HR in times of crisis: how to control organizational challenges?

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HR in times of crisis: how to control organizational challenges?

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The world is experiencing a moment of great tension with the discovery of the new coronavirus. Social isolation, widespread paralysis and the adoption of new health security measures are some of the emergency actions adopted. It is no different in Brazil.

The need for social distance that Covid-19 disease imposes in order to prevent an upward spread, which escapes the control of the country's health system, has also brought quarantine, voluntary or mandatory, as a preventive measure.

Thereby, organizations needed to send their contributors back home and review all its functioning and strategic planning. More than ever, the Human Resources (HR) team is essential to conduct people management.

In this post we will discuss how the HR sector should act in crisis management, given some of the most common challenges that organizations are likely to face in the coming months.

Follow the post and understand the role of HR in times of crisis. Good reading!

What is the relationship between HR and the Covid-19 pandemic?

In the face of the overwhelming crisis of the new coronavirus, companies made it a primary issue to send people home. Later, managers, led by HR, discussed organizational issues such as climate, engagement, productivity, internal communication, and so on.

For HR, in times of crisis, strategic decisions are even more important than in everyday life. This is because their performance and decision-making become decisive to keep the workforce together, committed and productive, in new scenarios.

In any company, the HR department plays a vital role in protecting and preserving human capital. In the face of any change or negative situation, Human Resources professionals take action to supervise the process and take care of the employees' well-being. And now, in the face of the coronavirus, it will be no different.

The internal communication must be very well fed to avoid the stress, anxiety, fear and other concerns, which could make the stage even worse.

HR management in times of crisis is the solution to guarantee the retention of the best talents in the organization, ensure the sharing of values ​​and maintain productivity rates.

What is Crisis Management?

Crisis. A small word, but it can have huge consequences, especially when companies are caught by surprise. In order to prevent these consequences from impacting the organizational reality in an uncontrolled and perverse way, crisis management must be a priority.

Crisis management It is an administrative intelligence process that studies the potential impact of a risk for the institution. Created by the leaders, risks of different kinds can be assessed, such as image, brand, financial situation, organizational structure, climate, failed communication, among others.

The process develops manuals of conduct in the face of the possibility of a crisis to arise, so it considers issues such as:

  • the procedures to be adopted;
  • those responsible for each emergency measure;
  • organizational priorities;
  • the forms of investment and application of resources;
  • the response time to the problem;
  • the response time with the public;
  • anticipating compromising situations;
  • image preservation measures;
  • ways to strengthen organizational culture.

Crisis management organizes the company to react to situations as safely and efficiently as possible. If you want to know more about this management in the financial sphere, we recommend reading this material here.

How can HR act in the face of the crisis?

In the face of the new coronavirus crisis, crisis management is essential. With both the external and internal scenarios in mind, organizations need to act to ensure less disconcerting impacts.

With regard to the internal public, the HR sector is responsible for adopting control and care measures. Check below how HR should act in times of crisis, given the most common organizational challenges.

Transmission of security and trust to employees

Any situation that generates change can be frightening. In situations of economic crisis, these changes are usually widespread, the feeling of insecurity becomes even more intense.

Precisely for this reason, the company must take a stand and transmit security to employees. HR in times of crisis it must develop strategies to reinforce this position, giving confidence and reassuring the workforce.

Will the job be maintained? How will the salary be? Will the company be able to get through the crisis? How long will people stay in the home office? How will the contact with the organization be? What will be the cutoff criteria? What to do to help? Questions like this should arise and HR professionals should be prepared.

Keep one transparent and coherent dialogue it is essential to convey a palliative message that ensures credibility.

On here, it is worth mentioning that being transparent does not mean communicating any bad scenario, which can leave the workforce unbalanced and alarmed. It is necessary to have responsibility, commitment and criteria to inform employees about the real situation of the company.

Carrying out necessary layoffs and removals

Another important issue to be addressed by HR in times of crisis is the resignation and absences.

