It can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel in the middle of a crisis. However, the actions taken by employers today will help to shape how effectively they emerge from the chaos of COVID-19 tomorrow.
During times of uncertainty, having access to reputable, regularly updated information can be hugely beneficial to both employers and employees. Reputable information can ease anxiety and bolster trust.
To help employers through this difficult time, ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll has created a dedicated COVID-19 Resources Hub which contains a wealth of useful information focused on people management, including eBooks and whitepapers, blog posts and presentations.
Informed by the latest research and guided by the practices of top organisations from around the world, our content aims to educate and inspire during this challenging time. Recent examples include our comprehensive eBook on flexible work during times of crisis and our whitepaper on the impacts of COVID-19 on employer brands.
While the world is currently in a state of flux, the foundations of effective people management remain largely unchanged – they may just need to be tweaked to ensure maximum impact in this confusing new age.
Drawing from ELMO’s COVID-19 Resources Hub, here are five tips to help future-proof your organisation so it can emerge in a stronger, more competitive position on the other side of COVID-19.
1. Commit to eLearning and offer continuous training and development
In this article on online courses, we looked at interesting research.
When HR professionals were asked how the COVID-19 outbreak could actually be advantageous to their business, the top response, cited by 34 per cent of leaders, was to view it as an opportunity to re-think the assumptions of their products, services and business model, in order to re-emerge into the market with something new to offer.
The second highest response (cited by 23 per cent of respondents) was cross-skilling employees to add new skills to their repertoire.
Remote, digitally enabled learning has obviously been something organisations even previously reluctant organisations have invested in during social distancing, but eLearning has long been the easiest and most cost-effective way to ensure professional development doesn’t stop, even during a time of crisis.
Indeed, it should be offered continuously throughout the employee lifecycle. That way it won’t just be businesses that emerge with something new, but employees as well. Find out about how ELMO’s Cloud HR allows companies to take maximise the benefits of eLearning.
2. Reconsider your approach to employee communication
It’s telling that over half of surveyed HR leaders (56 per cent) have cited employee communication as a top challenge during COVID-19, according to research from Aon. This is what we discussed in our story about giving employees a voice during periods of uncertainty.
You need to make sure your communication isn’t too much, too little or the wrong type. You also want to make sure it’s delivered through the right channels. Employee communication today requires more than the occasional email. As seen by the rapid increase in the use of Zoom and similar video conferencing tools, as well as the use of instant messaging and social media as communication channels, employers are paying close attention to channels used by employees outside of work.
This “consumerisation” of technology will continue to shape and inform corporate communications beyond COVID-19. Be proactive, be transparent and, most of all, listen to your employees. For information on how our platform enables this, look at its employee communication functionality.
3. Reshape your engagement initiatives
Even during a crisis, the core elements of employee engagement must be adhered to. These include providing a safe workplace, providing sound leadership, being clear on objectives, providing career development and future growth, offering fair remuneration (read how ELMO can make remuneration more strategic), and acknowledging a job well done.
However, there are new elements to introduce or emphasise. These include:
- Assessing your employees’ need for support. From issues around workplace health & safety (WHS) to general morale and mental health. Different levels of support are required for remote employees and these levels may change constantly. Our resources hub has a great article on the questions you need to ask your remote staff. But you should also be getting a wider sense check. ELMO’s employee engagement and pulse survey offering is a key part of the appeal of its integrated cloud solution, and are one way to assess how people are coping.
- Reinforcing company values. These values are essentially your “North Star” – something to aspire to in good times and bad.
- Tailoring recognition to acknowledge employee efforts. This can be done with public acknowledgment or social recognition, offering tokens of appreciation, such as gift cards, or providing development opportunities.
- Driving engagement via innovation. Ask employees to speak out about what’s working and what’s not working and encourage them to offer solutions to improve the situation. Remember that innovative ideas don’t always have to be game changers; even smaller process improvements can keep innovation alive
3. Consider HR technology
All of the above is impossible to achieve if your HR team is buckling under the burden of administration.
Our guide on how to sign documents during social distancing can help, but the issue is larger than administration. HR managers say they lose an average of 14 hours a week manually completing tasks that could be automated. More than a quarter (28 per cent) waste 20 hours or more, according to CareerBuilder. Think about what you could do with that reclaimed time! Automating tasks and streamlining workflows is the only way HR professionals will have the time and resources to devote to ensuring the workforce is ready for future challenges.
5. Embrace the possibilities of data and predictive people analytics
Technology is only becoming more impressive. And while it sometimes isn’t everything you would want it to be (as our guide to making Zoom meetings more secure reveals), other times it very much is.
One of the major benefits of HR technology is that it finally gives HR professionals access to meaningful data and analytics – and provides the means to easily interpret that data. Predictive people analytics can help you make more informed choices about your workforce.
Analytics can also be used to predict future trends, present alternative scenarios and make recommendations – all of which are vital to effective workforce planning, both now and in the future.
Read up on how ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll can enable HR professionals to wield powerful predictive people analytics that will give them crucial insights they can take to company leaders.
How ELMO can help
ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll can help HR professionals manage their workforce, even while operating remotely. As a cloud-based solution, ELMO helps employers manage their teams from anywhere at any time from a secure, centralised location. All employee-employer touchpoints are covered by ELMO’s suite, from ‘hire to retire’. This includes recruitment, onboarding, performance management, payroll, rostering/time & attendance, learning & development, and more. Just as critically, our latest module, ELMO Connect, offers instant messaging functionality and integration with Zoom video conferencing – perfect for maintaining employee communication and collaboration. For further information, contact us.