Delivering on HR

14. May, 2020

Article:
HR and LIFE AFTER COVID-19

How quickly it crept upon us, swarmed up and literally swallowed us all up in a matter of months. Now, that is all we can talk about as our lives are enveloped by COVID-19. With almost half a million dead around the world and more than 8 million affected, all our lives are being turned on its head. Besides being a health pandemic, it is also an economic shutdown with a depression looming. What a calamity!

None of us were ready for it. Not the hospitals, doctors or the businesses. There aren't sufficient hospital beds, protective equipment, ventilators and the list goes on. Businesses weren't prepared for the downturn and the layoffs and the hit to the supply chains. All of us literally had to scramble to put our house in order and start working from home, all in the space of 2 weeks.

Just as it came upon us, in a matter of 3 or 4 months, hopefully, it will all be behind us soon. Will all of us be ready to re-build our businesses and get the operations all back to the “New Normal”. How ready will your business be to get back to business? How many of your staff can continue to work from home? Can you cut back on office space and save some rental? What is the role HR can play to facilitate the move back from a virtual space to the “real” office space?

Do some of the policies have to be re-written or re-assessed to reflect the “New Normal?” Like leave, particularly sick and parental leave. Personnel who might have had to take pay cuts to assist the business to stay solvent, or those who have had to take no pay leave. What about the employees who have been stood down, when they are re-hired how will their service be accounted for? Do you have to re-train managers and executives to work through this transition for the re-entry? How would they coach their own staff over this transition? Then there is the question of performance management? What if someone is not performing, would you terminate someone virtually? There are many questions and much preparation and you should not underestimate all these as we need time to prepare so that when it happens, we will be ready as it is crucial to keep the engagement levels high. Its very easy for staff to feel disengaged and before you know it their resumes will be floating all over and to the best recruiters. We need to start preparing now for the re-entry as before you know it, August and September will be here.

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