The pandemic turned everything about the world of business upside down, and the post-pandemic period promises just as much change, if not more.
As you rethink your business operations, don’t forget about the HR department. HR is the backbone of any successful business, as they help you manage your talented team. Post-pandemic, HR is going to need to adjust to better support both your team members and your business.
Here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect to see in the HR department in the coming months.
Adapting to Permanent Flexible Work Arrangements
Remote work and flexible work arrangements took off in the last few months. Many employees have been demanding increasing flexibility in the last few years, so it’s unlikely that everything will just go back to “normal” after the pandemic.
HR will need to deal with the reality that flexible work is here to stay, even after social distancing and lockdown measures are in the rear view mirror. More employees may opt to work from home more often. Some employees might shift to entirely remote roles, especially as businesses look to save money and downsize their real estate investments to save rent or mortgage payments.
Smaller offices will also mean smaller teams in the office. Some employers may allow employees to alternate between working from home and the office, while others will adjust to new norms around “shifts.” Some places are already proposing four-day workweeks, while others are looking at shortening the workday or introducing split shifts. Some employees might opt to come in early and leave early, while others will show up for work later in the day and work later in the evening.
HR must be prepared for these requests, and they’ll need to adjust policies to outline expectations for all team members. Clear policies will keep everyone on the same page.
New Compensation Packages
Another shift will be how employees are compensated. Can you pay employees by the hour if they do the same amount of work in fewer hours? Do you have to provide reimbursement for technology or home office upgrades if an employee chooses to work remotely?
Benefits packages will also need to come under review. Employees may appreciate more flexible benefits options, especially in the current context. Getting to the dentist or the optometrist has been difficult. Offering innovative new ways to use benefits dollars, such as allowing your team members to contribute to savings accounts, could be one way of increasing the perceived value of flexible benefits plans.
Don’t forget the importance of mental health here either. Additional support for mental health can be provided through flexible benefits. Consider offering a subscription to an app or allowing team members to use their benefits for counselling or other support services.
The Virtual HR Department
Performance reviews, interviews, and even onboarding activities will now be handled through videoconferencing. There was already a trend toward adopting video conferencing technology for some HR functions, but the pandemic has accelerated this adoption.
HR will need to be aware of the legalities around these kinds of communications, as well as the technological requirements. You should provide training for the HR team in conducting interviews and performance reviews online.
Increasing Internal Communication
HR is also looking at ways to increase internal communication. Communication is even more important in the context of remote workers and hybrid teams, so finding ways to communicate effectively and efficiently is key.
Training for managers who are working with hybrid and remote teams is also important. Technology can be a huge help here as well. A human resources information system is one way HR professionals can ensure they’re keeping lines of communication open.
The HR department will look different post-pandemic, but with good reason. Start preparing now by adopting the technology you need and considering the policies you may require to update to support your team and your business.