5 Essential Post-Pandemic Ways to Support Employees
We know, we know. Post-pandemic? We wish. As the Delta variant surges, we in the business world feel a bit like Hercules battling the Hydra. Each time one head of the nine-headed beast was cut off, two would grow in its place… It has started to feel the same way with the variants of COVID-19.
While we are amidst our raging battle against COVID and its impacts, it is crucial that we support our employees. We’ve been eager to learn from the experts (and our peers) about how they’re using technology to support their employees, especially in this liminal space between variants and the “new normal.”
When the pandemic hit, companies pivoted fast and hard to remote work. This brought with it manifold changes to support the new normal: From formally relaxing remote work policies and allowing longer breaks so that parents could manage their children’s needs during the work day, to sending employees ergonomic equipment to ensure that their WFH was comfortable and did not cause any more stress on the body than the pandemic has brought on its own.
Here, then, are five strategies we’ve heard about that can help your workforce rebound from COVID-19. Needless to say, they’ll help your company emerge in better shape, too.
Fill in the gaps and backfill the changes
The pressures of the pandemic forced many teams to work with less than they were used to. Expansive lay-offs, followed by a difficulty in rehiring, means that teams are running lean right now. Support your troops by remembering that each contributor has been running on low, and start your rehiring process in full force.
But the hiring process, like so much post-pandemic, is not what it used to be. Make sure you know how to support the full applicant lifecycle with remote tools that allow you to find the best candidates, no matter where they are.
Invest in feedback
With lots of changes in the air, one of the most important things to do is to listen. How are employees doing? Cultivate an environment where check-ins are the norm, and make sure managers go beyond “How are you doing?” Understand how employees are coping with the changes. Beyond strengthening the support between managers and employees, consider short, “pulse surveys” to find at-a-glance information on employee wellness.
Re-think tools for measuring employee output
When we pivoted to remote work over a year ago, companies helped their employees stay focused and track their work with new tools. Clocking in and out became only one among many different methods to track employee output, and with the transition to remote, clocking in and out stopped making as much sense. New ways of ensuring focus and tracking progress have proliferated. Help your employees manage their time and creatively think about what that looks like.
Over-communicate the resources you’re making available
Resources for employee mental health have been top of mind for many HR professionals this past year. We’ve seen experts in the field do some amazing work, from making available management trainings to support employees in crisis, to creating employee mental health employee resource groups.
Creating programming around mental health is the first step, but with the pervading stigmas around asking for help, many employees simply don’t know about all of the resources that are available to them. Making these resources known, both through company wide emails, all-hands announcements, and in one on one check ins ensures that the hard work you put in to your programming is paying off.
Automate everything – and make sure it scales
With everything headed towards a more remote-working world, automation is more important than ever. The in person interview? If not a thing of the past, certainly getting less and less common. More common is the virtual interview, the e-signed I-9, the in person request for reimbursement.
Processes that were previously manual, like HR checklists, new hire paperwork, and reimbursement requests are likely to stay online after the pandemic. Not only is it crucial that you have a way to stay compliant in a remote world, but it is crucial that your automation is scalable.
As more and more processes are added to your tech stack and your filing cabinets shrink to files on the cloud, it is critical that you have a system in place such that your processes are handled by the same automation platform and/or suite of software solutions.