Most of the companies are having trouble adjusting to this new normal i.e., working from home during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Therefore, we now need a complete change in the existing HR functions and duties. In this post, we can see the duties of the HR department and the effective steps taken to handle this change.

We will look into the following topics in this post:

Impact on the HR functionality

The HR department handles many duties and responsibilities in a company.

The main functions of the HR department are:

  • Hiring and Recruiting
  • Training and Development
  • Payroll & Compensation
  • Welfare of the Employees
  • Employee Relations
  • Legal help

Hiring and Recruiting

HR will recruit, screen, interview, and hire qualified candidates. As a part of recruitment, they conduct skill assessments and personality tests. They also have handbooks to explain company policies as well as procedures to new employees.

Training and Development

HR will create training programs for new and already existing employees. They determine the training programs, contract trainers, and monitor the training budget for the employees.

Now they need to identify the changes in different sections as well as the required skill set. HR assigns roles and projects according to one’s skills and outcomes. As a result, you can see an improvement in employees’ skills, goals, and organizational skills.

Payroll & Compensation

HR makes sure that you get salary on time, after all the deductions. They also manage employee pension and other benefits offered by the employer.

HR can also make use of any payroll software like SARAL PayPack to have an automatic payroll process, and they only require less manual work. They can also maintain an Employee portal so that both employer and employees can track their payroll and other services provided by the organisation.

Welfare of the Employees

HR department manages all employee benefits and tracks employees’ leave records. Therefore, the employees will know if they are eligible or not eligible for benefits provided by the company.

Some employees working from home has a full salary and also get paid leave. But it is not the same for the majority of employees. Due to the pandemic, they need time to care for their own health and also for their family.

Employee Relations

The HR department encourages employee participation in organizational activities and maintains the relationship between employees and management. Therefore, promoting communication and fairness inside the organisation.

They also handle disputes between employees and management, as well as between the company and labour unions.

Legal help

The HR try to implement and maintain equal employment opportunity, labour standards, benefits and wages, and working hour. They also look into workplace harassment and other discriminations faced by the employees.

The company’s response to the needs of employees will impact the company’s reputation and brand value. To handle the above duties is not an easy task as it can be too much for the HR department.

Now let us see how the HR department try to handle their duties amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

5 Effective steps taken by the HR department

Employees usually expect more empathy from the companies during a period of uncertainty and vulnerability. HR can either make their anxiety worse or less. So, HR must take steps to build and maintain trust between employers and employees.

Some effective steps are HR can take are:

I. BETTER COMMUNICATION

The pandemic impact on companies results in working from home and less travel. Therefore, direct communication between employees and between employer and employee is not happening. Communication and teamwork can be lost if employees don’t communicate. This will indirectly impact their productivity and mental health.

You can do the following to improve your work relations.

  • Email, messengers for communication, calls, project management tools, and screen-sharing / video calling for engaging with clients.
  • Online team sessions to make sure that employees will work with the same goals, stay focused, and feel supported.

II. CHANGE IN POLICIES

Companies should reconsider their work from home policies. As schools and daycare are closed, flexible working time is ideal as they need to take care of their family too.

Manage employees only on outcomes, deadlines, and KPIs. Outputs should matter more than the number of hours online/working as flexibility is an absolute necessity.

For employees who come into the office to work, arrange shifts according to their comfort.

III. RESTRICT TRAVEL

Many companies limit employees who travel for business purposes. The companies are taking steps to limit non-essential travel, particularly to the affected area. Some are canceling employee off-sites as well as meetings.

IV. PROVIDE EMPLOYEE SUPPORT

Ensure that employees are all fully informed of the plans taken by the company. HR should review the sick and employee leave policies, including extended sick day allowances for employees. Consider a plan to extend sick days, so that employees can stay home.

Creating support groups with experienced remote-work employees can help others cope up with this new situation. Employees face various difficulties regarding remote work, as well as family adjustments creating stress and uncertainty.

Employees will look for guidance from their employers. So, having a plan will ensure you can address some of their concerns.

V. REMOTE WORK & NETWORKING

Remote work is possible with cloud services like Google’s G Suite from anywhere. So, employees can access data from their computers at home.

Companies now invest more in technology to make remote work possible. It has now become a necessity to keep their businesses running.

While employees use corporate VPNs to access their office networks, but it will need more network bandwidth and expanded hardware to encrypt the connections.

Thus ensuring a smooth as well as an efficient working environment for the employees during this new normal.

These are the few possible steps to tackle some negative impacts of remote working on HR. Hope you find this information useful.

With that, we have come to an end of this post on impacts on HR. Share your views with us in the comments below.