6 Simple Tips to manage HR Challenges in (COVID-19 Effected) Remote Working
Though only 16% of companies are fully remote, we are all too familiar with the gig workforce, and remote working. According to a recent survey, 44% of companies don’t provide an option to work remotely. The remaining 40% of companies have hybrid offerings with both remote and in-office options.
Most companies offer remote working under special circumstances for a shorter time-span for very few workforces. The occasional once in a week work from home is mostly managed within the team and doesn’t warrant an HR policy change.
When hit with a pandemic such as COVID-19 companies with no-remote-working and hybrid offerings have to make room for extended remote working facilities to almost the entire workforce. After completing the gargantuan task of providing the necessary infrastructure to enable the employees to work from home, then comes the more subtle human resource management aspects of the remote working. It necessitates an HR policy redraft across industry sectors, which would definitely lead to a new HR tech revolution. With new challenges emerges a new technology solution to tackle it efficiently. Unprecedented challenges help us find innovative solutions. Cloud-based HRMS software and Employee Performance Management Software helps you continue your HR operations effectively.
With the COVID-19 outbreak, organizations are looking at providing 2 to 5 months of extensive work from home options for the majority of the workforce. Responsibility of keeping up the productivity and deliverables may fall under team managers or team leads. Nonetheless, HR may face different kinds of challenges with this entirely new scenario. The big question hers is, are HRs ready with tactical plans to douse the conflicts, resentments and help the employees stay engaged and motivated.
Here are the 6 tips on how the HR team can manage the remote workforce during the difficult days of coronavirus pandemic:
1. Redefine HR policy guidelines on attendance, leave and other administrative aspects: Before attempting to redraft the policy, you need to be mindful of the inherent nature of remote working, which is flexible working hours. Your fixed office hours are gone for a toss. However, you need to establish clear rules, parameters, and expectations. You may have experience in dealing with a couple of remote workers. Take a leaf out of that book and try to find policy guidelines that fall somewhere in between control and autonomy.
2. Design specific programs to engage, collaborate and motivate remote employees: Self-discipline is an acquired skill. Employees who are not very much used to remote working may find it difficult to cope with it after the initial euphoria ends. It’s better to have a sustainable game plan to engage and motivate your employees. Sharing how-to blogs on maintaining self-discipline during remote working, collaborating and connecting with your team and colleagues helps your employees get better acquainted with the situation.
3. Regular check-ins with skype call/zoom meetings: When you are not meeting in-person regularly, naturally they would feel distanced and isolated and would feel hesitant to reach you to address their difficulties. Initiate impromptu skype calls with your employees randomly to have a 5-minute chit-chat. Show them you are available for them to solve their issues. Make them realize out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind.
4. Remote work is stressful too – Rope in Online Counselors: Remote work and flexible hours mean they are “always-on”. The line between working hours and personal hours blur. They need the most help because they don’t have colleagues to be a soundboard to hear their work stress, frustrations or support during the dog days. Move your wellness counseling from in-office to online sessions or tie-up with a local wellness counselor.
5. Weekly all-hands meetings with mandatory videos: Insist on weekly all-hands online video meetings with each team. It may give an excuse for them to dress up and provide an opportunity to be vocal about their issues and achievements. Video calls help the employees to see each other and help them bond better. You can observe their body language and reaction during the interactions to measure their interest, involvement or indifference and see what you can do to help them cope up if needed.
6. Official fun channel: Technology comes to your rescue in most difficult times. Be it handling the payroll, leave and other administrative tasks or sending corporate email communication or creating an organization-wide official fun channel in the preferred collaboration tool. Pop-in random questions and initiate a horde of funny responses, gifs, and memes to give them a sense of being and working together. You can bring in small measures, the fun and spirited energy of the office environment.
By staying-in and maintaining social distancing, we can beat the virus and return to normality. Until then with compassion and the help of technology we can support each other and pass through the difficult days.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.
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