More than ever, HR and other organizational leaders will need to chart a new path for employees as they deal with the impact and aftermath of the COVID pandemic. Consider focusing now on these areas:
- Bolstering company morale. Live meetings, office pop-ins, luncheons, and other events may not be possible for quite a while. You need to identify other ways to engage people and make them feel valued, appreciated, and secure. Realize that while some virtual activities will be useful to connect people, things like a virtual happy hour may not be fun for everyone. Use a variety of ways to reach out, check in, and say ‘thanks.’ E-gift cards, personal email messages, special training programs, new devices (such as tablets), stay-safe kits (with hand sanitizer, lotion, tissues, and other items), and book clubs are some options.
- Look at remote work. Before you bring everyone back to work, capture the lessons you’ve learned from the remote work experience. Determine if any staff will be able to continue to work from home. Outline the perimeters for this. Make them fair and equitable. Make sure everyone is clear about the rules. Be prepared for the fact that some workers may not want to come back to the office and determine in advance how you will handle those situations.
- Reconsider tech needs. Assess what technology was most valuable during the pandemic and what new devices or other high-tech tools will be necessary or useful moving forward. Create a short- and long-range plan for technology so you need get caught by surprise if a second wave of COVID or other crisis hits.