In view of the economic instability that the new coronavirus pandemic has generated, some organizations may need to reduce their workforce, and the HR sector will have the difficult task of leading the process.

For that, it is essential to adopt a humanized stance, clearly present the reasons for the decision, explain all the legal rights that the employee has and the ways to conquer them, position the organization and offer all the necessary support.

In cases of contamination by Covid-19, the employee will need to be isolated and sent home. In situations of absence such as this, an absence must be considered for justified absence, with no discount on the mandatory rest days.

According to the latest official announcements. the EHIC (National Institute of Social Security) will be responsible for paying the days off.

In addition, as a support measure for companies, in order to account for irregular working days during mandatory quarantine, the federal government authorized the anticipation of individual vacations with at least 48 hours notice and collective vacations, without the need to communicate to the unions. category.

Remote recruitment and selection

Unlike what most people think, HR in times of crisis also hires. Therefore, all work of recruitment and selection are performed remotely, demanding even more creativity and focus from professionals in the sector.

To avoid agglomerations and physical contact, interviews, dynamics, tests, training, among others, will be carried out online with the support of technology. For many candidates, the possibility of performing the most stressful stages of the process at home is a plus. Thus, nervousness will not prevent them from exploring their best qualities, being an advantage for the organization.

That done, other digital HR management solutions can also be adopted, such as The digital admission, digital payroll, digital vacation control, digital time control, and so on.

Thus, in the case of hiring, new employees can upload personal documents on an exclusive platform, digitally sign the employment contract and learn about the organizational culture through videos or electronic explanations.

It is worth mentioning that HR in times of crisis aims to find talents differentials, which can help the organization to overcome the critical situation more lightly. Therefore, recruitment strategies should be aimed at attracting and retaining these professionals.

Strengthening the organizational culture

The need for social distance imposed by the risk of contamination of the new coronavirus leads organizations to adapt, even if unwillingly, to ensure its sustainability.

As the economic and political consequences are to be felt for a significant period, it is essential that the organization has crisis planning and a culture that supports these strategies.

In this way, HR in times of crisis must also pay attention to organizational culture. With employees away, working from their homes, unable to share everyday experiences, sharing values ​​and committing to the same purpose may end up weakening.

Therefore, in the face of uncertainties and insecurities, the culture must be reinforced to keep the professional team healthy, safe, united and productive.

Thus, the HR sector can maintain frequent contact with the workforce, send feedbacks constantly offer public recognition for achievements, send exclusive congratulations, keep creating graphic material that reinforces brand values, and so on.

Leaders must invest seriously in the management of human capital, because it is the people of the company that will lead the company's journey back to development.

Home office implementation

As we said, remote work has become a reality. HR must also take care of the quality of home office.

For that, it is necessary to evaluate whether:

  • employees have a suitable place to work;
  • the available equipment will be sufficient for the normal development of the work;
  • the chairs and tables are comfortable;
  • phones are available on site;
  • the place has internet access;
  • computers have solutions for holding online meetings;
  • the company can assign institutional equipment;
  • the company will pay for electricity and internet;
  • the employee needs some specific support.

It is up to the HR sector and managers to map the obstacles and actions to be taken to deal with possible difficulties. It is essential that the organization provides this support so that remote work can be performed with quality.

In the short term, when the crisis effectively ends, companies that have not looked carefully at the human capital they may, in addition to the economic issue, have another major problem: commitment.

If the company does not take care of the relationship with its workforce, it may end up discouraging and compromising the journey back to development. At first, she must remain where she is. But, if any new opportunity arises that stimulates the professional in a more active way, he, possibly, will go away and the company will lose a trained talent.

THE workforce it is the most valuable instrument of any organization. If she is not committed and satisfied, the company is unlikely to progress. THE HR in times of crisis, he is directly responsible for this care, so he must dedicate attention and extend support with empathy, promptness, creativity and respect.

Cool huh? And in your work, how is the management of this moment that is so crucial for the organization's survival? Tell us everything here in the comments!

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