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4 Things HR Leaders Have Learned During the Shutdown

As hard as it is to believe, October marks the seventh month of the Covid-19 shutdown, with no real end in sight. Rather than the full business and lifestyle “reopening” that was originally envisioned, the world is adjusting to a new normal, marked by both challenges and opportunities as the shift is made to a different way of living and working.

We’ve all learned a lot during this surreal year. For HR leaders, this means:

  1. An increased sensitivity to employees’ emotional well-being.

Leaders have an important role in establishing order and direction in times of crisis. Your own sense of calm and focus will help ease the anxiety of others.

  • Provide resources such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help people cope and manage stress. Let employees know you will check in with them regularly to see how they’re doing. Convey that your company will prioritize their health, safety, and peace of mind, and clearly explain any policy or other business changes.
  1. Bolstering team members as they make financial ends meet.

The shutdown has resulted in unprecedented numbers of laid-off employees, furloughed or working reduced or unpredictable hours. For many, especially those who already may have lived paycheck to paycheck, it’s become a frightening challenge to make ends meet.

  • Promote financial wellness. No one can truly succeed if they are facing hardship. This kind of stress never turns off. It affects everything in their life, inside and outside work.
  1. Embracing and fast-tracking new technology.

Your company may already have had remote workers – and the tools they needed – before coronavirus struck. Now, it’s become necessary to embrace digital technology. While this hasn’t been easy for everyone, it will likely be one positive takeaway from the current crisis.

  • A key HR solution is virtual recruiting. Technology is readily available to help minimize exposure while still attracting top talent. This includes video interviewing software – which allows you to connect in seconds and increase productivity due to its ease and flexibility – and more.
  1. Raising communications to a new level.

Working with your communications team and senior leadership, determine the tone, frequency, and media platforms to reach both your remote and on-site employees.

  • Build trust and a sense of mutual purpose for the future. As you communicate, make employees the focus of your messages. In addition to speaking decisively on business developments, reassure people, and address their emotions directly. People will have experienced different levels of trauma and loss in recent months. Acknowledging and sensitively addressing them helps them to build resilience.

To become the best HR leader possible as you move forward in today’s new world, learn from the best: the staffing and talent management experts at PrideStaff Modesto. We’ve been supporting Modesto and Stanislaus County businesses for more than 30 years, with customer loyalty in the top 2 percent in the entire staffing industry. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you and your company.

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