How Are You Doing? 7 Tips for Managing Employee Relations During the “New Normal”
By Mimi Larkin, on April 30, 2020
“How are you doing?”
This question has taken on a whole new meaning since COVID-19 set in. While I work in HR tech, my clients are all HR leaders managing employees in their workplaces. While we always chat with our clients as everyone is joining our video calls, the conversations have taken on a whole new meaning.
We now talk about our kids and the frustrations of homeschooling – especially 4th grade math, our new puppies and our Zoom puppy kindergarten classes, the sadness of a loss of a colleague to COVID even if we didn’t personally know the employee and the chaos of the world we’re all living in today.
Some of our clients are so busy they can only give us 15 minutes for our business review meeting. They need a few new features turned on, or they need to add more users. Other have their IT resources dedicated to working with their new home-based employees so their new IT integration project may be delayed. Most of our clients are looking to us for our expertise and recommendations for best practices for managing employee relations during the pandemic.
So, whether you’re an HR Acuity client or not, here are some of the key tips we’ve been sharing. I hope they help you, too – and that you’ll share yours also.
- Documentation is Key – When all of this is over, we will be asked to report on how we managed our employees during this time. Were we fair and consistent? Did we investigate issues in a timely manner? Do we have the documentation to support our decisions and actions? Make sure that you are documenting everything that is relevant and important.
- Add Issue Categories and Actions – No one planned for a global pandemic, so we need to configure our systems to properly document the new issues that we’re dealing with. We provided all our clients a list of suggested issue categories and actions to add to their HR Acuity sites. Here are some of the top ones. Terms like social distancing, mandatory quarantine, and employee tested positive were certainly not in our vocabulary last year. Systems and processes need to be updated, too.
- Add New Policies to Your Document Library – Even if they’re just temporary policies and they continue to be revised, it’s important to have a copy of the policy that was in place when an issue was documented. Our policies are all being revised regularly as we manage these issues.
- Configure New Letter Templates on Your HR Acuity Site – Letter templates provide you with the template structure of the letters that you routinely send to employees. By configuring these on your HR Acuity site, you’ll save time for your team since fields can be pre-populated and you’ll drive consistency with how issues are managed.
- Use the Quick-Add Feature – If you’re overwhelmed with the volume of cases that you’re working on, use the Quick Add feature to quickly add a note that you can convert to a case at a later time or use the Quick Case to quickly document a case. You can always return to the case to add additional documents even once the case is closed.
- Visit the HR Acuity COVID-19 resource page for articles, blogs and surveys on how other organizations are dealing with issues we’re all addressing.
- Reach Out to Us if You Need Help. My team and I – and everyone at HR Acuity -- are here to help in any way we can. HR Acuity is offering unlimited free users to manage COVID-19 issues until July 1, 2020. We’re also offering free access to any organizations that need a place to document their employee issues. Contact our support team at email@example.com.
How am I doing? I’m hanging in. Like all of you, there are good days and bad days. Times I feel encouraged and times I feel down. Certainly, commiserating with our friends and colleagues helps. Reach out if you need anything. We’re here to help.
Mimi Larkin is VP of Client Success for HR Acuity, a technology solution that combines documentation, process, and human expertise so organizations can meet the challenge of managing employee relations in the modern world. Be proactive. Manage risk. Create a safer workplace.