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The Role of HR Managers during COVID-19

What will be expected of HR Managers to help Employees adapt to the ‘new normal’ in the workplace?  

Pre-pandemic, Management and HR Teams learned through training and experience how to motivate, inspire, and drive employees. HR Managers knew and understood the needs of their staff before this whole pandemic started, but suddenly everything has changed and feels up-side-down. Everyone is in this pandemic together and we are all facing the same challenges. Most, if not all of us, are worried and stressed. 

HR managers are now an essential link in the changes that the ‘new business normal’ will bring. The opportunity to act as the middleman between management and employees should be fully utilised to adjust mindsets. Here’s what will be expected of HR Managers to help employees adapt in the workplace during COVID-19, which many say is here to stay.

Role 1: Education on health, hygiene and safety protocols. 

Health and safety protocols will rank high on the company’s priority list and HR teams will be expected to co-develop and facilitate this process and keep everyone updated regularly on any regulations or changes. The education process of the new crisis and COVID-19 plans will be of utmost importance and will likely form part of the Human Resources Department’s job description.  

The Mindspa Institute has courses called “Train the Trainer” or “Effective Communication” which will assist HR personnel with the right way to communicate and educate workers. All courses are also offered remotely, live and interactive via Zoom.

Role 2: Employee Wellness and Mental Health

HR Teams will have to create and maintain a healthy work environment. They will be expected to invest in the mental health of each employee and help them achieve wellness in not only the workplace but also in the personal lives of the employees. This can be done through developing wellness strategies and programmes. 

The Mindspa Institute has a workshop called “Wake up to Wellness in the Workplace” which is an ideal course to form part of the companies wellness programme. It will empower employees to look after their own wellbeing and mental health. All workshops are also offered remotely, live and interactive via Zoom. 

Role 3: Ease financial stresses & provide flexibility

Employees are naturally more stressed about their own personal finances and flexibility. Management should also be open to granting employees flexibility where possible, either by working from home or giving them flexible working hours. HR Managers will have to negotiate and facilitate this. It will show employees that the company cares about their personal needs and will lessen these types of stressors. 

Many, if not all companies and industries are battling financially during this pandemic. Therefore, it is unlikely that there will be salary increases in the near future. If employees know how to manage their own personal finances better, it will decrease their financial stress. 

The Mindspa Institute offers a Personal Finance course ideal for employees to learn how to manage their own personal finances. This course is also offered online, live and interactive via Zoom. 

Role 4: Emotional Intelligence remains a priority in keeping employees positive.

Things have changed drastically in employees’ personal lives. They might have a few secondary problems like suddenly home-schooling their kids or not being able to send their children to day care. There is also the harsh reality that someone might become a single parent or lose a loved one because of COVID-19. All these hardships and challenges need a fair sense of empathy. Now more than ever, it will become extremely important for HR to lead with empathy and to continue to develop their own emotional intelligence to help employees through these hurdles. 

The Mindspa Institute offers an Emotional Intelligent course online, live and interactive via Zoom, ideal for HR Managers to upskill the EQ skills. 

Role 5: Encourage Virtual Socialising

One of the many roles HR Managers have is to do team buildings and keep employees connected. This helps with the company’s culture and morale. Although this forms part of previous job duties, there is a bit of shifting involved. With most workplaces still being remote, HR Managers are expected to keep employees connected and therefore are encouraged to create virtual social events. Being social, reduces feelings of stress or anxiety and through this HR Managers will also help employees feel more comfortable to reach out to other co-workers when they need to. 

The Mindspa Institute offers a lot of motivational talks ideal for teambuilding sessions via Zoom which is live and interactive. 

It came as quite a surprise to some employers to see just how resourceful their employees can be during this pandemic. Some companies did not even realise that they could have a fully-remote workforce with high levels of productivity. They underestimated technology like skype and zoom keeping employees, upskilled, connected and communicating. 

Most employees have worked tirelessly to keep companies and industries up and running. But it is taking its toll. Employees require dedicated support, upskilling and education from empathetic leadership, especially now. The Mindspa Institute has a variety of soft skill courses ideal to keep your employees, upskilled, motivated and rejuvenated.