For HR Managers: Organizational development and productivity in times of crisis

HR managers often only care about the well-being of employees. Some people think that Human Resources Management is the management of salaries, personnel, and projects.

But in fact, a good HR manager must be able to cope in times of crisis.

A study was conducted on the impact of measures against COVID-19 on work productivity, human resource management, and organizational development of companies around the world. More than 200 respondents from 198 companies with diverse profiles took part in it. The survey was conducted entirely online. Respondents are predominantly managers and experts in the field of human resources or other positions in management teams.

Our significant survey report is an essential part of this campaign and we are excited to share it with everyone completely free of charge.

Optimism, working from home, crisis communication, and adaptation to change

The optimism of both managers and employees

One of the first things that make an impression in the results of the report is the optimism of both managers and employees – nearly 70% of both groups are absolutely or rather optimistic about the newly created situation.

The main priority of HR departments is crisis communication, which focuses on clarifying the organization of working from home, employee health, and new internal company measures.

Another positive news is that more than half of companies prioritize helping their employees. Of course, the work of managers is also undergoing changes – 71% of them have to adapt their main activity to work in an emergency, and 30% of their main activity during this period is to fix operational problems.

The study shows the ability to adapt to unforeseen business circumstances: reorganization of the work process, suspension of live meetings, and new training for greater efficiency when working from home. Despite affected productivity, companies are working on their post-crisis “restart” plans.

HR Considerations for Returning to Work After COVID-19

COVID-19 has caused changes in the world of work that were never foreseen. Business leaders and HR professionals must contemplate the micro-present (right now, this day, this hour), the present as we once defined it (this week, month, or quarter), and the future. Consider creating plans in six-, 12-, and 18-month increments to outline how your organization will return to work.

Consider priorities when creating return-to-work plans. Many priorities to address are obvious, such as how to deal with employees who have had COVID-19 or those who are vulnerable. Carefully document decisions and how personnel policies are implemented and keep them. The main considerations are:

Employee concerns, including the privacy of personal health information and commuting to work via public transportation
Revisions to policies such as encouraging and permitting telecommuting
Understanding the new regulatory landscape:

  • Expanding Emergency Family and Medical Leave
  • How to screen employees and certify their fitness for work without breaking the law
  • How to protect employee information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
  • Prepare the workplace for returning employees

Workplace preparation is key. She should be informed by the management and resources of the Safety and Health Office. Short-term plans may focus on cleanup and measures to ensure adequate supplies, personal protective equipment, hand sanitizers, and social distancing instructions.

Long-term HR planning

Long-term planning may mean changing workspaces to accommodate social distancing and setting policies to keep shared equipment such as “hotel desks”, conference rooms, and copiers or printers clean. Consider developing guidelines for meeting sizes, desk arrangements, navigating small spaces (such as elevators and restrooms), and mask etiquette.

In some industries, employers are already required to distribute PPE (e.g., plastic face shields), and future regulations may determine how employees conduct off-limits activities, such as customer visits. Decisions must be made at the state, local, and individual business levels regarding the adoption of new practices.

Review basic HR policies

Employers should consider revising or changing their employee policies in some areas.
While documentation is always important, it is now even more critical. Employers must document any business case that leads to a decision to deny employment based on difficulties related to the world situation.

The HR department should create home office policies

The office environment at work may not happen immediately. Review work-from-home policies and determine how to set expectations for camera presence and availability of communication tools to maintain teamwork and team accountability. Consider the possible technology services and security needs of employees. Communicate and continue to plan, any policy change, or action to make the workplace safer and communication present a challenge. Transparency in decision-making helps organizations sustain change and increase the employee engagement necessary for success.

More HR Articles

    1. Human Resource Management for Certified HR Managers“,

    2. “How to implement Agile HR in your organization”,

    3. Why you want to become a Certified Human Resources Manager“,

    4. The successful Human Resources Management Certification training”,

    5. Example of Human Resources plan of an IT / Software company”,

    6. Monitoring and evaluation of human resources management”,

    7. Human Resources Management Plan Example”,

    8. Strategies for building an optimal model of a human resources management system”,

    9. For Certified Human Resources Manager: The Internal Environment for HR Management”,

    10. Training of HR managers in the field of human resources”,

    11. Good Human Resources management training and certification“,

Leaders and their Human Resources decisions

Leaders should consider crediting their sources when communicating decisions, especially when working with geographically dispersed workforces and industries. Develop target groups to help guide return to work. Stepwise approaches can be helpful. Define steps with external factors (such as public health indicators) and internal operating conditions (such as staggered schedules). Create regular communications and usage surveys or a designated email address for employees to provide input and stay invested.

If your organization—whether it’s big, small, or even just a team—doesn’t have business plans, now is the time to develop one. Plan for a return to healthy activities with flexible and supportive leave policies and practices that educate employees, make workplaces safer, and enable the future.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *