It’s our 60th Day on total lockdown. When we first begun our work from home schedules, many were sceptical regarding the long weeks of lockdown ahead of us. So, productivity levels and employee engagement dipped until we realised that we were in this for the long haul. COVID-19 has affected our livelihood and business and we’re nowhere to close to getting out of the woods yet. Bu we are still very slowly beginning a transition into our offices. So here are three things HRs need to focus on.
- Employee Well-Being
- Learning & Development
- Evaluation & Feedback
This has been BIG consideration for companies globally. Never before have employers given this much focus and attention to the mental health and engagement of their employees. This itself has proved to be a solid achievement for business amidst the pandemic.
However the key part is to sustain these practices. Your dedication ensures employee engagement and assures them their safety is vital as a percentage of your employees return to work. Employees highest concern at the moment is health, and they are very unlikely to risk coming into work in a space that is unsafe.
It is wise to send out a pulse survey to understand how your employees feel about returning back to work. Use this survey to learn about their expectations once they do return. How did they feel about their work from home experience? What worked? What didn’t?
Make Sure Your Employees are Informed with:
- Contacts of Counsellors and Psychologists
- Coping Mechanisms and Routines to Alleviate Stress
- Open Door Policy (Via Zoom / Phone Call / Email) – Employees should feel comfortable talking to their Managers regarding Mental Health
- Offer Live Sessions with Experts (ie: Mental Health Education; Yoga session)
- Encourage Healthy Routines in Weekly or Bi-Monthly Newsletters
Mental health for employees in this time is critical. Make sure all your employees are aware of the proper channels to seek out external help. Facilitate more team discussions and casual meetings. Consistent sociable settings will boost moods and alleviate symptoms of depression.
Remember, it is highly likely that some of our offices will have to revert back to work from home procedures should the spread of COVID-19 increase. If this happens, your team must be prepared. The first thing to do is to ensure your employees are educated on mental health and well-being. Several times employees are unaware that they may be facing issues.
Employees should know their success will not be evaluated in the way it has been in the past. Things have changed and employees shouldn’t feel pressured to deliver the same as before. So as soon as employees return, reset goals, achievements and revisit KPIs.
Learning & Development
This is possibly the most problematic yet the most important aspect for companies at this time. Learning & Development has long been a strenuous topic for HRs. This department receives high budget allocation but relatively poor learning retainability.
Employees spend hours at a workshop or completing online trainings, but only a small percentage of them are actually benefiting from this experience. Companies continue to spend millions on this as new employees coming in want to see L&D opportunities and it gives companies a reputable image.
To become pioneers of the digital and economic transformation, companies need to successfully upskill their existing talent pools with the skills that are in demand right now. However, the educative methods of L&D sessions are currently outdated. According to a LinkedIn study, 82% if Indians are aware of the need of upskilling. Furthermore, 45% of them left organizations that offered poor growth opportunities.
This was before COVID-19. Now, employees are much more aware of the skills they don’t yet possess. Scaling-up your L&D strategy is crucial to retain your strong employees and strengthen younger talents.
Here are just a few ways to modernize your L&D:
- Mobile Learning: Everyone has access to a mobile these days, find applications that allow learning on-the-go.
- Gamification: This is the new hot thing right now. If you can gamify learning, you will see results faster and motivate more employees.
- Multi-Source Learning: Using a variety of different mediums from videos to discussion forums to social to podcasts. This will also enable knowledge sharing.
By implementing these strategies, you’re giving employees different options to grow. Over 60% Indians say that time is the biggest obstacle. With a modernized L&D approach, you can give employees personalized alternatives. This in turn leads to elevated employee engagement.
Evaluation & Feedback
So when we talk about feedback & evaluation, we are really discussing two separate things here. The first is evaluation to and from your existing employees. The second is an feedback to your unsuccessful job candidates.
Feedback is crucial at this time to maintain an productive ecosystem. And the two forms of feedback listed above is the way to accomplish this. Since our operations and goals are transforming, consistent or frequent feedback is necessary for everyone to stay on the same page. This does not need to be in the form of formal appraisals. If you manage a large team, assign team leaders to smaller teams who can manage this feedback loop.
Sample Questions to Ask:
- What are your primary personal concerns at this time?
- What motivates you to work?
- On a scale of 1-10, how challenged do you feel with your current responsibilities?
- What can we be doing more as a team to support you?
- Is there something we’re doing as a team that really works or doesn’t work?
- What areas do you think you need to improve upon?
- Do you feel like you’re developing professionally?
If you are a recruiter one sure way you can add value to your active hiring procedures is by giving feedback to unsuccessful candidates. Hiring managers are always scrutinized over not offering constructive feedback to candidates. Feedback improves applicant engagement, and after improving on themselves they will be more likely to re-apply. So if hiring managers across industries were to give feedback, it would foster a higher quality job market.
Give Specific Feedback on
- Interview Skills
- Skill Development
- Professional Attributes
In this time of uncertainty, feedback is vital for employee engagement. Employees are confused and concerned about their job performance and future. Job seekers have just been laid off and are struggling to find work. A small but fruitful way to ease anxiety is by offering periodical evaluation. For existing employees, their feedback regarding their responsibilities, the team and the company can go a long way as it will help us improve our products and services.
Well-being, Learning and Evaluation are going to the the major points for any HR teams to focus on. Therefore, key decisions will need to be made regarding this that will benefit the overall productivity of the company as a whole. Employee health and growth must be put on priority over crunching numbers and raising revenue streams. Satisfied employees will ensure your business stays afloat and successful even during pressing times.
At GetWork, our main priority is to provide college level candidates with significant learning opportunities. If your company is hiring or are looking for interns, visit getwork.org to learn more.