When we talk of the pandemic, coronavirus scenarios hit the mind. A picture of suffering individuals haunts us and the thought of the falling economy disturbs our rhythm. In a situation like this, most of the companies have shut down their offices and employees across the globe have been asked to work from home.
The work from home conditions may have improved the situation as far as the pandemic is concerned. But, it has increased the hassle for HR managers. Managing work from home employees is a herculean task. It is not possible to handle communication and collaboration between various departments of the office.
Sadly, we don’t have a choice and this is something enforced upon us. So, HR teams are working round the clock and arranging meetings, implementing communication regimens, and directing employees.
To make your job a notch easier, we have discussed collaboration characteristics in detail. Read more to understand how you can improve collaboration between employees during the lockdown.
Tips to Work Remotely
Remote working arrangements are difficult especially for organizations that don’t have a work from home policy. It is hard to manage the entire workforce that is working from different locations. The coordination, meetings, and other activities are put in a frenzy as soon as a single person is unavailable due to any reason.
Further, upskilling is challenging because getting everyone aboard with a training schedule remotely is not easier. The employees also find themselves struggling to maintain a schedule because they have to fight through distractions that were not there previously.
Bumpy VPN networks plague business connectivity. A lot of VPNs are not safe and a study proves it. In this study, it was revealed that 84% of VPNs don’t have proper encryption methods and protocols. In fact, 18% of VPNs don’t even encrypt the traffic.
Let’s be honest, it is not possible to improve collaboration among employees without effective VPN and faster networks.
Your employees already have experience in using MS office applications like Word, Excel, etc. If you take away these applications during the lockdown, the work productivity will be hampered.
Many of your files will not be supported by systems and your employees will have to face additional issues because they may have to understand another software to work.
To make it easier, make the necessary software available to your employees. Of course, the situation is not feasible but it will be worse if the productivity of your employees reduces.
Improved Communication System
Communication is the key, and collaboration between employees comes from effective and smooth communication.
So, what can you do to ensure communication?
Use robust communication tools that aid your functioning. For instance, slack, a software available even on mobile. Thus, even when your employees are unable to access their laptop or computer, they can still stay connected through their mobile.
A proper tool for communication improves response mechanisms and collaboration among employees. This will improve productivity and make work from home easier for employees.
Lastly, one of the things that only HR managers can do is stay available. Whether it is through Slack, zoom rooms, or even WhatsApp, simply stay available for employees. If your employees face issues, the HR team should be there to understand the issue and start a resolution procedure at earliest.
The more you delay this communication, the more you move towards decreasing collaboration between employees.
How to Improve Communication?
Before deciding and changing any of the above factors, the HR leaders of the office need to take a step forward. No tech can compensate for the acceptance that the HR team can inbuild in the employees.
So, before anything else, the HR team needs to sit together, connect on a call, and decide. They should decide how they will collaborate with employees, what will be the shift timings, and what the organization expects from its employees.
Having clear guidelines for every employee of the organization is the right way to get through the pandemic situation. This change and organizational transformation should absolutely come from the HR team of the organization.
Here are things to achieve:
- Decide the shift timings of every employee. This is the time during which the employee should be online and available for the upcoming work.
- Create a method through which each and every employee of the team can connect without hassle. For instance, it is not okay if one team is on Skype, one on Slack, and another on Hangouts. You need a dedicated structure for communication.
- Have a remote method to keep a track of the performance of the employees. This is necessary to ensure that every employee is achieving some level of productivity for the organization.
- Ensure that the clients of the organization are kept in the loop for the communications to ensure regular business and proper in-flow of work.
- Have a separate workflow for the HR related activities such as announcements related to salary, TDS deductions, and tax-related formalities.
Considering Employment and Financial Needs of Employees
Lastly, it is a difficult time for everyone financially. Hence, the HR manager of the company should ensure that the employees’ financial needs are being met without any hindrance.
Let’s see what you can do:
- Get in a financial advisor to suggest to you how you can manage these financial risks and your financial situation effectively.
- Regularly communicate with the employees to ensure that they are not facing financial issues. By collaborating with employees on this, you can ensure that the basic needs of the employees are being met.
- If you are unable to retain multiple employees in this situation, help them. Suggest them to the industries and companies that are currently resuming working even in the lockdown.
- Help your staff revamp and renew their resumes and offer great recommendations to the employees who are not retained. This will help them acquire a new job sooner than later.
It’s a challenging time for each and every individual. Practically, everybody is facing some or the other issue. While companies are struggling to retain customers, employees are struggling to retain their jobs. Overall, the complete economy is shutting down and there is nothing we can do except for collaborating and improving the functioning when working from home. Hence, read the above tips and improve collaboration between employees.