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.
When experts speculated back in January what the biggest HR trends would be this year, few could have predicted how radically the face of work would change just a few months later. The coronavirus has altered the course of HR radically and, perhaps, permanently. There are few silver linings to the pandemic, but some of these changes may be for the better. Many employers are re-examining their relationships with employees through an increasingly empathetic lens. And many HR leaders are embracing the idea of building greater agility and flexibility into their policies and plans. As you start to think about what the future looks like for your HR team, here are a few HR trends that have been upended by COVID-19—and a few that have been accelerated.
Today’s consumer experiences allow audiences to deeply personalize what they consume and how they consume it. Subscribers can change their Netflix avatars and customize their Watch List in a click, thus informing future movie and show suggestions to fit their preferences. People can create cartoon versions of themselves, Memojis, on their iPhones to personalize messages.
As many businesses settle into a new normal, leaders’ focus is starting to shift away from immediate crisis control and toward putting sustainable processes in place for working through this period. Though leaders cannot (and should not) pretend that everything is normal, they still need to take steps to ensure their workforce remains productive and engaged. While there’s no playbook for this situation, it’s important to do what you can to keep employee morale high, maintain continuity for your customers, and, ultimately, protect your company’s future. Here are a few steps you can take to gently promote productivity and engagement right now.
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 the age of coronavirus, many business leaders and HR professionals are left wondering: How can I best support employees in a rapidly shifting work environment? What can I do to inspire clarity amidst uncertainty? How much information should I share to keep my workforce informed—without creating unnecessary anxiety?