Covid-19 has swept the world in a matter of a few months and has changed millions of lives. The entire world is struggling to adapt to the changes in new normal as there are shifts in the workplace, people are dealing with the financial crisis, mental trauma and health problems. The pandemic has crushed down the economy and affected the mental condition of the employees which made HR role more difficult to keep everything aligned and in place. The issue of stress at work is being reported much before the outbreak but the emotional and financial impact caused by coronavirus has worsened the level of stress.
Businesses are struggling hard to maintain their position in the market while ensuring to incur minimum losses. The morale of the employees has been dwindled to trickle which is affecting the productivity of the business. In this scenario, it is the job of the HR team to provide emotional support to its employees and boost their motivation while ensuring to increase the productivity of the business. Here are a few challenges which HR team faced during covid-19:
- Employee well being and mental health
This the biggest problem that existed in post-covid time also and the HR team had to manage various stress management programs, health benefits and time flexibility to overcome these issue. Now the scenario has worsened as the employees are suffering from mental and physical breakdown due to the virus which has frustrated the employees resulting in an increase in stress level. The main reason behind this frustration is the imbalance of work and personal life. Earlier there was a segregation of the workspace and personal space that allowed employees to manage time without overlapping their duties but now as everything has merged, it becomes impossible to perform duties which cause frustration. The HR team has to create a balance which will ensure employee engagement and satisfaction.
- Employee Communication
Communication is a crucial part of any business or organisation. Ensuring proper communication is a challenging part whether it is working remotely or not. Without the right channel of communication, it becomes difficult to manage the workforce. As work from home has become a norm, it is quite a task for an HR to ensure proper implementation of tools for employee communication. Employees are working from different places and even in different time zones making it difficult for HR to align their way of communication. It is important for a senior manager to connect with all the employees at least one time in a day so that they feel part of the organisation. HR managers have to bring in transparency in the organisation which will increase employee motivation and loyalty.
- Employee Engagement
Working remotely has brought down the motivation of employees resulting in less employee engagement. Employees are becoming lethargic as they are unable to create a balance between work and personal life. Employee engagement is a challenge in itself and maintaining that in crisis becomes the biggest challenge. It is difficult to follow a routine, maintain a systematic workflow and ensuring that everyone is working in the work hours. It is important for an HR manager to arrange daily meetings among team members so that they feel part of the organisation and increases their productivity which the ultimate goal of the company.
- Crisis Management
The pandemic has caused a worldwide crisis to humankind and affected the economy of the country. Many businesses have seen a financial crisis during this outbreak and still have not recovered from the losses. Most of the organisations did not have a remote working facility that caused them heavy losses due to the pause in their functioning. This lack of agility in HR is the reason behind the deprivation. The HR team have to be more quick and adaptive to changes in new normal to combat the crisis and does not let lockdown affect the functioning of their organisation.
- Future Plans
As an HR manager, one should be prepared with a bunch of plans for any uncertain scenarios faced by the organisation. This is the most challenging task to unfold the uncertainty that the future holds for us and uncover the measure to survive in those moments. Taking into consideration today’s scenario, no one knows when this pandemic will get over and when everything will be back to normal? When we will be able to work together in a physical workplace instead of working from home but until then the HR managers have to be prepared for all the odd scenarios that might affect employees and the organisation.
Even though the pandemic is over, there will be a change in the workforce. The covid-19 phase has set examples for future HR professionals around the world to build effective crisis policies and framework because this is the biggest crisis that the world could ever face.