COVID-19: Tips for Employers and HR Managers

How is everyone doing with your social distancing and isolation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? I am working from my home office juggling work, the role of teacher to the kids and fitness instructor for the family! My husband is working from home as well so we are having a lot of “quality” time together. These are unprecedented times as employers and employees make huge adjustments to help level out the curve of the virus.  I think we are doing a great job! By now, many of you may be working from home as well, but for others who have to go to their place of employment such as frontline medical staff, store clerks, grocery workers, and others in essential services, there is increased stress levels as there are still so many uncertainties about the virus.

The impact of COVID-19 for human resources professionals and employers is massive.  With the federal and provincial governments outlining recommended protocols, businesses of all sizes across the country have been impacted.  As such here are some tips and resources for HR Managers and Employers to consider during this time.


HR Tips for Employers During COVID-19

COVID-19 has required many employers to make some difficult decisions about their workforce and their business.  As we are in the early stages of this pandemic, no one is quite sure just how long we will be in “lock-down”.  While many employers have done an admirable job with their HR efforts during this challenging time, businesses of all sizes and industries have a responsibility to their employees and to their customers.  Here are some things for employers to consider as we work through the COVID-19 crisis.

  1. Communication is key – be sure to have updated information for your employees and customers. This could include things like:
    • Updated hours of operation
    • Updated rules for shipping or delivery times
    • Providing contact information for employees
    • Providing resources on how to maintain mental health
    • Providing timely messages and advisories for employees

  2. Develop/Modify your employee assistance program – this can mean different things to different businesses. The fact is, is that some businesses may not be able to remain open during this crisis, but for those that do and have the ability to support their employees, developing or modifying your Employee Assistance Plan can be key.  This might include things like:
    • Providing communication and clarification of benefits
    • Providing flexible working arrangements (i.e. work from home)
    • Providing “How to” information for employees that require assistance
    • Being empathetic

  3. Be flexible – these are unprecedented times. The ability to be flexible can have a positive impact on your ability to continue to conduct “business as usual”.  Being flexible might mean modifying your hours of operation, providing the infrastructure so that you your team work from home, or it might mean on being creative with staffing needs.  Companies that have this type of flexibility should be better prepared to come out of this in relatively good shape.  Especially when we do not know how long these conditions may exist for.

  4. Allow Remote Working – to comply with social distancing recommendations from the Government, having the ability to work from home is a no-brainer. Employers should be providing the infrastructure to allow employees the ability to work from home.  For businesses where this is not an option, reworking hours temporarily may be a feasible option.

  5. Allow for or expand flex-time opportunities – if possible, for all positions in your company, try to incorporate flex-time programs to allow people to stay home as opposed to coming to the job site or place of employment. Encourage your employees to stay home.  This helps avoid face-to-face and the spread of the virus.

  6. Postpone all work-related travel – most of the world is on lockdown right now. It just makes good business sense to postpone any or all travel at this time.

  7. Encourage good hygiene habits – whether at the place of employment or even while working from home, encourage your team to establish good hygiene habits which includes:
    • Washing your hands more frequently for a minimum of 20 seconds
    • Avoid touching your face
    • Avoid unnecessary person-to-person contact
    • Disinfect surfaces with alcohol-based cleaning solutions
    • Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers throughout the place of employment

COVID-19 poses a significant challenge to many organizations.  While we are not sure how long businesses will have to deal with this disruption, the fact is that we are all in the same boat.  The better prepared and the more flexible you can be, the greater the chance that your business will be even more easy for business once this threat lifts (which it will at some point).

These are trying times for sure.  We want to let you know that Aspire Recruitment Solutions Ltd. is here to provide support for businesses.  For those looking for work, while COVID-19 presents some new and unique challenges we can help you with your job search, resume writing and support.

 Aspire Recruitment Solutions Ltd. is an Okanagan job placement, HR consulting, temporary and permanent staffing agency. Helping Okanagan businesses with their people resources.  Contact us today to assist you in your recruiting or job search needs.

Stay safe everyone!