Virtual RoundTable “The Learnings & Developments during COVID-19”

July 30, 2020

“The Learnings & Developments during COVID-19”

Adaptation is necessary for our survival.

When COVID-19 started sweeping the world, organisations began creating initiatives to help stop the spread of the disease, addressing the need for social distancing, staggering work shifts, downsizing operations, forced work-from-home (WFH), delivering services remotely and lots of other exposure-reducing measures.

The role of HR has changed dramatically as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has suddenly become a mix of HR and sustainability. From a sustainable business perspective, the priorities have changed and more urgent issues such as digital adaptation, remote working, and crudely, trying to stay afloat. As the pressure mounts to make painful decisions in light of prolonged lockdowns, the one person whose role is central in keeping the company’s key assets, ‘employees’, intact, is the head of human resources.

Speaking to many of our clients over the past 12 weeks, we noticed a commonality in pressure points and issues that had arisen due to the pandemic and the role that HR and HSE professionals were required to take in order to establish BAU for their businesses and their workforces.

Continuing our series of virtual roundtables, Charlotte Perkins, Manager Contracts & Interim – Melbourne and Denise Harmer, Associate Director Melbourne were delighted to host a group of Generalist HR professionals from Government, Legal Services and Financial Services industry sectors. The topic for the virtual roundtable was “The Learnings & Developments during COVID-19”.

Here are the key takeaways:-

Engaging employees in learning and development, as many of us, will continue to WFH.

Globally, many companies had to shift from face-to-face professional interactions to remote work, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And with that, remote workplace learning and development became the new reality. This presented a whole new set of challenges for HR, to create solutions and strategies that leverage technology to meet the learning and development needs, to ensure that employees continued to grow.

Impacts of Remote Working on mental health and wellbeing

Even though this may only be temporary, remote work and flexible arrangements have now become the new norm around the world, giving many businesses and employees the opportunity to experience the pros and cons for themselves. Whilst remote work has undeniable benefits for both the employer and the employee, what we couldn’t foresee is that when extended over long periods of time, as well as when it is perceived as “forced upon” rather than as a benefit, remote working can have the opposite effect.

Creating an environment of connectedness – How to ensure new employees feel connected with colleagues they have never met in person.

Welcoming your new employees in person makes it easy to answer questions, meet team members, and get a sense of how they’ll all interact with each other. But leaders and the new faces they bring in have a new normal, as the COVID-19 coronavirus has forced many employees to work at home. Having no opportunities to bond through in-person meetings isn’t the most ideal situation for a new hire. But there are ways to ensure new employees feel connected and to minimize disadvantages.

Re-thinking the best benefits we can offer employees in this new world.

Employee benefits offered previously will look very different from what will be needed in post COVID19 environment. HR Leaders need to be innovative and think of how to best support employees. Reshaping the employee benefits program in order to better serve the needs of both employees and the company itself.

Increased Flexibility –the new normal.

Employers will continue to look to government health advisories for guidance as workplaces open up but part of making their employees feel safe will involve their needing to be flexible as well; providing more options to employees, including continuing to work from home, to ensure they feel comfortable in the ‘new normal.

If you are interested in being part of the conversation and would like to join one of our Virtual Round Tables, please get in touch with one of the Frazer Jones team here.