To navigate the now, next and beyond of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations must focus on their most valuable asset: their people. Read on for checklists, insights and more about employee health and safety.
Employee health and wellbeing: key considerations
Chief human resources officers (CHROs) should focus on protecting their people from the public health threat.
- Provide leadership communication and engagement with the workforce throughout the pandemic, informed by national and global public health guidelines
- Educate employees about COVID-19 symptoms and prevention; review sick leave policies and establish procedures to support employees through this period
- Help enable safe remote working environments in collaboration with IT
- Where work continues to be completed in the workplace, team with operations to provide epidemic protection — e.g., personal protective equipment, sanitation
- Identify and support stranded colleagues in transit and globally mobile colleagues and their families
CHROs should focus on maintaining employee trust and leading through disruption.
- Educate the workforce on how to manage their teams remotely
- Create and execute a strategy to address employee well-being issues such as awareness and utilization of employee health benefits, isolation and childcare responsibilities
- Encourage and support virtual communities to foster connectivity
- Deploy remote work pulse surveys to gauge sentiment and productivity, leveraging analytics tools
- Understand new travel restrictions and impact on colleagues and operations
- Think creatively around maintaining workforce capability but reducing short-term capacity (e.g., reduced hours, furloughs)
It is important to operate in a new normal and enable the business to better respond to future disruptions.
- Adapt business planning to incorporate new scenarios and gather lessons learned to better prepare for future crises
- Reimagine employee experience and ask your workforce for reactions
- Embed well-being policies and working practices into the corporate DNA
- Develop incentives for employees that proactively engage in preventive care
- Evaluate workplaces and facilities to mitigate the impact of future public health threats where possible
- Implement new products and services to emphasize HR as a critical enabler of people value and business outcomes
- Incorporate agile and digital talent upskilling and reskilling into your learning strategy