It seems that most people are already looking forward to the New Year after the whirlwind of a year that 2020 has been. The New Year is a time for personal resolutions but also a time for leaders in an organization to pause and plan for the future with some strategic planning.
We seem to be somewhat settled into this new normal on a surface level even after a lot of pivots and adjustments along the way. What do we mean by that? A lot of companies have transitioned to having their employees work remotely full-time or part-time and some have even closed their offices and gone completely remote. While these adjustments have been necessary and have offered incredible support to employees during difficult times, there is still work to be done. Stepping into the New Year is a good time to look at your business with a big picture lens.
Thinking Ahead to the New Year
Most companies have dealt with layoffs, terminations, reworking positions and transitioning to remote workforces in the past year. These adjustments may likely continue into 2021 and now is the time to start thinking about and planning for what these long-term adjustments will look like for your organization. Some things to consider include:
Layoffs and Terminations – If you’ve have to lay-off or let some employees go there are many moving pieces that will need to be dealt with in this transition. Not only supporting and supplying these employees with the documentation required when they are laid off or let go, but also the potential rebuttal that may come from certain employees who are understandably upset about their outcome. Ensure you have proper procedures in place to be able to facilitate the smoothest transitions possible for everyone involved. This could include a detailed layoff or termination letter outlining all the fine details – so things are clear on both sides, employee and employer.
Reworking Positions – Whether you have staff on temporary layoffs or have had to terminate them, there are likely to be gaps in your organization that their roles used to fill. It’s important to evaluate all roles within your organization with workforce planning. Taking a look at where some positions may overlap and there may be duplication of work and also where there may be gaps. This organizational structure review will ensure all your staff feel supported, valued and not overworked, which can lead to burnout. Everyone is struggling in their own way to adjust to this new way of life and added stress at work is the last thing anyone needs, especially if it can be avoided.
Remote Workforce – The transition to a remote workforce can be tricky. There are certain obligations to the employer and to the employee and things can get muddled if expectations are not set right in the beginning. Establishing a Work From Home policy with procedures is key along with ensuring they have everything they need to complete their work from home i.e. laptop, ergonomic desk and chair, etc. Daily or weekly check-ins keep you both connected and help to build trust when we can’t see each other face-to-face everyday.
These adjustments can be a lot of things for the Leadership Team of an organization to think through. Sometimes what helps is taking a step back from all of the moving parts and looking at the organization from a big picture lens. Asking questions such as, what’s working and not working from an HR perspective and where do we want to to be in the future? Starting with an overall HR strategy planning session for the organization ensures it aligns with your vision and allows the moving parts to properly fall into place with clear action plans on who is responsible and accountable for each outcome.
Supporting Your Staff During COVID
It’s important to ensure the organization is set up and able to handle the new landscape. It’s also equally as important that staff are not feeling like they’ve been left in the dark and are unable to receive support from their employers during these times. Some things to consider implementing in order to better support your team include:
- Daily or weekly check-ins. Depending on the needs of the employee and size of the organization. Ask them how you can support them, what else they might need to work better remotely or how the organization could improve the ways in which things are being done.
- Having conversations that are not work-related. It’s important to know how your team is doing in terms of work, but it’s also a time to check-in and support their mental health as well. Asking non-invasive but more personal related questions helps build trust, create connection and a sense of compassion during these times of isolation.
- Offer additional benefits. If your organization is able to provide flexible hours, additional time off, health and wellness bonuses or anything that ensures your team is feeling valued, you should consider implementing these things. It may be a small adjustment (sometimes even just a quick call to your benefits provider to review what your plan offers) or investment for the organization, but could make a world of difference for your employees who are juggling a lot during these times.
How We Can Help
Daeco offers support in all areas of HR including:
- Strategy Planning Workshops
- Coaching and Mentorship
- Policies and Procedures or Employee Handbooks
- Managing Employee Issues Including Layoffs or Terminations
- Interim HR Services with our HR on Call program
We would love to help your organization plan and transition for 2021. We want to make your job easier, not harder. Connect with us to discuss how we can help you!