To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace – Doug Conant
It is absolutely inspiring to see how businesses worldwide are dealing with the current crisis. HR function has taken centre stage to strategically partner with business functions for dealing with the changing business landscape.
The past few months have urged businesses and HR leaders across the globe to revisit their strategies for ensuring business continuity and employee satisfaction. In these times, reassuring employees is of paramount importance and organizations have taken great strides in boosting employee morale.
There are frontline warriors such as doctors, police force, paramedics and financial service providers who have risked their lives for ensuring seamless operations and there are employees who are striving hard to strike a balance between work and home. As a Human Resource professional, it is very important to look after the well-being of both.
While navigating through the ‘new normal’, the following steps help to maintain employee performance:
Annual Appraisals, Hikes and Incentives
Many employees are working with the same zeal and vigour as they did prior to the lockdown. To honour this dedication, many organizations chose unusual ways. For instance, a leading paint company announced annual appraisals for all employees during these turbulent times. In times where the job market is so uncertain, a move like this is bound to boost employee morale by leaps and bounds. Closer home, being an essential service provider, AGS Group decided to have no salary cuts across all levels. Additionally many companies incentivised employees who have shown extraordinary commitment towards the organizations by being on-field even during the lockdown.
Ensuring business continuity through remote working
COVID-19 has urged many organizations to redesign their business models in a way to support remote working. While few were already equipped to make this transition, there were few companies that made these arrangements in record time. A strong digital infrastructure is necessary to ensure most functions seamlessly work from home. Technology has played a crucial role in this transition.
Initiatives like movement of desktops, arranging for laptops, sim cards, and data cards etc. reassured the employees and gave confidence to deliver in an unmatched manner.
Having said that, every company needs to be considerate with their employees as work from home becomes the norm. Background noise, low connectivity issues, untimely power cuts should be taken into consideration.
A social media company announced recently that it will allow its entire workforce to function work from home indefinitely. Steps like these are a result of a strong security infrastructure, confidence in employees & compassion and will go a long way with HRs making strategies in the new normal.
Accurate alignment Key Performance Indicators
For any profit unit to achieve desired goals, it is extremely important to align all resources, especially Human Resource, in the right direction. The roles of most business & support functions have diversified in during the lockdown. However, if KPIs are aligned with respective Reporting Managers and those are further in sync with the organizational goals, ensuring business continuity and productivity becomes seamless.
Regular Performance Reviews
It is crucial for any organization to timely review the performance of its business. In this way, it becomes easy to assess each profit and cost centre. This assessment establishes a strong foothold to plan goals and set targets and thus should be done on a periodic basis.
The business heads should cascade the assessment and the teams can accordingly work towards newer goals or fine-tune the existing ones. Apart from that, monthly reviews within inter and intra teams to understand how each business/support unit is performing can help in goal setting.
Communication is the key and has been proven absolutely true in these difficult times. Employees should be abreast with the recent developments in the organization and they should also be aware of how the crisis is impacting them. Regular communication will educate them about the precautions that they have to take while working from home, on field and in office and also give them clarity with regards to their tasks.
Another great way to ensure cohesiveness is through video conferences with the teams and departments to address their queries. We understand that the lockdown has been harsh on the mental well-being of many. To address this, some organizations have arranged for motivational sessions with life coaches as well as internal sessions to help them cope with the crisis in a better way.
Learning & Development
Digitisation has been the buzzword during COVID-19. Digital payments, digital conferences and recently, digital education have become an integral part of the new normal. With learning and development being an integral part of any organization, it becomes imperative to train employees on a regular basis. Digital educational or training portals are a great way to bring about a change in the traditional training methods.
Newer ways of training and interactions will keep employees engaged and encourage them to deliver their best.
To summarise, I have always believed that employees are not mere resources but assets that take the organization forward. Every initiative and step that an organization takes should be a reflection of this belief. Keeping assets motivated during these challenging times should be the utmost priority and the same will result in uninterrupted business continuity for the clients. At AGS Group, the appreciation we have received from our clients during these few months has been phenomenal and we have our teams to thank for the same.