It is starting to feel like old news now, but the state of the business world has completely changed. We can’t stress this enough - the business plans and strategies for 2020 have been thrown out the window and we are left to figure out how to be successful in this new world. While some of us may be finding our place in this new environment, others are still feeling the painful effects of COVID-19. Many businesses will be going through phases of restructuring their workforce. Your departments may look different, your employees job tasks may look different, your policies and procedures may need updating. Much of this restructuring will fall on the shoulders of your HR department. This can quickly become an extremely stressful and difficult time for those employees, especially if your HR department has also been downsized or restructured.
What is the current state of the HR world? Your HR department has always been the go-to for your employees any time they had questions or issues in the workplace. Now, everyone has questions! All employees are dealing with returning to work, returning to the office, working under new conditions, fearing for their safety, etc. Your HR department is going to quickly become the most popular department in the company. Not only are your HR employees facing the fears that everyone else is facing, they are also responsible for putting the rest of your employees at ease all while staying up-to-date on all new policies, laws, and regulations.
Some areas that your HR department will need to be dealing with are:
Deciphering and implementing new laws and policies - This is going to be a huge task for your HR employees. There are tons of new laws and policies surrounding employee sick time, paid leave, emergency FMLA, EEOC, COVID-19 testing requirements, PPE, social distancing, etc. It will be up to your HR department to know about each of these new policies in order to keep your company compliant with them.
Updating your employee handbook - Based on the above mentioned new laws and policies, your employee handbook will need to be updated to reflect these changes. Your employees will also have to re-acknowledge receipt of the updated handbook and this acknowledgement should be placed in the employee’s personnel file. This, again, will be up to your HR department.
Office space configuration - With social distancing comes some reconfiguration of your office spaces. The HR department will know the policies on social distancing and PPE requirements in your area, so they will be responsible for making sure your office is complying.
COVID-19 testing - If your company is implementing employer-based testing, your HR department will most likely get this set up and maintain the records of your employees’ test results.
This may sound like a lot, and that’s because it is a lot. Your HR department will need all the help they can get. In lieu of hiring a bunch of new employees, and spending a large chunk of your company budget on salaries and overhead costs, you may want to consider getting remote help for your HR department. For more information on our HR Share or HR Gold services, click here. No matter how challenging this sounds, we have already proven to ourselves that we are stronger than we thought and with flexibility, the business world will be better than ever before.