Human Resources

3 Ways Workforce Management is Changing After COVID-19

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The global response to the pandemic has resulted in an incredible transformation in not just how we live, but in how we work as well.

These changes have been swift and challenging, forcing us to adapt to our new circumstances and find our footing in these unprecedented times.

While navigating this crossroads, however, it’s essential to take advantage of the opportunities these shifting dynamics present to us to attract and retain new business talent as the economy gradually starts to regain its balance.

In this blog, we discuss the three ways that workforce management is changing now and after COVID-19.


 

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1. Increased Upskilling and Reskilling

Nobody expected COVID-19 to make such detrimental impacts on our working environments - but with every dark cloud, it seems there comes a silver lining.

With many employees being made to work from home and thousands having been put on furlough or been made redundant, employers are seeing immense value in building a continual learning culture among their employees to better prepare them for future workplace landscapes. 

The motivation behind this notion is undoubtedly the quick adoption of new technology to keep businesses running, which in turn, will likely lead to an influx of new and exciting roles down the line.

This means that employees are now, more than ever, being encouraged to adopt new skills, especially digital ones, as well as reskill their current competencies - and they’re rising to the challenge.

Practically overnight individuals are taking on additional working responsibilities, jumping at the chance to learn new industry-specific skills, and enrolling on professional qualifications (with us, for instance) to enhance their roles in the workplace.

With the UK’s unemployment rate forecasted to reach 10% this year, skills development is essential to the immediate effort to lessen the impact of COVID-19. This way employees will remain marketable during a time when the pool for new job opportunities is wading low.

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2. More Open and Transparent Company Cultures

If lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that human beings must rely on each other in the face of uncertainty - even if it’s from a distance.

Managers and team leaders have had no choice but to give up a fair amount of control these past months and put more trust in their employees to work effectively under far less supervision.

This has enabled employees to figure out what works best for them while working from home or under more restrictive circumstances, causing leaders to edit their best practices for workplace operations and communications during and after COVID-19.

While being open and transparent with employees is something many businesses already pride themselves on, recent studies show that maintaining transparency during this time, in particular, increases employee engagement by 85% - illustrating that people value honest, authentic, and frequent communication.

To this end, organisations are expanding their lines of communication even further by regularly touching base with individuals and teams - usually via phone or online meetings - keeping them informed and connected while making sure to have some fun too (did someone say virtual pub quiz?)

During a time when we’re forced apart - even if it’s just by a couple of metres - it’s important to build a company culture focused on openness, transparency, trust, and community to reinforce the message that, together, we will endure these challenging circumstances and any that follow.

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3. A Focus on Employee Wellbeing

While it’s true that at this point most of us are used to living under restrictions, many people are still struggling to adapt to this new way of living on top of their other daily stressors.

This means its especially important for employers to be on top of effectively managing employees and to routinely check in on them, now and moving forward.

There is no exact science to best managing employee wellbeing, however, a few current practices we’re seeing from workforce management include:

1) Being aware of ‘burnout’

Managers who practice regular communication with their employees more easily recognise signs from those individuals who may be overwhelmed, stressed, unhappy, or unwell at work.

By talking with employees about their mental health and remaining empathetic to how they feel during this strange time, managers earn a deeper level of trust from their team members and see an overall stronger workforce as things go back to normal.


2) Encouraging holidays

It’s incredibly important to take time to decompress, otherwise, you run the risk of blurring the lines between work and play - especially if you have no choice but to work remotely.

This is why managers are encouraging their staff to take their allotted holidays, even if it means not going abroad or up to the cottage, getting away from the computer is just as important for employee wellbeing.


3) Encouraging a Routine

During a time where many of us can wear pyjamas to work (i.e. the home office), while exciting at first, it can start to feel a bit icky when we don’t practice our typical routine of getting up, getting dressed, brushing our teeth, and so on.

This is why managers are encouraging employees to stick to a routine wherever possible, even if they’re back in the office. Promoting improved wellbeing and increased productivity leaves employees more satisfied with their work-life balance, even if right now it’s a little off-kilter.

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It goes without saying that
the pandemic has enabled us to reinvent the future framework of the workplace, creating new opportunities and discussions that may have never been apparent before.
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However, now that you’re privy to how workforce management is changing during and after COVID-19, hopefully, you’ll take note of these initiatives and help to implement them within your own organisation.


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