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Human Resources Management During the Winter of COVID

Fall is winding down, and winter is settling in across the country. As always, this is the time of year that employers worry about the impact SADs (Seasonal Affective Disorders) and a slate of holidays will have on productivity. This year, pandemic fatigue and the proliferation of remote work adds challenging dimensions to workplace productivity and human resources management. Businesses can expect a long winter and should take proactive steps to help their employees stay focused and motivated until spring arrives.

Team Meetings Are a Must

Schedule short team meetings once a week or once every two weeks. This helps keep everyone working together toward the same goals. It fosters a sense of community and makes it easier for team members to share updates. Managers should strive to keep these meetings positive and focused. Similarly, managers should conduct short, scheduled check-ins with individual employees at least once per week. This helps employees remain focused and allows managers to monitor their team members' work progress and mental health.

Reward and Recognize

Celebrate the wins and be generous in your praise and rewards. Managers must go above and beyond to thank employees for their efforts and reward them for their accomplishments. Saying "thank you" and offering rewards for work well done is an invaluable investment in your company's human resources. Not only will it boost morale, but it will also incentivize employees to stay focused on their jobs.

Encourage Collaboration

Working from home creates a strong sense of isolation. When possible, encourage employees to collaborate on projects. This lightens the load and can improve the quality of the work. For superior results, encourage employees to cross-train each other in their respective roles. This fosters an educational environment where employees learn new skills while they work, which can help keep them focused. It also helps each member of your team fill in and help one another when children get sick or the SADs set in, and productivity slows down.

Establish Expectations

Managing remote workers is new territory for many managers. It's very easy to take a "hands-off" laissez-faire approach. However, that's a fast track to bankruptcy. Rather, managers should establish expectations and lead by example. This includes setting expectations for email response time, work hours, project deadlines, client communications, team meetings, and methods for keeping in touch. 

Investments in Comfort Generate Productive Returns

You don't have to buy your employees' massage chairs, but you don't want them spending eight hours a day on a kitchen chair. In fact, there are growing calls in many states to allow workers to file workers' compensation claims for injuries suffered due to poor ergonomics while working from home. Making sure employees have the proper office equipment to safely and efficiently perform their work will improve productivity and shield your business from workers' compensation lawsuits.

Listen. Listen. Listen Some More.

What's the best human resources management tip of 2020? Listen to your employees. Masks may be on, but filters are falling off fast as the pandemic progresses. Your employees will give you straightforward, honest answers right now. Whether they are floating ideas for new products and services, or voicing concerns about workflow, listen to the unfiltered information you receive. Be open and responsive to feedback, and encourage open communication. Doing so will strengthen your company and put you in a strong position when business as usual won't ever be usual again.

Contact Greenlink Payroll at (480) 385-2525 for more information about the human resources management solutions we offer. It's our pleasure to help you make the most of your teams and achieve your goals.

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