Over the past few months, we have all been hyper-focused on navigating our organizations safely through the current, unprecedented times. We've been furloughing employees and bringing them back; making sure we provide a safe work environment or making remote working the new normal; administering all the new government compliance programs and reporting paid sick leave and extended FMLA. While these responsibilities have been taking most of our time and are, understandably, very important, we still have to make sure we are checking items off from our normal HR to-do list, like making sure the employee handbook is up-to-date, maintaining performance management programs, completing OSHA reporting, conducting safety training, benefits renewals, and open enrollments...and the list goes on and on.
While the presence of the Coronavirus in the United States stretches into its fifth month, the pandemic continues to impact employers, their businesses, and their workers. Three of the latest developments are below.
As your business continues addressing these items, please remember that Bennett/Porter & Associates is here to continue supporting you, your employees, and your organization. We strive to keep you up-to-date on all the latest HR, payroll, and employer-related technology changes that impact your company. If you are not currently signed-up to receive our Blog posts, we encourage you to do so in order to avoid missing important updates such as these. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or technology needs you have.
A recent Ankura survey found that 48% of employees wish that workplace technology performed as well as personal technology. This high number indicates a broad divide between employee expectations for information usage and what employers are actually delivering. While data-driven apps, mobile-ready devices, and search engines like Google offer people near instantaneous access to information in their personal and social lives, as employees they continue struggling when at work to access basic information regarding time off accruals, hours usage, and scheduling. Furthermore, they frequently find themselves tethered to non-mobile points of access. These technology impediments are also expensive for employers, since excess time, energy, and costs are continuously expended when employees have to waste time seeking basic information and answers.
Coordinating Human Resources wasn't in your job description when you were interviewed and hired at this little company of 47 employees. But you're a fast study and have a friendly personality, and so after six months at work you were asked to show a new hire around. Afterwards you thought, "There should probably be an orientation and initial paperwork process for when new people are hired," and so you took the initiative and created one. The benefits enrollment process interested you, and so you became the main contact with the broker. One day, somebody asked if the minimum wage poster in the break room was current. It wasn't, so you retrieved the latest version from the Department of Labor website and started checking and replacing the other notices from time to time. HR tasks didn't take up too much of your time, and it was kind of fun keeping on top of things.
Then a pandemic hit.
A couple years ago, Gallup conducted a survey that categorized employee engagement into three levels. The results showed that, in any given organization, 30% of employees are actively engaged in propelling the company along, half of the employees are just coasting on the efforts of the others, and 20% are actively attempting to disrupt progress within the business. Do you know which of your employees fall into which categories? More importantly, do you know how to improve these conditions?
Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are asking questions like how and when is it safe to re-open their organizations. Meanwhile, local governments are working through very confusing phases of re-opening regulations. And as if that's not enough to think about, OSHA updated the rules for employer obligations of reporting COVID-19 as a workplace illness. Lions, and tigers, and bears, OH MY! Could this be anymore overwhelming? In this post, we will attempt to help make sense of some of the latest updates, and we're also offering a free webinar on COVID-19 workplace safety as well as a policy template so that you have two valuable resources to assist your progress in these safety-related tasks.
Many counties are working through the required phases to get people back to work, and that leaves employers trying to figure out how to safely return to the new normal. Employee safety is generally a number one priority for employers. As businesses face post-COVID-19 reopening, following are some key factors to consider:
More help brings more questions and new confusion. On March 27, 2020, Congress passed a second round of economic stimulus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Some of the relief elements contained within this latest act include:
- Paycheck Protection Program Loans
- Additional Unemployment Benefits
- Student Loan Payments Suspension
- Funding for Hospitals, Airlines/Airports, and Food Assistance Programs
- Government Checks to Individuals
- Small Business Debt Relief
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Economic Injury Grants
Here is a closer look at some key aspects.
You may have previously considered, or even had plans for, giving your employees the ability to work remotely. Due to the recent social changes in response to COVID-19, those considerations may have accelerated into a necessary reality to keep your business running during this time that we're all supposed to remain at home.
A few days ago, our I.T. Manager, Dionne, published a blog post about the various technologies that you might need to rely on so that your employees can get their work done seamlessly and securely from a remote location. That post addresses how people can stay connected to your organization. But how does your organization stay connected to them...informationally, culturally, practically?
A cloud-based Human Capital Management system offers many built-in solutions to keep your organization aware of your employees' activities and help them stay informed in the face of rapid change. The following features keep everyone working together, even when they're in different places.
Who is dreaming about the days of getting back to a normal version of crazy? You know, kids back in school, too many scheduled social gatherings, a day packed with back-to-back in-person meetings, watercooler talk with co-workers, sporting events to cheer at, too many toilet paper options at the grocery store, and bumper-to-bumper traffic in the morning and afternoon. Okay, maybe not so much the traffic.
These are definitely uncharted times that we are going through. It’s such a strange feeling to take that pause that keeps our family members, friends, co-workers, and even total strangers a little safer by staying distant from them.