With the business media focused on market fluctuations and economic disruption, it’s easy to forget the business community’s most important asset – its people.
Continuity planning is crucial in times of crisis. But the ability of a company to both plan for unforeseen circumstances and maintain operations with minimum cost to the business during uncertain situations lies with its employees.
The coronavirus outbreak is impacting functions within HR departments, with the situation evolving daily.
Our expert HR advisory manager Dawn Brown shares her top five tips to keep an HR department up and running during unforeseen circumstances.
- Have policies/processes in place which ensure employees are clear about what they need to do. For example, if they can’t get to work due to self-isolation, or for parents if schools close. Revisit these policies regularly as circumstances change.
- Be clear about what you will pay during such situations. The Government has announced that the three waiting days for statutory sick pay will be lifted during the current crisis. If you need to send people home while premises are closed for a deep clean for example – they should be paid as usual.
- Have a business continuity plan in place to ensure that if you need to relocate, close your premises or communicate to your business in a hurry, you can do this quickly. As a minimum have employee contact details and employee data readily accessible. Take this opportunity to request that all employees check you have the right contact information for them. Ensure your payroll department is ready to react to any changes to deadlines – read our payroll blog for ways to achieve this.
- Nominate someone, or ideally a small team, to take responsibility for keeping communications up to date and ensuring cascading processes are in place during the crisis. Keep your communications calm and use plain English, being clear with employees where updates will be published. The Government website is updated at 2pm daily.
- Do everything you can to keep your employees safe. Have hand sanitisers available around your premises, encourage correct handwashing by putting notices in washrooms and consider if there is anything different you need to know to protect more vulnerable employees such as those with an underlying health condition.
People are an organisation’s true drivers of success, at all times and particularly in a crisis. For more information about how MHR support your organisation in the current coronavirus epidemic read Dawn’s previous blog.
An agile and streamlined HR software platform is the most effective way of ensuring your HR function is at its absolute best at all times, whether in crisis or BAU. Find out more at https://www.mhr.co.uk/solutions/Coronavirus HR and payroll support