HR Management During COVID-19 Pandemic

By. Dr. Flor M. Glinoga



Almost all of us were caught unprepared to tackle the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Employers and employees are all worried about health & safety, business continuity and revenue. Given this and should there be business continuity even during the pandemic, it is necessary that we adjust to the new normal and find new ways of HR Management during the COVID-19 pandemic.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, all companies are affected by economic downturn and are budget-constrained to a varying degree. Many companies are forced to consider a scenario of partial or significant job cuts to weather the storm. Because of this, HR will have many difficult decisions to make. There will be restructuring, layoffs and many difficult human decisions ahead. In addition to address the formal and legal issues on the impact of redundancy during this time of global uncertainty, the following are the genuine concerns of HR:


HR PLANNING


How do I determine who I can keep vs who I might have to let go?

How do I make an HR plan in the light of the pandemic effects in the company?


HR plan should be in place to ensure “critical roles” would be maintained. Each business unit should be asked to identify critical roles. HR can organize roles by category: essential, jobs that can be done on “work from home”, temporary suspension, extended suspension (roles that could be suspended without undue harm to the business), redundancy and lay-offs. We have to plan for possible things that might go wrong as part of our everyday life. In doing this plan, we have to make sure that our programs, designs and people are “designed for resiliency.”


EMPLOYEE RELATIONS


How can I address fears in my workplace?

How can I protect the well-being of employees?


HR understands the priority that human health and safety issues are #1. We need to talk with our employees about planned changes, address their fears, protection of their well-being and seek their inputs. Additionally, we have to collaborate with employees to effectively communicate and implement important health and safety policies and protocols by preventing and reducing transmission among employees and maintaining healthy business operations.


EMPLOYEE TRAINING


What are the training programs to manage changes in the use of on-line resources, work from home, Artificial Intelligence (AI), data-driven technologies, digitization, etc.?


What are the physical and mental wellness programs to be implemented?


Going digital is now imperative and urgent, and that means HR needs to develop and train employees on new digital tools, norms, culture, and behaviors while at the same time, we also need to put more programs focusing on the overall physical wellness and mental health of our employees to cope with the crisis.


In view of the above-mentioned functions and in this particular global crisis, HR are the heroes of most companies.


About the Writer:

Dr. Flor M. Glinoga is an internationally recognized Management and Human Resource Consultant. She holds a BS Degree in Psychology, M.A./Ph.D. Degree in Clinical Psychology, and a Masters in Development Management. She completed her certificate course on Project Management at Wharton School of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, and USA and has 30 tears of varied work experiences in the government, private, non-profit organizations as well as in foreign and international companies. She is a trainer, coach, and a career counselor to employees or organizations, especially those undergoing organizational and personal change. She has worked with the industrial sector, private and government agencies for the Institutionalization and sustainability of the company employee relations programs.

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