No one could have predicted the onslaught of unending HR obstacles that would arise in 2020. In fact, for many employers and HR personnel, complications brought on by the pandemic have resulted in daily battles to find truly effective solutions for unprecedented problems.
Luckily, as the year comes to a close, businesses are finding new ways to address even the toughest COVID-related challenges. Here are some of the biggest obstacles for HR professionals during COVID-19 and some solutions for overcoming them.
Top HR Challenges During COVID-19
Problem #1 - Scheduling
Last-minute absences, skill shortages, and consistent gaps in workforce numbers have become a new norm for most companies operating during the pandemic. As an HR representative, you have to find ways to keep your operation fully functional amidst all sorts of unpredictable setbacks without straining your remaining available workers. Whether it’s because one of your worksites has reported a positive case or you need to reconfigure a shift due to complications with a team member (perhaps the employee’s family member has contracted COVID-19 or their child’s school/childcare services have closed), you need a way to problem solve quickly.
Solution: Workforce management software can handle rushed scheduling needs arising from COVID-19. This type of software employs flexible employee scheduling and countless features for overseeing shift bidding and swapping, leave requests, timesheet signoffs, overtime requests, and more.
Problem #2 - Ongoing Communication
If you are working with a hourly, distributed workforce, you’re no stranger to the complications of maintaining communication between multiple worksites. However, coronavirus has made it even more critical that you be able to maintain regular contact with employees—all while maintaining social distancing. The ability to effectively notify employees about positive cases at worksites, scheduling updates, training requests, changes to benefits, and other COVID-related matters is key to keeping employees calm during a period of stress and avoiding accidental lawsuits.
Solution: Alerts and messaging can help smooth out the channels between worksites and various levels of management. These tools reinforce operational security with dependable communication, so you can easily get all members of your workforce on the same page about changes to furloughs, scheduling, day-to-day operating procedures, employee pay, and even important documents. As updates are needed, you’ll be able to reach all relevant parties efficiently.
Problem #3 – New Compliance Requirements (With More to Come)
Balancing new COVID-related regulations (such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act) with pre-existing federal and state-level laws has complicated workforce management compliance to say the least. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has created entirely new needs around employee protections/benefits, certain laws (ADA, FMLA, Title VII) have remained fully in effect or have seen their own updates. For this reason, you need to take extra care when constructing new HR policies and managing requests for different types of PTO, employee leave, COVID-19 testing, and more.
Solution: Updating your HR policies, alerting employees to changes in benefits, and calculating pay based on new parameters is a lot easier with a Human Capital Management (HCM) system. HCM solutions help relieve administrative burden by providing easier leave management, convenient benefits administration, and adjustable payroll.
Problem #4 – Hiring/Re-Hiring
In light of the dire economic impacts and health risks created by COVID-19, nearly every business has had to undergo some form of restructuring. That includes the need to bounce back from mass layoffs, furloughs, hiring freezes, talent shortages, and more. However, keeping your talent pipeline full, coordinating with prospective hires (or re-hires), and making sure all hiring managers are on the same page is easier said than done in the current pandemic climate.
Solution: Recruiting and applicant tracking solutions allow you easy access to your preferred job sites as well as your applicants’ profiles, work history and qualifications. With this type of tool, you can increase your candidate engagement and overall consistency towards finding the right individuals for your operation’s needs and coordinating with all relevant parties to ensure the best possible results.
HR Help During COVID-19
Taking effective action during COVID-19 requires employers and HR leaders to prioritize advanced planning and strategic decision-making. However, it can be difficult to know exactly what steps to take. EPAY Systems offers a variety of industry-focused software solutions that can assist in managing your workforce during COVID-19, including our premium HR consulting services. EPAY can help you stay compliant with the latest COVID-related rules and regulations, while focusing on keeping your employees safe.