Back in March 2020, when we were first impacted by COVID-19, we were trying to find clarity amidst chaos. Just like our customers, our day-to-day business and lives changed instantly — without warning. To guide our customers during this period, we have launched a Remote Work & COVID-19 Response Series.

This series will support you in adapting your performance management priorities during times of uncertainty. Our aim is to provide you with directly applicable best practices to help you shape a performance management process to successfully support and grow your people at a time when they need it most.

In this first article in our series, we will focus on:

  • The role of HR during COVID-19

  • The 4 business stages during COVID-19

  • Solution: Pulse Surveys support a healthy and engaged workforce

  • Pulse Survey templates to match your current business stage

  • How Impraise supports Pulse Surveys

The Role of HR during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all eyes are on HR now you are faced with what could be one of the most difficult challenges in your career so far. You may need to wear multiple hats while leading a historic remote-work experiment on one hand and minimizing fear on the other.

What’s up next? Stop and breathe. Go back to the basics: your people and the values of your organization. Now more than ever, you need to take care of your people as they play a crucial part in whether your organization will successfully come out on the other side of the flattened curve.

So how can you be there for your people? To answer this question, we have identified 4 business stages you will pass during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, we’ll focus on solutions for stages 1 and 2.

The 4 Business Stages during COVID-19

Stage 1: Disorder – A sudden change in everyone’s business and personal life leads to confusion and uncertainty. People are expected to work from home and to adjust to the “new normal”. The right tools, resources, digital access, and communication channels need to be identified and established all while prioritizing the well-being and health among your people. During this stage, leadership and HR play a crucial role in accommodating and addressing the needs of your people.

Stage 2: Adjusting – Slowly people start to adapt to the new normal. Emotions and productivity still fluctuate. People accept that working from home is part of their job and they know what is expected of them. They are focused on optimizing working remotely and learning to be more productive. A good thing to be aware of is depending on people’s job responsibilities and home situation, this stage poses different challenges to different people.

Stage 3: Getting Ready – It starts to become clear where we stand and what the long-term impact of the COVID-19 will be on your business as well as the world around you. Knowing what’s ahead will bring the clarity needed to prepare for what’s to come. Currently, it’s difficult to predict what this will look like.

Stage 4: The New Reality – Whether the new reality is economic growth or the complete opposite, objectives, and strategies will be put in place to give direction in the post-COVID-19 era.

Solution: Pulse Surveys Support a Healthy and Engaged Workforce

If you want to understand how you can adapt your HR priorities to your current business stage and the needs of your people, you can give them a voice by regularly sending out a Pulse Survey. We’ve been listening to our customers and their current challenges, and along with our own experience, we have created 4 COVID-19 Response Pulse Survey templates specifically designed per business stage you are in. These pulse surveys will provide you with a real-time snapshot of the well-being of your workforce and important themes that need your immediate attention.

If you’re new to Pulse Surveys and are curious about what value they can bring you, please read more here.

Pulse Survey during Stage 1: Disorder

How can you expect people to focus on their job when they are worried about losing it? During the Disorder Stage, your focus should be on providing clarity, building trust, and addressing employees’ concerns. Recognizing signs of distress from a remote situation has proven to be difficult when you are missing out on human interaction and face-to-face conversation.

Pulse Survey during Stage 2: Adjusting

The Adjusting Stage is crucial as it brings with it the uncertainty of how long it will last. This not-knowing can impact productivity, engagement, and overall employee experience. Though the panic has resided, working on long-term plans has made way for adjusting to remote life. This outlook may cause distress and frustration. If left unattended, these feelings will impact employees’ motivation and ultimately lead to a disengaged workforce.

Pulse Survey during Stage 3: Getting Ready

As the infection rates level off and governments are drafting loosened restrictions, businesses around the world are preparing to reopen and transition (partially) back to the office. Surveying your employees on questions around preferences and logistics will help you make a more informed decision on what going back to the office could look like for your company.

Pulse Survey during stage 4: The New Reality

In this stage, you’ve most likely opened up the office for a reduced number of employees with measures in place to ensure safety and health. It’s time to start thinking of your long term strategy. Are you considering moving towards supporting a remote workforce? We recommend surveying your people on how they envision using the office in the “new normal.”

To measure employee sentiment during either of these four stages, please use our different crisis response pulse survey templates here.

How Impraise Supports Pulse Surveys

We’ve specifically designed our Pulse Survey feature in Impraise to add instant value to HR, management, and C-suite. Team reports are automatically shared with managers and you are given the flexibility to share the full report with C-suite.

This empowers your team leads to understand their team’s morale and take the appropriate action, while HR and C-suite have actionable insights to make higher strategic decisions. Conducting Pulse Surveys regularly allows you to compare responses over time and identify whether you have made progress after the action you’ve taken.

Learn how you can set up a Pulse Survey in Impraise here.

Next in our Series

The next post in our series on Remote Work & COVID-19 Response will focus on how you can support managers to virtually lead and coach their remote team members.

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