Your HR professionals are your company’s resources during a crisis. Whether you are a small business with an HR Consultant or a large company with an HR Department, utilizing them as your resource for support HR-related business decisions and employee guidance is critical to ensuring continued success and transition during uncertainty. Your HR professionals are trained and knowledgeable on guiding businesses through unexpected events that can impact normal work routines. HR will work with your business to create plans on how to survive in crises, and more importantly, continuing after the crisis has ended. Ensuring that those key people and HR processes are in place, and reliable regardless of the result.
When an organization is facing a crisis it is very difficult for employees and team members to find comfort and this can lead to communication breakdown, turmoil, and lack of trust for leadership. Amongst the many hats that HR professionals wear are leaders in the organization and tasked to ensure that policies & procedures are implemented and followed. More importantly, they are expected to keep employees safe and out of danger.
Throughout times of uncertainty, employees look to their leaders while leadership looks to HR for guidance and what is needed to navigate through the crisis they are facing.
The Human Resource professional works closely with leadership as they ensure the health and well being is top of the list because they understand how key employees are to the organization's growth. The HR professional coordinates activities in order of priority to ensure important measures are taken into consideration such as educating employees on the crisis and putting practices in place so that everyone feels safe.
In cases of epidemics, your HR professional will guide you to OSHA regulations and precautionary measures that are implemented for protection against virus spreading. The lines of communication must be kept open throughout the organization to ensure transparency and clarity.
As an HR Consultant, I have adopted some key strategies to serve as a resource for my clients and employees in the time of crisis.
Prevention- Many organizations tend to reactive crisis management plan rather than a pro-active process in place. It’s the role of your HR professional to align with leadership to identify possible threats ahead of time as well as what impact they can have on the organization. This is where HR Consultants and HR Managers can work within the organization to assess the cause and identify possible solutions.
Communication & Clarity ( Messages)- Continuous communication throughout the organization is critical in times of crisis, primarily to ensure that factual and proactive messages are delivered to your employees. Providing clear concise messages so the managers can lead their teams effectively. This also includes guidance and any next steps that are needed by the organization.
Resources & Recovery- Uncertainty after a crisis is very real and employees can be confused about how to navigate through the next steps. Your HR professional alongside the management team will create an after crisis plan and resources for employees.
Having a strategic HR Professional in your corner to support your business and operations through challenging times is a great part of a business growth plan. Contact R360 today and let our HR Consulting team show you how we can support your business!
Lettice Mayfield, MBA
Currently we are facing the threat of the Coronavirus which is sweeping all across the world. In the U.S we are dealing with the possibility of a mandatory quarantine which means all of us if not most will be working from home. With that happening the working routines, and communication will be affected. There are concerns and uncertainty around the pandemic and how it will affect the small business and economy as a whole. Managing your team big or small will require some adjustments and flexibility to adapt to this situation over the new few weeks or longer.
Here are some ways small business employers can create a Work from Home Guidelines. Work may continue as usual in terms of customer calling and appointment setting, and sales. However, creating guidelines for employees helps to ensure everyone understands your requirements during this time.
Not all small businesses have the ability to allow employees to work from home based on the type of work they do. However, utilizing a Work from Home Policy will help to keep employees responsible and accountable for their jobs while they are temporarily working from home.
It is easy to get inundated with the daily ups and downs at work, however, it is important to remain positive in the work environment. Let’s face it no matter how positive you are there will always be someone who is not on board, however, positivity is infectious and the more positivity you spread it is more likely that it will help to create a better work environment.
Having a positive attitude goes far deeper than a smile on your face, it has to do with creating boundaries that keep out negativity. There have been many studies focused on positive attitudes and they have shown that staying positive changes your view of the world to a more open mind filled with possibilities.
Here are a few ways that I have utilized in the workplace to remain in a positive space.
Many spend countless hours at work, sometimes more hours that we are at home so it is important to help support and create an environment that is welcoming to all employees.
Performance reviews are key to a small businesss because they provide the necessary feedback employees need for growth and compliance. Performance reviews aren’t just a onetime process, the reviewing process is happening all the time. Throughout the year employees are tasked to accomplish the organization's goals that have been set which means you have to be able to identify the key talent so that you can mentor them for the next level. Because small business leaders are inundated with the daily responsibilities of managing the core concerns such as marketing, finance, and sales they often fail to recognize the employees who can support and help the business grow.
Employee Appreciation Day is March 6, 2020, and it is the perfect time to show employees how much they are appreciated. Every day we should recognize our employees because they are an integral part of our business success. Recognition does not necessarily have to be grand acts all the time, it can be as simple as a written note thanking employees for all the work they put in daily. One of the most important lessons that I have learned as a leader from my employees is that you can't put a price on something as valuable as showing someone they are appreciated.
Small business owners have a greater need to ensure that they are recognizing employees and providing value to the work environment. Retaining good employees is an ongoing strategy that small businesses should keep in mind, everything from the hiring process, communication, employee engagement, training & development, and perks, are all key to retention. The study, "The Effects of Employee Recognition and Appreciation," conducted by TINYpulse concluded that retention is tied to recognition. "However, a large percentage ( 79%) of employees do not feel valued in their work environment. " More importantly having employees on your team who feel valued are more productive and contribute to better work relationships. The overall work environment is affected positively by productive employees because employers can benefit from fewer sick days, callouts, workplace conflicts, and communication.
Here are a few of my favorite ways that I have utilized to show appreciation and recognize employees:
Celebrate birthdays-Each month celebrate everyone for that month's birthday. Cupcakes or a birthday card is always a win.
Peer recognition-Where peers can join together and celebrate positive things their co-workers are doing.
Employee Feedback-Ask your employees what they would like to see from you. I always find it surprising the ideas that employees have in this area. This is probably my favorite because this helps me to know that what I am doing is valuable to them.
Individual Interest- This is a great opportunity to show that recognition is unique to each individual.
Provide Treats- You never need a reason to provide treats and they will always go over well. Remember it's the small things that make a big impact.
Career Training- This one here is the most beneficial for employees who are interested in climbing the ladder. I find that training & certifications have a positive impact and encourage employees to be more productive.
Swag- Provide company swag (mugs, water bottles, key chains, hats)
Remember employee recognition is simple; however, the impact is far greater. These small gestures will help to support your business growth strategy plus keep employees happy, productive, and loyal. To learn more on we can help you https://www.resourceology360.com/hr-consulting.
- Lettice Mayfield
The business won’t run itself when it comes to a small business, I have heard this a many times. However, the business can’t run effectively if you are completely burned out. Owning a small business takes a lot of hard work and continuous strategies to ensure financial goals are met, with this in mind owners are working around the clock with not much rest. Staying healthy has to be at the forefront at all times because as a leader you need to feel good and be alert as your employees depend on you. These are a few suggestions that could help you in taking care of yourself regularly.
Remember your employees are like sponges and they see everything you do and how you respond to the stressors around you, so it is important that as a leader you find healthy ways to minimize and release stress.
- Lettice Mayfield