Tech support for HR in the Covid-19 crisis

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Cat Mules

HR leaders are facing challenges, act now to resolve them.

Across the Asia Pacific region, during the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, close to 7 in 10 HR leaders recognised crisis management or business continuity planning as their top challenge.

An AON study in April 2020 surveyed over 304 companies in the Asia Pacific region, ranging from small, medium-sized firms (under 500), to large corporations (more than 5,000). Significantly 42% of those surveyed believe they’re only moderately prepared to deal with the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Most cited problems with business continuity (67%), but many reported HR challenges such as problems managing flexible work arrangements (64%), an increased need for internal communications (56%), and addressing employee concerns related to workplace policies (53%).

Instead of letting these statistics dishearten, this is an opportunity to investigate some of the many technology solutions that are available to address these concerns.

Ensuring business continuity

The first step is to form an effective human resource management strategy by identifying both functional and people-focused plans for workforce growth, in line with the company’s mission and vision.

The resource management strategy should ultimately track progress toward company goals but also identify areas for improvement, with the knowledge that corrective action can’t be taken if HR management is failing to meet its objectives.

If you’re fully or partially on the cloud, cloud management services are an ideal solution for business continuity, enabling automation of many processes, and ensuring computing resources can be switched rapidly to a stable backup while remaining operational.

Managing flexible work arrangements

Project management software, such as Viewpath, Trello or Microsoft Project, can be used to help remote workers be more productive and stay on task. Cloud-based options are able to be integrated with your other cloud software.

Platforms such as Workfront and Asana also allow managers to specify tasks and expected duration, as well as assign priority within each individual worker’s task list, with automated notifications to remind each party.

Automated notifications and alerts remind employees and managers to offer feedback and link through to the reviews to get them done. Reports pull the information from reviews and automatically generate actionable insights.

Goal-tracking software and features enable employees to set and record their own goals, ensuring managers and employees can be on the same page.

Managing employee communication

It is essential that communication platforms be integrated and personalised.

SaaS, Poppulo, is an example of a multi-channel communication platform that is interactive and targeted. Based on employee responses it generates performance insights about reach and impact within the business.

Journaling software, such as emPerform, includes features such as monitoring the real-time performance of employees. Importantly it is sensitive to employee emotions – they can get instant, private feedback when they’re lacking, and receive public praise when they succeed.

Managing employee concerns on workplace policies

Task management apps create and assign tasks, and give employees the necessary information to track progress, and notify the relevant parties when tasks are completed, as well as providing ongoing procedure training and holistic performance development.

Workforce management software, such as HR Partner and Calamari, manages important HR functions such as scheduling, holiday entitlement and sick leave management.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to managing HR change – but don’t be daunted. Tech solutions are partnering closely with HR departments to personalise the work stream and meet the changing expectations of local and international teams.

Our advice is to investigate tech solutions. There are many platforms and features available, so do your due diligence before deciding, or look to managed services to optimise your workflow by drawing on the advice of experts.

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Cat Mules

Umbrellar's Digital Journalist, coming from a background in tech reporting and research. Cat's inspired by the epic potential of tech and helping kiwi innovators share their success stories.

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