Recently, conversations during our virtual morning coffee chats have included references to illuminating research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “How the Pandemic is Challenging and Changing Employers.” This survey of more than 2,200 human resource professionals reveals just how significantly employers and workers have been affected by COVID-19. Some of these challenges may sound familiar to you, too.
This study has us thinking about how we’ve been problem-solving and rapidly building customized solutions to meet unique needs brought about by these abnormal times. We thought we’d share a few interesting highlights from the SHRM research while giving you a glimpse of how we’re helping clients navigate a new way forward.
Over 7 in 10 employers are struggling to adapt to remote work
Of the human resource professionals surveyed, over 3/4 said their employers are having employees work from home. This shift has been jarring for many, and even the most mobile employees have likely felt some shockwaves. To support healthy adjustment to remote work, over 1/3 of employers said they are providing resources, and 54% are offering additional training or education for employees (24% are considering it).
As many of our clients make quick adjustments to accommodate a newly remote workforce, they’re looking to rapidly ramp up their digital capabilities. For some, this looks like converting 20 hours of in-person training to virtual and eLearning so employees can continue to get the training they need without missing a beat. For others, as they’ve begun reopening or bringing workers back to the office, they need reopening planning support and help developing support strategies for phased openings, along with supporting collateral. Beyond “rapid to remote” solutions, they’re looking for training, processes, and tools that can be adapted for longer-term solutions.
2 in 3 employers say maintaining employee morale has been a challenge
Providing clear, concise, consistent communication directly to employees can help alleviate angst and ensure employees continue to feel connected. Disconnected employees are generally less productive, so it’s no surprise that 35% of HR professionals also responded that their organizations are grappling with changes in employee productivity. Creating tools and training, establishing vehicles for providing information, and offering support can help employees stay engaged, encouraged and motivated in uncertain times. Ensuring employees know you understand where they’re coming from and expressing gratitude are critical to ensuring they feel valued. Our CEO, Ron Doney, has previously shared some thoughts on this topic.
Employers are managing challenges on many fronts as a result of COVID-19. We all might take comfort in the fact that we’re not in this alone. Clear communication, support for employees, and employing creativity in business practice adjustments are the keys to finding your best way forward