Managing Your Workforce Post-Covid: Work From Home And Office

In the face of falling COVID cases and stronger vaccination campaigns, companies are finally gearing up for a massive comeback to the workplaces.  However, with most of the workforce still working from home and the pandemic fears looming large, these comebacks will be challenging. Concerns about workforce management are pretty much inevitable. To deal with this widely diversified workforce, businesses must develop strategic plans. In other words, you are required to have a foolproof workforce plan ready to face any potential reopening contingencies.

Fortunately, digital transformations and new business approaches offer HR a brighter perspective. To learn how future-proof workforce strategies and employee monitoring tool like Flowtrack can help you manage your workforce effectively, keep reading.

Eight Strategies To Keep Your Workforce Productive Post Pandemic

Workplaces have undergone a drastic change, without a doubt. Hence, take a moment to recognize the changes that have taken place over the past year before formulating strategic workforce planning. With most employees going remote, budgets being reworked, roles reversed, and compensation being reworked, forming a strategic workforce plan may present a lot of challenges.  In addition, you may need to consider part-time jobs that were converted to full-time and exempt employees who were converted to non-exempt.

As an employer, who is about to expand their business or reopen their office, you must certainly go through all the changes mentioned above. They are going to affect your reopening profoundly. Keeping that in mind, follow the strategies outlined below to ensure a smooth post-pandemic reopening and workforce management.

Communicating effectively

Communication is the key to keeping a diverse workforce unified. Hence it is important to fine-tune the communication skills to make a smooth transition. Today’s workforce appreciates frequent, personalized communication from their employers. The company is obligated to keep them informed about major changes within its organization and keep them informed in its decision-making processes during this uncertain period.

Besides making the workforce more inclusive, communication is key to promoting engagement in the workplace and stabilizing the company culture.  All of these point to the need to integrate a few crisis communication principles into everyday company interactions. Here is a look at the three key principles:

  • Transparency: Integrity and trust in your employees are essentials for a long-lasting relationship. Be direct and honest when communicating with them.  
  • Empathy: Show your employees that you care by your words and actions.
  • Proactivity: Be proactive and make sure that your goals and vision for the future are communicated.

Concerned about how to communicate effectively? You can integrate the following strategies into your communication process to ensure your employees are appropriately communicated with.

  1. Be careful about your format: A consistent format and flow of communication are important while you communicate with your employees. Also, make sure that all your communications reflect your organization’s culture and that they are delivered promptly to all employees.
  2. Maintain a professional tone and send relevant content: Ensure that all your communications reflect your organization’s vision, values, and principles. It is also vital to ensure that employees are aware of their priorities and send relevant content.
  3. Establish communication between leaders and employees: The best way to communicate information to your employees is to utilize your leadership teams. Your leadership teams should ensure that their employees understand organizational decisions.
  4. Listen to your employees: Making team or one-on-one meetings a regular part of the schedule makes employees feel valued and recognized. Additionally, you can arrange assistance programs and coaching for employees who are having difficulty working efficiently.

One-on-one meetings and reviews

Are you frequently skipping your employees’ performance review meetings due to time constraints? If so, you are doing things the wrong way. Review meetings are crucial. Managers must ensure that periodic assessments are made, and employees receive the help they need.

Employees may feel stressed and out of control occasionally. Their overall performance can be adversely affected by these behaviors. Make sure you monitor your employees regularly to minimize their non-productivity.

Regularly monitor their work to find out whether they are checking in and out or extending the length of the work. Alternatively, you can try using HRAPP remote employee monitoring software, or other apps to monitor their performance. If anything seems amiss, step in and help. Ensure that the organization’s core value is infused into every interaction, regardless of whether it is a one-on-one conversation or a virtual recording.

Rehiring former employees

Former employees understand your company culture and have relevant work experience with you. This makes them adequately qualified to work for your organization. Besides saving experience, rehiring saves you time and money by reducing the efforts taken to find a new employee.

While you’re at it, make sure rehiring is done in an amicable and nondiscriminatory manner. Identify employees within your organization who are qualified for these roles and assess whether they are adaptable to future skills and training. Studies have proven that re-skilling can boost your productivity by 12%. The organization would benefit from this since you will no longer have to pay for niche skills.

Updating procedures and policies

In light of significant workplace reforms during the pandemic, now is the perfect time to update outdated policies and procedures. Listed below are the policies and procedures you should consider updating:

1. Remote working: Considering today’s circumstances, remote working tops this non-exhaustive list for all the right reasons. Make necessary changes to remote working policies involving:

  • Approved positions for remote working
  • Job expectations for remote positions
  • Tools to track the office time of employees
  • Supervision methods for remote positions

2. Safety protocols: As long as COVID-19 remains a threat, it is imperative to develop policies to protect employees. Employee protocols such as mask-wearing, handwashing, and sharing of items may be included in policies.

3. Pay policies: These policies include setting wages according to time tracked, over time, and shift schedules.

4. Leave policies: Policies for leave might need to be radically revised with the pandemic still in progress. It also entails the protocols that employees must follow, such as communication protocols and the length of time that they should not report to work in the event of sickness.

5. Internal communications: As the workforce is more geographically dispersed now, internal communication is important. There must be policies on how, to whom, and when to report things to the management.

Implementing technology wide scale

Wide-scale technology implementation will undoubtedly be the major requirement we are likely to see in the future. An update to your website may be in order at this point. This will strengthen internal communication, as well as your communication with your customers.

You can implement industry-specific systems to improve your overall efficiency, handle compliances or improve productivity. A mobile-first approach is another major technical move that can keep your business current with changing needs. To ensure the best productivity among remote employees, you can implementemployee time tracking tools.

Prioritizing a strong company culture

As the pandemic scare grips, upholding company culture will likely be your least priority. With the workforce getting increasingly diversified, maintaining a strong work culture is essential for your company to remain cohesive. Hence, as an employer, you need to ensure that your connections are strong and communicate this effectively with your employees.

Ensure that employees are constantly encouraged, and every feedback is addressed promptly. Be sure that all policies and procedures are enforced strictly and on a nondiscriminatory basis.

Fostering diversity, inclusivity, and equality

As the workforce is becoming more and more remote and global, it’s high time organizations enforce inclusivity, diversity, and equality in their company culture. The wider the talent pool, the more it plugs skill gaps, enhances profits, and improves the competitive edge. You must therefore make sure that your organization upholds IDE as the forefront agenda.

One of the important steps towards this stride is to assess your workforce demography and ensure that no unfair treatment poses obstacles to employee development. Your business must also implement programs to monitor all types of discrepancies and be prepared to take action if required.

Rewards and recognitions

Distributed workspaces reduce employee communication and do not keep employees updated on other departments’ achievements. It is essential to promote a recognition and reward culture among employees to improve their satisfaction and engagement. This can help employees feel less isolated and distant from their colleagues.  You must ensure that your employees are recognized and rewarded adequately. When times are tough, encouraging ‘virtual high fives and ‘shoutouts’ can help employees bond with each other and be relieved.

Wrapping up

You may need to examine your business’s specific needs before implementing a plan to increase your workforce or reopen offices. The above given are mere suggestions that can be made a part of your comprehensive plan. This might require an enormous investment and management changes, but the result can be a transformation of the workforce in its totality.