When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation early this March, it not only reprogrammed the way people viewed public activities in general, it also altered way that we could work. A new category of careers formed under the title of “essential workers”, and millions around the world transitioned from a regular 9 to 5 at the office to working from home. The “new normal” consisted of precise, repeated hygiene practices and familiarising oneself with Zoom meetings while adjusting to a working life at home. According to Forbes however, remote work resulted in a slew of improvements for the workplace, with a 25% reduction in employee turnover and 77% of employees reporting increased productivity. Companies in this climate are either forced to quickly switch to more sophisticated tools to manage their employees, or to get left behind with their inability to change. These are some of the essential practices every company needs to make in order to cope with a changing remote workforce.
- Upgrading tools and systems to the most updated technology possible. It’s time to turn paper into digital files, dine-in’s to online-based deliveries, and manual timesheets into remote check-in’s. As Human Resources is the backbone of any company, if your business hasn’t transitioned into the use of a digital platform instead, now is the time. “One of the most difficult things about conducting performance reviews at a time when your team has gone remote is that you don’t have as much data as you usually do because you’re not seeing your employees in person”, says Mark Mortensen, associate professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD. Intelligent platforms like HerdHR would solve this issue by offering all of the essential information for any of your employees at a glance of your screen.
- Prioritize the satisfaction of your employees. According to a study of 32 Million LinkedIn Profiles, employees are 34% more likely to stay at the same company for three years or more when they feel empowered by an open and effective form of management. 55% of the case study were more likely to stay if they were promoted, which goes hand in hand with the confidence of empowerment. Graham Lowe, a workplace consultant based in Kelowna, B.C. says that the “reluctance of executives and managers to trust the productivity of staff when they can’t be seen working” is contrary to reality. “If there is anything clear in this pandemic, it’s that most workers have continued to get the job done, even in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis and sometimes without a proper office set-up or reliable internet, and while battling the distractions of kids, pets and spouses at home”, says Lowe. With a digitized timesheet, like that of HerdHR’s, employers would be able to grant their workers the flexibility of working hours that is necessary during these uncertain times.
- Be adaptable to change. Anna Tavis, a clinical associate professor of human capital management at New York University and an editor at People + Strategy, a journal for HR executives says that this crisis could “be a catalyst for changing your organization’s performance culture.” For what it’s worth, the pandemic has presented each business the opportunity to fix processes that weren’t yielding successful results before. Tavis stresses that “this period represents an opportunity to pivot toward a people-focused management system, built around resilience and agility, instead of efficiency and competitiveness at any cost. The former is more sustainable in the long run.”
For business owners, it’s important to keep the reminder that your main objective in handling your employees is no different than before. “You’re still trying to help your employees become as strong as possible,” says Mortensen.