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Five Ways COVID-19 is Reshaping HR

While the COVID-19 crisis has seemingly upended the entire world, the light at the end of the tunnel is becoming brighter with each passing day. This is great news for businesses across the country. Yet, in the wake of the pandemic, organizations will need to adapt to a number of fundamental workplace changes.

Human resources teams stand at the forefront of these efforts. This article includes five ways the coronavirus is reshaping HR and how departments can adapt to these new challenges.

1. Greater Remote-Working Opportunities

When nonessential businesses shuttered due to COVID-19, many couldn’t function at all. Only organizations with some remote-capable workers were able to maintain operations. This is spurring business leaders to consider allowing employees to continue working remotely after the coronavirus pandemic eases. Technology giants like Twitter and Facebook have already signaled that they will extend remote opportunities to employees who want them. 

Employers should consider whether there are areas where they can expand their own remote-working roles. Having at least some employees who can work from home enables adaptability if the workplace must close suddenly. Such arrangements can also reduce costs, especially if they allow a business to reduce its office footprint and pay a smaller lease.

2. More Mental Health Benefits

Reopening a business does not erase the hardship endured by its employees during its closure. Employees may still be grappling with mental health issues that can impact their performance as doors reopen. Even workers who were fortunate enough to continue working during the COVID-19 pandemic may be suffering from mental health issues that may cause them to burn out.

Employers are taking steps to reduce the mental health burden of employees. Many are already offering mental health benefits, including counseling and access to health professionals. Some businesses are simply working with employees to accommodate their needs. This may include offering flexible scheduling, reduced work hours or other holistic approaches.

3. Virtual Training Solutions

As remote working has shown, employers are eager to maximize their virtual capabilities. Virtual training is another way they’re doing so. This training is just what it sounds like: employee learning conducted online, through an app or some other virtual platform. With more employees working remotely, this type of training certainly makes sense.

Even employers with no remote workers should consider virtual training. Not only does it reduce face-to-face interactions (critical during a pandemic), but it can also help learning retention. Companies like Walmart, Home Depot and Best Western are already using virtual training solutions. Expect more companies to do likewise in the near future.

4. Virtual Interviewing

Virtual interviewing is the safest option during the coronavirus pandemic, but it will likely remain a popular solution for employers post-coronavirus as well. Interviewing virtually can save time and resources for both employers and candidates, since there is no commute nor meeting space involved.

Virtual interviews can also help employers draw from a larger talent pool, since many people primarily search for jobs online anyway. Many job seekers frequently use websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed and Handshake. Having the ability to recruit from one of these sites, then seamlessly move to a virtual interview, could help employers get the right talent in the door faster.

5. Reskilled Workforces

Worker reskilling is perhaps the most significant way COVID-19 is reshaping HR at the moment. In effect, employees must learn brand new processes, workflows and standards in order to function in a post-coronavirus workplace. These elements may include updated customer-interaction policies, social distancing protocols and even stricter hand-washing guidelines.

Some employers are going beyond health protocols, opting for a more holistic approach to training. Companies like Amazon and AT&T are investing in training solutions to help ensure a more dynamic, capable workforce. Training efforts may include development of social skills, resiliency, critical thinking and other soft skills. By improving these qualities, employers are investing in their workers and, ultimately, providing a better overall product.

Stay Flexible—And Stay Ahead

The impact of COVID-19 will likely influence the HR landscape for many years to come. As more challenges arise and circumstances evolve, employers must adapt as well if they want to stay competitive. To discuss workplace strategies that can help keep you ahead of the curve, speak with the HR experts at VTC Insurance Group. To reach a VTC agent near you, call 248.828.3377 or visit vtcins.com.

This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.

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