Encourage employees to have a set start and finish time, and to schedule in breaks, just like they would if they were in the office. Encourage healthy eating, drinking plenty of water, and taking regular exercise like going for a walk (as long as they are not self-isolating and they maintain a sensible distance from others).
Think about comfort
In the workplace, there are ergonomic assessments and efforts are made to reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries and other musculoskeletal problems by providing employees with ergonomic equipment.
Think about the possibility of employees taking some of the equipment they use home with them, and encourage them to be aware of their own comfort and safety. Slouching on the sofa with a laptop might seem comfortable, but not if you’re doing it for 8 hours per day!
Make sure people feel valued and appreciated
Reward a job well done, just like you would in the office and be sure to thank staff for their patience, understanding, and hard work while this very unusual situation is ongoing. There is no better time to make them feel appreciated and valued.
HR managers: what about you?
As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, at some point all of this will come to an end, so as well as managing this unprecedented situation, you have to keep one eye on keeping things moving forward.
At this point, as HR manager, you’re probably struggling under the weight of all things related to the coronavirus and no doubt the team and manager issues you were dealing with before all of this are getting left. Managers still need help but you just don’t have time to support them, so what should you do?
I can help.
Just because we can’t physically travel or meet at the moment, it doesn’t mean that these issues should be left to fester. I can do virtual 1-2-1s with your managers to help them resolve team issues and keep them moving forward so that they’re ready to build great teams and a more supportive, resilient, and productive workplace when this is all over.
Let me take the pressure off you so you don’t have a backlog of work and a big headache when you return to the office.
Get in touch today to find out how I can help you maintain business as usual (and your sanity) when things feel very unusual.