The pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has disrupted organizations and caused human resources managers to think differently about their role as they adjust to the new normal practices including a new work environment that they have never imagined.
To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, companies have switched to a remote work model at a rate and scale they have never experienced. As face-to-face collaboration is replaced with e-mail and videoconferencing, HR managers must do difficult work under difficult circumstances.
Not only are HR professionals concerned about employees’ health and well-being during the pandemic, they are also under the strain of processing the paperwork and providing solace to the millions of workers who have been laid off. For employees still on the job, HR managers are trying to keep their workers engaged, connected, motivated, and productive. All these factors combined, it is what keeps industries intact living in the new normal.
HR Nation Philippines has conducted a research using a pulse survey covering essential topics which could help them know and identify the changes in HR trends and understand the shift in HR priorities in Philippine organizations, brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic. The HR Pulse Survey results were discussed during their last webinar held last July 28, 2020.
To kick off the event, Mr. Jessie Rebustillo, a veteran HR Management and Training Consultant, was asked to identify and interpret the key findings. He began with discussing what the HR trends during COVID-19 are according to the hundred of HR professionals who participated in the survey. The results are:
- Talent management
- Employee engagement
- Digital transformation
- Strategic HR
He described talent management as a strategic employee planning that is most needed now. Organizations must plan, regroup their teams for business continuity.
Then, he continued with discussing the Top Retention Challenges. The top and current retention concerns of organizations are the absence of a clear career path (49.21%), followed by low employee morale (32.54%), and lack of feedback and recognition (31.75%).
Based on the responses, there is a need to administer career development, employee engagement, and equitable performance management despite the pandemic.
He then proceeded with discussing the Top Learning and Development Needs which garnered the results flexibility and adaptability (51.59%), communication skills (38.10%), and multi-roles (31.75%).
The responses affirm that there is a necessity to conduct relevant training programs on agility and change management, communication skills development, and work ethics considering the flexible work arrangements.
Next on the list is the Top Performance Management Initiatives. The results drawn from the survey are employee performance evaluation (65.87%), goal alignment and measurement (61.90%), and employee development (51.59%).
For performance evaluation, organizations do not need to assess their employees based on attendance during the current situation. Therefore, HR managers should look for competency based wherein we look at the KPIs and output.
Job Description→ Objective from Strategic plan → Work Clarification → KPI → Assess
The next result that was discussed was the Most Significant Changes in HR where remote working arrangements (16.67%), workers’ well-being (49.21%), and engaging remote workforce (40.48%).
Mr. Rebustillo emphasized that employees must be given orientation on the alternative working arrangements. Organizations should not be using pre-COVID handbook and guidelines of their companies since there will be a change on many things, time keeping, compensation and incorporate health, and safety protocols and developing new organizational structures as some.
Given all these, what are the Top Concerns With Work From Home Arrangements?
The results show that organizations are mostly concerned with their employees’ work from home arrangements due to these factors: isolation/lack of human interaction (49.48%), interruptions (40.21%), and technology issues (39.18%).
Given all these, HR should require looking into their employees’ mental health. Interruptions are unavoidable like dogs barking, phone calls etc. HR should also ensure that connectivity and technology issues are addressed.
That said, the results of the survey regarding the Top Practices to Enhance The Work From Home Experience are regularly keeping in touch (87.63%), leverage on communication tools (68.04%), and workflow and roles (60.82%).
HR must come up with WFH policies and guidelines based on the Telecommuting Act of 2018, DOLE department orders and advisories, and industry practices.
As advised by Brent Denning, Salarium’s COO who also joined the webinar, it’s good to have brainstorming and problem-solving activities to keep the energy at work moving. The weak point in having these communication tools is the mute button and the off video since some may not express their thoughts online.
The pandemic forced HR to quickly apply digital transformations in their operating systems as people work remotely, online, and virtual. Given the Top Digital Transformation Plans for HR Systems and Procedures are performance and productivity (18.8%), work from home (16.4%), learning and development (14.8%), and attendance or payroll (14.0%).
These will require the implementation of a competency based performance management system, the reskilling and upskilling of employees with the use of technology, the upgrading of technology for work from home arrangements, the adoption of a learning management system and new learning modalities, and the employment of a reliable online time and attendance and payroll system.
To address this concern, Brent Denning discussed Salarium’s cloud-based system which can let you access your data anytime, anywhere with complete security.
So, whether you are the Company Admin or HR, whether you are employees based in the office, whether you report in the HQ, from a different branch or location or even at home, you have access to your system and there are no external or manual movement of upload and download of data.
Visit the Salarium website if you’re interested in any of the products that were discussed.
Download Mr. Jessie Rebustillo’s full presentation here: Philippine Trends in HR During COVID-19.pdf
Download the Trends in HR Pulse Survey Results here: Pulse Survey Summary