Best HR Practices in Times of Crisis

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Crises are oftentimes unfortunate, unexpected situations that coerce business owners to address operational structures and processes that may need to be re-evaluated during and/or post-crisis. A great example is the most recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. HR teams are oftentimes perceived to solely handle employment contracts and administration. However, in times of crises, your HR department plays an integral role toy our business’s survival and success.


Best HR Practices in Times of Crisis

Transparency. The first question that usually surfaces in the wake of a crisis is job security. Employees are oftentimes concerned about their job security, and in the instance of a global health crisis, their well-being. Employers should remain transparent about any changes to day-to-day operations, prompt responses to inquiries, and important business decisions that may affect employees.


Communication. The best way to address crises is to remain in control and ahead of communications. If there is a pertinent announcement about government financial assistance, you should be one of the first people to communicate that to your clients. If there are legal HR and compliance changes or updates resulting from the crisis, you should be one of the first people to communicate that information to your clients. If there are internal changes or updates within your organization, take the time to write a genuine communication explaining the W’s (who, what, when, where) of the situation.


Organizational Structure. Priorities and roles are undoubtedly going to change. From layoffs to permanent business closures, staffing needs and existing roles will likely change when a crisis hits. These critical situations require appropriate adjustments to organizational structure. This includes updates or revisions to existing policies and procedures that include, but not limited to, legal, HR, benefits, attendance, time tracking, and compliance.


Preparation. In the aftermath of a crisis, businesses should look to the future and prepare for worst-case scenarios. Strategies should include looking at lessons learned from present or past crises and applying those solutions to new or revised crisis response plans, as well as forward-thinking hypothetical situations or questions should an unexpected event occur that significantly impacts your business. Crisis response plans should identify key personnel, outline proper procedures (i.e., operation closures, communications, etc.), and ways to measure the effectiveness of such plans for improvement.


Not sure where to start? Contact Human Capital, your partner PEO. We know how hard COVID-19 has impacted businesses worldwide and we are here to support you and get you back on your feet. Our HR experts are equipped with invaluable resources, industry best practices, and are readily available to assist you with your unique business needs.



15 Surprising Ways HR Can Contribute in Times of Crisis

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