With over 30 years of providing HR services, we've put together a guide of best HR practices during this trying time.
Communication is key. Not only should HR distribute guides to educate employees about Covid-19, but they should also provide a constant stream of accessible company updates. Whether the platform is email, Zoom, chat groups, text messaging, etc.every single employee should have accurate and updated information sourced directly from their company. Nothing is more frustrating than hearing you might not have to go into work from Chad in Accounting, who heard it from Grace in Marketing, who assumed it from watching the news. Even if the company hasn't made a certain decision yet, sending out a brief memo that puts rumors to rest is very necessary during such an uncertain time.
Implement flexible working arrangements, time off, and benefits. Allowing employees to work from home is the best way to prevent spread throughout the company. WFH also prevents the possibility of transmission during commute. If WFH is not possible for your industry, the implementation of preventative measures, like face masks and hand sanitizer, is not only necessary, but is also basically humane. In addition, further investment and consideration in your employees' mental health is vital during this unstable time. Being proactive and understanding is just part of it; also consider telehealth benefit options.
Use technology to avoid human contact. If there's one bright side to this pandemic, it's that it's taking place during a time of especially advanced technology that is widely available (about 313 million Americans have Internet access). So, use Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, etc. to communicate and collaborate.
Make important HR processes easier and safer. Automated machines, like HR Bazaar, allows your workers instant access to health plan information, pay stubs, W2s, and much more right on their smartphone or desktop. Equipped with robust reporting, the virtual assistant includes all the necessary components to keep your employees, and your company, on track during this outbreak.
Know your legal obligations. In America, employees are protected under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. If an employee becomes infected at work, in some circumstances the employer may face penalties. Unprepared, or unyielding, employers may be exposed to lawsuits related to workers' comp, invasion of privacy, unfair labor practices, negligence, etc. Of course, with careful attention to employee safety and legal preparedness, companies can minimize employee risk and their own legal risks.