As the pandemic remains a pressing concern heading into the fall months, health and safety regulations continue to loom large. Employees are placing trust in their companies to ensure workplace safety during these uncertain times, and confidence is being tested on numerous levels. In endeavoring to keep personnel assured and profits steady, businesses must place an emphasis on employee safety at the foundation of their reopening strategies. Communication will be mission critical in this regard, as it will help gauge what is working and what needs to be improved upon going forward.
As of July 2020, 86 percent of small businesses were either fully (52 percent) or partially (34 percent) open, according to a survey from MetLife and the US Chamber of Commerce. While many companies are relying on physical measures and safety precautions to protect their employees, a large number are missing out on tools that can help with new regulations beyond the physical measures being taken in the workplace. According to Human Resources Director, only 11 percent of businesses are utilizing technology to guarantee a safe return to work.
When implementing a new solution during a global health crisis, employers must consider a balance between productivity, performance, and employees’ mental and physical well-being. “Business as usual” can no longer be the motto, and human capital management (HCM) tools must account for this seismic shift.
In truth, there is nothing about our current situation that is normal, and it might not be normal for some time. As businesses strive to meet key goals and objectives, they must adopt new practices and approaches to reach them.
How HCM Tech Slots Into Your Return-to-Work Strategy
An effective HCM platform should include vital resources designed to evolve alongside rapidly changing health concerns, government mandates, and regulations. These include:
- Emergency paid sick leave provisions for full-time and part-time employees.
- Rules for employees who are caring for individuals who may be especially vulnerable to COVID-19.
- Guides and checklists for implementing safe workplace practices (cleaning mandates, face coverings, COVID fact sheets, etc.).
- Outsourced access to HR professionals who can work in conjunction with your management team or HR department to provide compliance solutions for rapidly changing regulations and respond to employment-related COVID-19 concerns.
During reopening, management teams and HR departments are also responsible for keeping their companies in compliance with all mandated labor regulations and practices. Unfortunately, a dearth of knowledge about the novel coronavirus, coupled with a lack of coordination within the public health agencies tasked with overseeing reopening procedures, is creating major setbacks for businesses aiming to open up. It is up to each enterprise to stay updated and vigilant on the constantly changing information being provided.
An HCM platform can help by streamlining communications and policies to ensure all employees are informed of recent changes to government regulations and the company is compliant with OSHA. During this pandemic, the number of guides and protocols that must be followed has seemed to multiply daily. Using tech solutions, businesses can create toolkits and libraries where employees can navigate resources that cover everything from proper mask usage to return-to-work calendars. These centralized resources will help employees manage working during a pandemic and ease the strain of communication on the employer’s end.
Driving Engagement With HCM Tech
The benefits of an HCM solution can also go beyond safety strategies to help with enhancing workflow management procedures to better respond to the current realities of the workplace. Examples include:
- Automating payroll processing and easy direct deposit setup in a world where paper checks are no longer an option.
- Time-clock features that can more accurately collect and process employee time information from all remote locations and offices.
- HR management resources that eliminate paper files and store them digitally to aid in contactless transactions between employees and human resources.
- Virtual benefits enrollment solutions that can help educate employees on their options and track their benefits in real time.
Effective platforms can also help with employee engagement by allowing workers to share ideas and communicate with management to have their needs met. Especially in today’s remote work setting, your company may need a plan to keep scattered teams in sync and on track in order to maintain communication and continuity while minimizing impact on workflows, productivity, and profits. Secure communication should also be a priority, allowing employers to disseminate critical information to employees whose lives and work are impacted by COVID-19. Investing in tools that connect employees keeps teams confident, thriving, and informed, even when they’re not together.
As businesses look to reopen and return furloughed employees to the workplace, training and onboarding processes will need to be shifted to online venues. Providing employees with a full learning management system can unlock transformative training and learning opportunities, and it can help you cultivate an adaptive workforce that is prepared for evolving safety measures. Your employees can benefit from continuous and consistent training, especially in a time when company culture is vital to maintaining positive workplace experiences.
Preparing a safer and more productive business infrastructure presents challenges, but the proper use of HCM technology can assist in getting your business back up and running. Plus, when you have the right tools in place, your employees are more likely to have full confidence in your return-to-work strategy.
Lina Tonk is the vice president of marketing at iSolved HCM.