Human Resources has been at the forefront of handling the COVID-19 pandemic inside the workforce. Over the last 18 months, the pandemic has forced businesses of all sizes to develop or adopt remote work procedures and policies. Going into the new year, we anticipate that COVID-19 will transform human resources in 2022 even more. We’ve put together a list of the top five issues that companies will likely be dealing with long after our world returns to “normal,” and how this will transform human resources in 2022.
Permanent Remote Work Will Transform HR
Whether your company has chosen to keep employees permanently remote or transition them back into physical office space part-time, many employers will still have employees working remote, at least temporarily, going into 2022.
Fortunately, today’s advanced technology makes it possible for employers to have employees work from home successfully. However, going into the new year, it’s important to consider addressing the following:
- Who will be responsible for paying for remote employees’ equipment, such as computers, printers, headsets, monitors and internet capabilities?
- If an employee quits or is fired, how will you recover company equipment?
- How will managers and team leaders translate meeting schedules, work rules and communication strategies to optimize remote work?
- How will companies monitor and enforce attendance?
- Will company job descriptions change to accommodate full-time or part-time remote work?
HR must maintain company morale, as remote employees can quickly feel disconnected from the company and their team. Routinely checking in with employees to inquire about stress levels and ensuring that they stay in touch with their manager and coworkers is also essential.
Focusing on Talent Acquisition and Employee Retention
The devastating effects of layoffs and closures have had a reverberating impact on businesses across the country. Some companies are turning to temp agencies to find work, while others are trying to hire some former employees back as 1099 contractors for short-term work.
Even in these uncertain times, it’s best to keep a company’s talent pipeline full and maintain regular contact with prospective hires, so when you need new hires, you have a list of potential candidates.
Create a Nurturing Culture
Experts and professionals alike agree that nurturing a company’s culture is critical to long-term success. However, culture is difficult to automate, especially in a remote environment.
Focus on providing constant communication, keeping employees engaged and having leadership regularly show a commitment to company culture. These essential tools will help employees remain calm and committed during our worldwide crisis.
Engaging Remote Workforces
Human Resources departments must work to keep employees engaged, which helps boost their productivity. Research shows that employees that feel their company prioritizes their emotional and physical wellbeing are more engaged and enjoy their work. Retaining employees translates into better business and significant cost savings for businesses. Happy employees are also healthier, which helps reduce employee burnout and boosts attendance.
Accommodation and Compliance Issues for Human Resources in 2022
With more companies adopting remote policies, employers can also inadvertently run into legal issues. Possible issues that may arise:
- Legally permitted employer actions must accommodate federal and state statutes and regulations, including but not limited to ADA, FMLA and Title VII.
- Leave policies and FMLA requirements.
- Teleworking arrangements that help protect employees.
- Companies must explore the ADA’s legal definition of “disability-related inquiries,” “direct threat,” “medical examinations,” undue hardship and other similar terms.
HR can help provide insight and advice for leaders to plan and make strategic management decisions related to remote workforces and ongoing pandemic-related policies.
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