While business has been undergoing a change towards digitization for years now, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a rapid transition for many companies to a workforce that can connect, collaborate, and perform their roles remotely for an extended period of time.
HR staff and the policies they administer have not been immune to this historic workplace disruption and many across the country are looking at what new HR strategies and tools will emerge in a post-coronavirus world.
How will employee management look different in 2021 than it did entering 2020?
For starters, some companies will now have HR policies devoted to detailed guidelines for Zoom (video) meetings that were not relevant just a few months ago.
And making HR’s job even harder in this new landscape is the fact that in the early days of the pandemic, according to cybersecurity company Abnormal Security, scammers were using phishing attacks that masqueraded as corporate HR requesting emergency Zoom meetings with employees about their termination.
As we continue the hybrid of remote work and a return to the office, here are some changing HR strategies that are emerging.
Workplace Policies go Virtual With Employee Input
Companies are finding that employee input is key to creating new work-from-home policies and setting up software platforms to handle everything from new hire onboarding to career development.
“Companies will develop more of a dialogue-led culture where employees will contribute their ideas and suggestions,” wrote Vivek Ranjan in an article for Employee Benefit News.
IBM CEO Arvind Krishna utilized employee feedback to help craft his eight-point pledge recently, which touched upon the human side of remote work.
The pledge included new HR types of issues such as pledging to support “Not Camera Ready” times for remote meetings and a pledge to set boundaries and prevent video fatigue.
HR has been handling issues of workplace behavior for decades and now there are new topics to tackle, especially with remote video meetings bringing work into employees’ homes and personal space.
Krishna even pledged to not comment on someone’s “video quality, lighting, background, wall décor (or lack thereof), workspace size, etc.”
New Team Structures Emerge
The remote work during COVID-19 has convinced many companies that they have the ability now to create work teams that do not need to meet in person.
These virtual work teams could be the wave of the future. In fact, Deloitte says in an article that 70 percent of business professionals “expect the use of online collaboration platforms to increase in the future.”
Ranjan said in his article: “This will create a new hierarchy and a totally new approach to team management and performance measurement.”
HR will need to train employees on new collaboration tools and software for remote training.
Communication Key to Maintain Corporate Vision
Maintaining employee morale and a unified company vision is tougher to achieve when a greater percentage of the workforce is working remotely.
Communication will be key, especially personalized communication for each employee.
Virtual employee interest groups, online “brownbag” talks, digital meet-and-greets and Zoom workshops will have to be crafted.
If HR communication can be employee-centric then it will have a greater chance of meeting the company’s goals.
Digitalization of All Facets of HR
From the recruitment process to employee appraisals to company separation all facets of HR will need to be fully digitized.
HR staples, such as inclusion and diversity training, will need to be fully online and all that new hire paperwork will go a lot smoother when remote workers can “docu-sign” with software vs. printing, signing, and scanning.
The good news is that the digital tools are available to achieve this new version of HR – and 30 years ago it would have been impossible to seamlessly manage a remote workforce and even 10 years ago it would have been painful to handle this pandemic situation without recent advances in Wifi and broadband connectivity at home.
As always, if you need additional assistance and want to learn more about HR strategies, please feel free to contact us at Employer Flexible.