How does human resources thrive in the age of social distancing?
Let's talk about technological trends in the industry.
If there were any specialization that depended on social connections the most, it would be human resources. So what happens to them when the world suddenly decides to freeze most social interactions?
Well, that is exactly what HR professionals are facing now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the shutdown of numerous office operations, most HR professionals are facing the challenge of managing their employees amid social distancing.
Looking forward to a tech-savvy HR industry
As soon as physical social interactions became restricted, online social interactions took the spotlight in the workforce. Many companies have resorted to Zoom meetings and Trello board announcements to keep their services running.
However, the needs of HR professionals go beyond these. During this pandemic, they also carry the burdens of making sure employees are safe, secure, and productive while working at home.
If you are an HR professional, here are a few tips on how to cope—even thrive—at your job in the age of social distancing.
1. Embrace remote work as the new normal—make use of apps and software
Face it: You’ve seen this coming. Since the rise of the internet, the workplace was bound to evolve into a more flexible arena. At the very least, the convenience of wireless connection has allowed most employees to work at their own pace, unrestricted by location.
Some of the most successful companies in the world widely offer remote work opportunities. To thrive in the workplace, HR professionals must start embracing remote work as the new normal—even when the pandemic dies down. Meaning, you must start exploring and familiarizing yourself with applications and software that can help you manage employees better.
Here are some online tools you can check out. Every company has different needs, so make sure to study each app or software below to know which one will suit you the best.
If you are seeking to expand your HR team, providing the option for HR employees to work from home will definitely attract more candidates.
2. Maximize digital tools and platforms for recruitment
Treat technology as your friend. Rather than resisting it, welcome all the assistance it offers. For HR professionals, online recruitment is one of the most important things to learn to move forward.
Start out at JobStreet, the top job site in the Philippines. Aside from allowing you to post job ads for a wider audience, JobStreet also has a platform called the SiVA Recruitment Centre, where HR professionals can manage job candidates more easily.
Lessening the time HR professionals spend in weeding through resumes, the SiVA Recruitment Centre creates an easier tracking system for applicants. It allows you to process and shortlist candidates quickly, look through their resumes, invite them for interviews, and collaborate with hiring managers.
3. Take note of employee needs that come with working from home
The COVID-19 pandemic only stressed the importance of healthcare in the workplace—but HR professionals mostly know about this by now. Perhaps, you have even reviewed your hazard and healthcare policies since the pandemic ensued.
Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, there are more measures HR professionals have to remember when going digital. For example, do your employees have a safe and hazard-free working environment at home? Are they surrounded by healthy people, or will they have to tend to sickly relatives? If you are noticing that your employees can’t manage their regular work hours productively, maybe consider giving them flexible working hours instead.
Bonus tip: Take note of institutions that are offering online services. Nowadays, there are online medical and psychological services, health insurance providers, gym classes, and grocery subscriptions. See if there are any digital services applicable to the employees—they will certainly thank you for it!
4. Keep your lines open for reporting harassment cases
Make sure to have accessible channels for employees to report harassment cases when needed. Before the internet, workplace discrimination and sexual harassment issues needed a face-to-face meeting with the HR department. Now, you can utilize technology to make reporting easier and more efficient.
Keep your lines open through various platforms including email, hotlines, Messenger chat, and even anonymous reporting tools. Proceed to streamline your digital protocols, and let employees know about the process.
Bonus tip: Based on JobStreet.com’s Laws of Attraction Data Lab, HR candidates look for good management style in the workplace, aside from the top three drivers (salary/compensation, career/development opportunities, work-life balance). Make sure to prioritize the welfare of your employees, even in the age of social distancing.
5. Stay healthy and stay connected—especially with fellow HR professionals
While your work of supporting employees continues as HR professionals, it is necessary to keep yourself safe and healthy as well. With all the additional HR tasks that have come with this pandemic, it’s important for you to maintain both your physical and mental well-being too.
Connect with your fellow HR professionals and support one another during this time of crisis. Allow yourself to take breaks when you need to. Remember that if you are feeling mentally exhausted, you may absolutely seek online psychological consultations—there are a number of mental health organizations providing free services for employees nowadays.
Even in the age of social distancing, the HR department is much-needed. In fact, HR professionals are needed now more than ever! Grab this opportunity to learn more about the work performances of employees when at home. Allow various online resources, such as JobStreet.com’s Laws of Attraction portal, to assist you in understanding the drivers that motivate both candidates and employees.