During the current novel Coronavirus pandemic, businesses around the world have had to find new ways of adapting to the crisis.
In a recent article appearing on the Forbes Magazine website, Dr. Timothy J. Giardino has a few ideas for how HR professionals can help their organizations and workers to cope. In addition to following best practices guidelines put out by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), HR managers and staff can help to safeguard company employees and their families. Among Dr. Giardino’s suggestions are:
- Implement Work Flexibility Policies – HR managers have an essential role to play in helping workers and teams to implement company work from home (WFH) policies. In order to allow workers to be able to access company data assets, HR managers, IT managers and company leaders need to work together to protect those assets. By allowing workers to do their jobs virtually rather than face to face, the risk of the virus potentially spreading further can be significantly reduced.
- Put in Place Preventative Measures for Essential Workers – Many companies have workers that are considered essential for day-to-day operations. To ensure their health safety on the job, HR can make sure that hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies such as disinfectant sprays and wipes are made available for workers who must report to a company facility. They can also ensure that arrangements are made so that workers are made aware of and follow social distancing practices called for by the CDC.
- Work with Benefits Providers – HR professionals can help reduce levels of worker stress by working with heath benefit providers and to proactively make workers aware of any employee assistance programs (EAP) that can provide education and sometimes monetary assistance to workers who need help during this time. HR managers can host virtual company meetings or conference calls or place information on employer websites to point workers toward more information.
Now is the time for HR professionals and management teams to consider what will happen after the crisis begins to subside. Will more employees working remotely become the new normal, or will other plans have to be made? Making frequent and honest assessments and then sharing observations between managers, departments and workers can ensure the best outcome possible. HR professionals are uniquely placed to help keep all aspects of their organizations working together during the current crisis and beyond.