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Best HR Practices for Workforce Management in the Work-from-Home Scenario

Though telecommuting has been steadily becoming familiar and popular among both employers and employees, the COVID-19 pandemic has turned it into a prominent feature of the new normal.

Companies, organizations, and institutions that have never before tried it (at least not on a large scale) have had no choice but to adopt it to stay operational. Ultimately, they need to survive, if not thrive, despite the economic downturn.

For HR leaders who are suddenly required to deal with remote workforce management in a broader scale (most likely for the first time), the changes can seem intimidating, especially when viewed in the context of a global health crisis. However, everyone eventually adjusts to the new circumstances to ensure that work gets done. It’s a different kind of business as usual, and its success depends to a significant extent on how executives and HR leaders are doing their job to keep things on an even keel.

Here are practices that should be integrated into your remote workforce management strategy:

Regularly share news and status updates.

Both senior leaders and HR leaders are in the position to facilitate a consistent COVID-19 response in their respective organizations. One of HR’s main functions is to provide steady communication between the organization leadership and the employees. One way to do this is to make everyone aware of commonly asked questions and their corresponding answers from management. Organizational dashboards, newsletters, and frequent online meetings are great ways to keep everyone informed.

Facilitate remote employees’ and contractors’ access to information and resources.

Requests for information and resources will increase considerably as employees transition into the work-from-home setup. Everyone will need to be walked through a number of things: the technology on which the new setup runs, expenses, contact information for staff in other departments, etc. One wise move leaders can make is to create a portal where employees are able to access most of the information they need to work productively from home.

Other concerns moving forward will be about lay-offs and furloughs as the company struggles to stay in business, so be sure to have pertinent updates posted on your portals or dashboards.

Be ready to respond to service requests.

Prioritize having a formalized system and workflow for service request management.

Unsurprisingly, some employees will seek to use their vacation and sick days during the pandemic to deal with their respective personal concerns, and some, unfortunately, may be among the confirmed cases. Managers will see an increased number of requests for time off and inquiries about benefits and health insurance coverage.

All leaders must understand the recent legislation such as Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA), which offers new options for paid leave codes. Depending on each individual situation, these new pieces of legislation may benefit the employees as well as the company.

Regardless of the type of leave request, effective remote workforce management involves prompt and accurate processing of these requests.

Review and modify onboarding and training processes as needed.

Large-scale changes in any organization are almost always a valid cause for concern for the newest employees. HR leaders should review their onboarding processes and the necessary modifications that allow employees to continue with their training or onboarding and get whatever support they need while doing remote training work.

Foster employee wellness.

The coronavirus has affected your employees’ lifestyle and habits rather abruptly, and fear and quarantine prohibitions have most likely kept many of them from the gym, their jogging trails, and other places they normally go for social interactions and family get-togethers. Sudden changes such as these can have adverse effects on anyone’s physical and mental health. To prevent this, initiate engaging activities that promote mental and physical well-being, like online pop quizzes or scheduled daily workouts that give employees a sense of doing things with a group.

How’s your company doing things? Any particular workforce management and payroll concerns you want to troubleshoot? Reach out to Payroll Systems. Let’s work together to make sure you’re on the right track toward recovery.

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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.