Willard Marriott, founder of Marriott International, is famously quoted as saying “Take good care of your employees, and they’ll take good care of your customers, and the customers will come back.” It makes a lot of business sense. But it raises the question, what does “take good care of your employees” mean? If we asked employees, chances are that they would define “taking care of employees” as designing work that’s interesting so people will want to do it. It means paying employees a fair wage and providing competitive benefits. It includes managers recognizing employees for a job well done. And lastly, it embraces the organization making ongoing investments in an employee’s career. All of these activities are expected when it comes to taking care of employees and HR plays a role in all of them. Right now is a perfect time for HR departments to consider how they can plan to provide an exceptional level of service to employees.
A recent article in Human Resource Executive Magazine posed the question “Is a hybrid workforce the wave of the future?”. A hybrid workforce is being defined as one where there’s a significant number of both onsite employees and remote employees. It might not be a balanced 50/50 but more of a situation where the percentages justify the need to consider each workforce group’s needs separately.
One of the activities that’s great for building skills and experience is leading a project team. As a project leader, you can gain exposure to different situations, learn new things, and start to build positive working relationships with a different group of coworkers.
As more organizations think about reopening, increasing production, and bringing employees back to the workplace, they’re beginning to debrief on what’s taken place over the past few months and how they can be more prepared for incidents in the future. If your organization hasn’t done this yet, consider asking just a couple of questions: What went well? It’s important to ask this question first because sometimes we’re so focused on what went badly that we forget to take time to recognize the things that went well. Even if the organization was completely unprepared, chances are there were some things that went well. Be sure to discuss and celebrate them. What would you do differently next time? Please note: I’m not saying anything went “wrong.” It could simply be that if faced with a similar situation, the organization would have made a different decision. Or that the organization would have made the same decision but executed it differently.
As more states relax sheltering-in-place restrictions and permit organizations to reopen their doors to the public, HR departments will be busy coordinating those efforts. The list of things to do can seem daunting. Over the years, I learned that one of the best ways to tackle a big task like this one is to organize activities into smaller sections, so the effort is more manageable. So, in thinking about everything that needs to be done when bringing employees back to the office, here’s a list divided into three sections: before, during, and after.
Over the past five weeks, jobless claims have totaled more than 26 million and that number might grow. We simply don’t know. What we do know is that our employees didn’t create this situation. If organizations are planning to lay off staff, it should be done with respect. That means creating an offboarding experience that gives employees the information they need and dignity they deserve.
In a short period, COVID-19 has changed the way many organizations conduct business. And possibly, it’s changing the way we’ve previously viewed meetings. In the past, we might have dreaded those long afternoon meetings in the conference room. Now that many of us are working from home, it’s possible we’re longing for those days again. (Well, maybe only a little bit. It’s also important to maintain a sense of humor during times like these.)