Areas of Focus for HR Professionals
As employers, trade unions and the government work together to safeguard our people and we as HR partners support and prepare our leaders to plan for a phased recovery and gradual return to the workplace, it is critical that we help them understand that their people are their most valuable asset and clear leadership, trust and careful planning over the short, medium and long term is a necessity.
Below some points to focus on in supporting your business and your people.
FOCUS – HR
build a resilience plan for your people resource; focus on health and safety legal requirements including resilience and well-being of your people;
review your operational calendar and forward plan on a medium to long term basis for alternative operational delivery;
review governance for HR procedures and policies; de-risk and implement interim arrangements that address the return to the workplace;
use current situation to ‘pilot’ changes; consider what may become BAU vs temporary/interim operational arrangements;
take the opportunity affording to implement changes pragmatically;
embrace more flexibility around working from home and having virtual teams, for example there are may be some productivity gains that come from not having to commute
factor into your planning activities consultation with your people and their representatives on your return to work plans;
put measures in place to inform your people of changes to work practices – including training (on/off line) and briefings around public health, changes to policies and procedures;
ensure your managers are briefed and able to deal confidently with issues raised by your people;
put in place governance that requires your people to confirm they fully understand the changes in the workplace relating to H & S; sickness absence reporting etc.
encourage upskilling and development in response to the current situation;
understanding strengths and weaknesses of your team;
take advice and guidance from the Government; professional and legal bodies
develop an exit strategy and project plan for coming out from current situation;
develop a contingency plan for a further lock-down or emergency measures;
review lessons learnt and what can be embedded or not in operating model;
consider the impact of ‘survivor syndrome’ for those who were impacted by change in working practices and how they can be supported
Deb Harris, Senior Consultant, Next Steps Consulting