It’s been an interesting few weeks to say the least. With infections continuing to increase and expectations that we have four more weeks of this, it’s important to take a second to ensure everything is working at your business.

Following our last blogs on the initiatives from the Federal government and tips for cash flow, we would today like to turn our attention to the process of keeping people engaged and effective. Whether you’re directly responsible for HR or work closely with the HR team to manage operations, after two weeks of working from home, you may want to look at how things are working. Today, we explore a few tips to keep your workforce engaged.

Be Proactive

For many workers, telework is new territory and that means HR needs to guide the transition and pay special attention to communication.

“HR needs to own the practice of remote work,” said Daniel W. Rasmus, founder and principal analyst at Serious Insights, an industry analyst firm. “They need to facilitate the discussion about how people work, how measurements change, and lead collaboratively with IT to put the right toolset in place.”

One thing recommended by TechTarget author Pam Baker is to partner with IT to ensure technology isn’t confusing. Establish a technical support group or division aimed specifically at remedying technical issues that will diverge widely from issues that product support desks are experienced in addressing. Make sure IT is fully engaged in helping with worker migration and related internal issues too.

Maintain Morale

As discussed in a TechTarget article, it’s HR’s job to ensure that communication is staying on point. After two weeks of quarantine, lines could break down and HR leaders play a critical role in managing morale, communication, and empathy.

Business and HR leaders should not leave employees in the dark about what the company is doing to help them and itself, what changes are afoot in terms of compensation and benefits, and what is expected of employees. Leaders need to be especially mindful of fear in employee communications during the coronavirus outbreak.

Entrepreneur author and founder of Zing Prasad Rajappan notes additional tactics to focus on:

  • Recognition and Engagement: Employee engagement has emerged as a critical driver for success of businesses today. During a time when there isn’t much connection or water cooler talk, this is hard. Engage performers, and induce a sense of belongingness, closeness and friendliness within your organization.
  • Stay Connected: Updates are important. Connect seamlessly with everyone irrespective of any location or time and keep them up to date to quell rumors amid COVID-19.
  • Make Sure Employees Are Getting Paid: Cash flow may be tight, but no one wants to stop receiving paychecks and feel like their company ‘fixed the glitch’. It may sound straightforward, but organizations should think of making life slightly easier for them by processing their salaries on time.

Embrace Technology

It’s likely you’ve already had to make a rapid decision on technology needed to manage projects and stay connected during the lockdown, but HR tech shouldn’t be overlooked either. As discussed in a recent article in Entrepreneur Magazine, this is a critical reminder just how important HR and HR tech is.

Employees are already nervous about the impact that this may have on their livelihoods, so payment, recognition, and communication is imperative. Add to this, engagement is more important than ever. Fear doesn’t breed confidence in your employees, and mismanaged HR is not instilling any more confidence. Whether you’re the financial backing behind the HR department or have responsibility for the whole department, here are a few tips:

  • Keep Attendance a Top Priority: Geo-fencing mobile-based punch-in/punch-out will make sure that your attendance is marked for the day you have worked on and gets you digitally connected workforce.
  • Take Time to Train: There’s no better time than the present to stay focused on learning. With an overall slowdown taking place, your employees might have a few hours each week. Why not empower your people and your business by delivering education? With learning management systems, you can ensure contactless knowledge and information dissemination with mobile-based learning.

Keep the Ship Upright: Controller’s Council is Here to Help

In times of crisis, it’s the controller’s time to shine. Your company will lean heavily on you for the steady hand and leadership they need to get them through this complicated time. From advice on managing cash flow to best practices on running the finance department, we’re here to help. Get to know us and follow us for all the latest.

Additional COVID-19 Resources for Controllers

Controller’s Guide to Managing Cash During a Crisis

Federal Assistance for Businesses during Coronavirus Outbreak

The Pandemic Stress Test: Were Your Spend Management Processes Ready?

Virtual Roundtable: Controlling Employee Expenses with a Small but Mighty TeamWebinar Tuesday, September 28

Join the Controllers Council as Ram Bartov, Corporate Controller of TripActions (formerly Corporate Controller at Snowflake), reveals how small but high-performing finance teams today are embracing automated expense management technology to gain a better line of sight, control, and real-time reporting. Ram will moderate a “virtual roundtable” of Controllers and CFOs to be announced.