Crisis Management Guide for HR During COVID-19 Pandemic

March 20, 20203:51 pm2094 views
Crisis Management Guide for HR During COVID-19 Pandemic
Crisis Management Guide for HR During COVID-19 Pandemic

The global pandemic, Covid-19, has affected many lives and disrupted businesses around the globe. But the worst is yet to come, HBR warned. Human resources professionals need to prepare their workplaces to get through this phase and maintain their business community.


Government instructions 

The cases of corona pandemic continue to climb. As of today, March 20, there are approximately 246,020 cases with 10,049 deaths while the other 88,483 have recovered from the illness. The most infected countries are China, the country where the virus first appeared, followed by Italy, Iran, Spain, Germany, USA, France, and South Korea. 

With confirmed cases keep growing, governments instruct businesses to allow their employees to work remotely as well as restricting travel and large group gatherings. These efforts are meant to arrest the spread of the virus, which is known as “flattening the curve”. 

See also: Coronavirus: 7 Tips to Help Your Employees Stay Productive While Working from Home

HR guide 

As businesses are expected to send their employees to work from home, HR should anticipate possible negative outcomes coming from remote workers, especially for employees who have never been working from home. Gallup reported that despite productivity gains and cost-saving, remote work can pose emotional health problems, especially today where many people are afraid of the Covid-19 outbreak. Remote work is also known to cause loneliness and isolation, making it less productive than expected. Moreover, employers would need to take an extra mile to monitor their employees and maintain work productivity. Therefore, it is crucial for HR professionals to create a crisis management team in order to maintain employees’ wellbeing, welfare, and productivity. 

Organisations have created contingency plans by adapting existing plans to handle the outbreak, while others are starting from scratch, PwC survey found. For those who have never been in this kind of situation, it will take so much effort. Hence, it is important to emphasise that crisis management is about developing policies and providing information to leaders, managers, and front-line employees regarding the crisis, in this case, Covid-19 awareness, prevention, management, and hygiene practices. In developing crisis management, make sure to highlight the following points: 

  • Developing succession contingencies for all major executives 
  • Conducting business using virtual video or audio capabilities 
  • Restricting and/or limiting personal and professional travel, especially to the state hit hard by the virus, including China, Italy, South Korea, Iran, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. 
  • Communicating on a business-critical operation
  • Continuously asking employees condition to monitor their wellbeing and health 
  • Moving critical operations to unaffected regions 
  • Cross-training team members to perform critical functions in the event of an unexpected absence or quarantine of another team member 
  • Documenting critical functions in the event of an unexpected absence or quarantine of another team member
  • Distributing call centre scripts and agent communication for fast response and critical situation

As for the employees, make sure they are reporting to managers timely when an unexpected situation occurs, the examples as follows: 

  • Requiring employees to report confirmed cases, either self or family or close neighbour, of Covid-19 to HR and/or management. 
  • Isolating employees diagnosed at work immediately.
  • Disinfecting objects at workplace regularly
  • Tracing those who might have been in close contact with infected employees, customers, and clients
  • Notifying those who might have been exposed by releasing diagnosed employee’s name 
  • Asking employees to log all contact with other employees or visitors in case they become symptomatic so that others can inform potential exposure
For more guidelines, please refer to the World Health Organisation. #AlertNotAnxious

Read also: Covid-19: Quick Tips for Businesses to Survive