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The Role of Human Resource Management during the Pandemic

by Nora Köppling

It comes as no surprise that employees are the most important asset for a company. The pandemic has brought to light many challenges to this regard. In the early days, the pandemic was mainly branded by uncertainty. The length of this war against COVID-19 was a complete enigma so were the personal implications this disease would have upon us. As time went by many people had to deal with personal losses or suddenly became the main breadwinner. Such circumstances not only affected individuals in their private lives but also changed the entire working environment in a way that human resource management became more crucial than never before. In this blog we would like to share with you our learning from the pandemic. This learning is divided into three categories: Health, Technology, and Communication.

Health

With the purpose to protect our employees’ health we were forced to introduce a number of measures which began with the establishment of typical COVID-19 safety measures and up to mental health programs for our staff. In our case, we employed a nurse who supports us not only in the COVID-19 health measures follow-up but is also looking after our employees’ overall health. She conducted a medical examination in all employees in order to get to know their health status as well as to support them if necessary. Also, the Human Resources management implemented a health program that includes advisory from a professional psychologist as well as monthly talks on health topics so that people are more aware about their health. All these measures aimed to improve our employees’ health were underlying factors to make them feel appreciated and cared for by the company.

Technology

Introduction of new technologies certainly played an important role in fighting COVID-19. At Acensblue we have always praised working together at the office. Introduction of remote work was by far a big challenge not only on the technological side, but also culturally for the company’s culture has always been characterized by different events. In a way, these events had to be reinvented as last year’s Christmas Party was online featuring a Talent Contest in which employees were asked to sing, dance and act. The winner was awarded with a prize, but the important fact was that they had fun and were able to share during the event.

Communication

Another learning that the pandemic and remote work is leaving us with is the fact that communications play a very important role. As mentioned earlier, the pandemic brought a whole lot of uncertainty. Through the regular communication with our employees, we managed to minimize those unsteadiness and insecurity feelings. All employees were well acquainted about the latest news about the company as well as COVID-19 measures. Through this, we achieved high levels of productivity and managed to keep our employees’ stress levels low. Regarding productivity, it is important to mention that keeping in touch with employees through remote work was beneficial for the company. In this way we acknowledged that sharing the insights on the way of getting rid of distractors when working from home as well as on the way to keeping a balance between work and personal life was highly helpful.

Advice from Our Human Resources Management

Aranza Portillo, head to Human Resources Management has developed new skills in dealing with crisis and is sharing her advice for your company:

  1. Follow governmental protocols: It might seem obvious, but many underestimate its power. Governmental protocols are in constant change for the information regarding the efficiency of individual measures is constantly changing too. Therefore, governmental protocols provide valuable insights for not only certain environments are taken into consideration, but national and international data is gathered. If COVID-19 safety measures are kept up to date, fighting COVID-19 will be highly effective.
  2. Make your employees feel safe: Some measures are rendered useless; however, it is important to assess their effectiveness as well as to take into consideration the psychological effect upon the employees. There may be measures against COVID-19 with no or little effect, but they will become routinary for the employees making them feel safe.
  3. Allow continuous learning: At the beginning of the pandemic, we confronted many unexpected situations; however, these situations taught us a lesson and now we need to cope with a new environment.
  4. Be empathic and communicative: Your employees’ feelings are important and should be taken into consideration. Be aware of your employees’ concerns and raise awareness to solve them.

The pandemic represented a challenge that left a trail of learning behind. We became more flexible, and awareness was raised about the importance of our employees’ health. Through the proper use of technology and constant communication we have managed to keep a high level of productivity and motivation.

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