How is your HR function handling the current crisis?

Yesterday (Thursday 2nd April) we launched our first in a series of webinars which aim to provide support and guidance to HR teams across some very distinct areas. The main focus of our webinar yesterday – which you can watch an ‘on demand’ version of here – was on the current situation many HR directors/teams are currently facing and crisis management. With such a sudden and sharp drop in productivity globally as a result of the pandemic, HR leaders are having to quickly adjust their people strategies to ensure that their own businesses can adapt and survive.

The challenges are commonplace across organisations of all shapes and sizes. We want to provide a ‘helicopter view’ to show that what you are going through is being mirrored across many companies and share practical advice to help you mitigate the current issues in your business.

Yesterday’s webinar outlined the first four considerations of the ‘12-point plan’, including key questions you should be asking yourself and the business right now.

Strategic response

As a member of the Leadership team how are you influencing the discussion? Recognising there is now a shift to focusing on cash, what strategies are you deploying? What plans have you instigated to manage the impact (customers, employees, suppliers, services) for HR? How have you set up the right governance (agile cadence, delegating responsibility) and culture to support crisis management?

Emergency workforce plans

A key part of initial workforce planning is understanding the government’s changing support and guidance. Additionally, how are you dealing with immediate absences (supply), as well as coping with reduced demand (managing the cost of the workforce)? What strategies and approaches have you put in place to deal with remote working (infrastructure, handling childcare)?

Cultural congruence

Now is the time your business will show its true colours through the actions of its leaders, managers and people. How does this fit with your values and behaviors? How are you managing potential retention impacts and external judgment on steps taken (e.g. Sports Direct and Banks)?  What are you implementing for leadership and line manager coaching (e.g. difficult discussions, bereavement coaching)?

For a little more detail on the cultural impact to your business you can also listen to our podcast we released on Wednesday 31st March this week. The podcast discusses ways to maintain your culture when your whole business is remote working, with some tips on what we’re doing at LACE Partners to give you some ideas for consideration. Listen to the podcast here.

Recovery planning

You, as HR, need to be talking openly about what happens next – and starting to talk about it now. What are the people assumptions (testing and re-testing)?

Ongoing support…

Next week we’ll be looking at the next five sections in the 12-point plan, which are outlined below. We’ll also be launching a podcast on Wednesday around strategic workforce planning (you can subscribe to the HR on the Offensive podcast on our podcast page here), as well as another webinar at 2pm on Wednesday 8th April (register here) which will cover some practical tips and advice answering key questions such as:

  • New policies – Have you defined new policies for things like homeworking, sickness, furlough, etc?
  • Creative engagement – How are you constantly engaging and re-engaging your workforce during their time working remotely?
  • Wellbeing - Prolonged working from home increases the likelihood of physical and mental health challenges. What are you doing to combat this proactively?
  • Leadership behaviours – During times of crisis, leaders need to step up and live your values and support their teams. What support are you giving them?
  • Regulation and compliance – As much as we would like to not think of these things when having to move at pace, we will need to reconcile to the regulations that govern our businesses. How will you prepare?

You can find out more about all the tools that we’re producing to support HR teams right now on our dedicated webpage - Managing and optimising your workforce during global uncertainty.

If you’d like to talk to us about your challenges or if you’re seeking somebody to share your concerns with from a people strategy perspective, we’re for you and you can call us on +44 (0) 7808 167 048 or email info@lacepartners.co.uk.