Human resources is an evolving industry, constantly requiring maintenance of legal policies and procedures across local, state, and federal levels to ensure company compliance with all employment-related laws and regulations. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has certainly coerced HR to shift gears with changes to working conditions, legal HR changes and updates, and business operations. Here are some of the ways COVID-19 has reshaped HR and how HR can address these issues.
When COVID-19 first surfaced, many companies shifted to remote work environments to take precaution in protecting their workforce. However, as the COVID-19 situation has evolved, so have companies. Many companies are still working remote as COVID-19 case numbers continue to fluctuate nationwide. Some businesses may have roles that are not currently remote, but leaders should look at whether or not these positions can be transitioned to remote.
Businesses who were able to transition to remote work environments may not have remote workplace policies and procedures in place. HR must review and revise remote workplace provisions in the employee handbook and ensure such policies and procedures are communicated company-wide in a timely manner.
Rehiring and Reskilling Employees
As business return to whatever normalcy is these days, they may be looking to rehire employees. While this is oftentimes part of the normal process, it is important to check with your HR representative to ensure all policies and procedures are in compliance with company and government regulations.
For those who cannot or do not wish to rehire employees, an alternative has been to reskill their employees. Both working remote or bringing back furloughed employees can present challenges. Some employers are navigating health and safety-related reskilling, such as handwashing, physical distancing, and public-facing interactions. Other reskilling methods include developing interpersonal skills, critical thinking, and other soft skills to develop stronger, efficient workers.
As remote work is becoming more prominent in the current COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are also beginning to add virtual practices to their new “normal.” Businesses are implementing and updating new training and interviewing processes.
Training. Virtual training can reduce in-person contact, as well as promote upskilling and learning retention. HR specialists can help find tools and resources to develop and maintain continued training courses for employees.
Interviewing. As a business meeting may be conducted via Zoom or Teams, so may an interview. While phone interviews are still quite popular methods, virtual interviews can assist with decreasing in-person interactions, but also allow both candidate and hiring manager a chance to show more of their authentic selves (i.e., body language, facial expressions) that a phone may not capture.
Legal HR issues related to health have included policies regarding paid time off, sick leave, and interviews. These issues can be handled more effectively and efficiently through a robust HR team that can provide the resources and support to handle these inquiries.
Human Capital has a full suite of HR services to address any post-COVID human resource issues that may have arisen. Whether you need to update your employee handbook or make revisions to your remote working policies, our HR specialists can assist you.