December 8, 2020

HR's secret weapon for responding to the pandemic

Over the past six months, Human Resources has had to face several unprecedented challenges due to the impact of Covid-19. A recent study from Personio, all-in-one HR software for small and medium-sized business companies, has analyzed how HR leaders have responded to the pandemic, what will be the main problems it has faced and what role it plays in the company's recovery.

Perhaps the most important finding is that, not all companies have suffered equally. There is a difference between the companies that have known how to surf the crisis and those that have not. So what has been the secret weapon of these HR managers in responding to the challenges of the pandemic?

The data speaks for itself: in organizations where all HR processes were already digitized, 63% of managers rated the HR response as very good.

This shows that having a digitized system has been the key to making this great difference in times of crisis. In addition, they have learned that HR will be crucial in the recovery of companies, especially in the areas of mental health/employee well-being (45%) and the application of new work initiatives (37%). The task of HR in this context is to be able to support its employees and guarantee their well-being and health in the workplace. How? Maintaining motivation and productivity.

How to stay motivated and productive while working remotely

Companies have quickly had to grapple with how to survive the crisis financially and how to protect their employees. The task has not been easy: they have had to come up with ways to keep their staff motivated while working from home.

There are many initiatives that you can try to improve the work environment and maintain productivity. Here are some:

  • Break ambitious goals into smaller, more digestible chunks. So employees will feel the progress achieved with their work.
  • Give rewards. They do not have to be monetary, public recognition within the company or in your social networks may be enough. The important thing is to celebrate achievements and good ideas.
  • Have social gatherings online. While not entirely a substitute for coffee in the office, it can help keep your spirits up.
  • Be positive. Uncertainty is the enemy of motivation. If you correctly communicate what you do know for the future in the short, medium and long term, you will help reduce uncertainty for your employees. Even better if you focus on the goals that are within reach.

But, how do you know which initiatives you have to develop? Simple: ask them. Just run work climate surveys for your employees and find out what worries them, what problems they have working from home and what they expect from the company. It is very easy if you have a climate survey tool like HRider's, which can collect the information from your employee database and run the surveys on your employees, wherever they work. You will have the information you need to act in real time!

Hand in hand with motivation is productivity. It is advisable to measure staff performance in order to respond more quickly to deteriorating productivity. To achieve this in a teleworking environment, the best thing would be to implement an evaluation system by objectives that offers employees the possibility of reconciling while supporting the company's results.

How to deal with lack of time

With so much to do, it's not surprising that, according to the Personio survey, 52% of HR leaders said they didn't have the time or resources to tackle the department's true strategic tasks or that they had too much administrative work.

How can we implement these measures when time is limited? The data supports the testimony of the survey, since the employees of this department invest 42% of their time in administrative tasks that could be invested in developing employee motivation plans.

On the other hand, during the pandemic, 71% of HR professionals have struggled with poor access to people data. How do we run climate surveys if we don't have an updated and reliable employee database? How do I know if my staff are healthy, if I can't measure absenteeism due to illness? How do I know if they are being productive?

In this scenario, it's essential to have all human resources processes digitized in order to implement HR policies effectively during the pandemic. That's HR's secret weapon. It means freeing yourself from the endless hours of filling out Excel spreadsheets that are never fully updated and automating important processes that add no value to your talent management: signing documents, calculating absences, time control, payroll incidents, etc.

Personio, a reference Human Resources software company for SMEs in Europe, has calculated that its clients could have been between 20% and 30% more efficient, standardizing, digitizing and automating workflows. Part of this efficiency also involves achieving efficient integrations between different specialized systems, such as the one used by Personio and Hrider for performance evaluations and 360º feedback.

Companies must take action now to enable HR to function effectively and strategically, as HR teams will be instrumental in supporting the return to the office and helping their organizations navigate the transition period. In turn, the leaders of this sector have a unique opportunity to show the importance of their work and guide their company in periods of transformation to keep the team productive, connected and close.


Do you want to know more about how you can work with Hrider and Personio having all the data of your integrated employees with a single click? Ask us!