COVID-19 Influence on human resources – 5 fields of action

Excellent employer branding as well as human resource management is more important than ever before. In addition to the shortage of skilled workers in tourism, the industry is now struggling with the migration of employees to other industries. The long closure periods, as well as other factors, are pushing for new approaches.

Employee development should not be neglected right now. The Corona pandemic has had a lasting impact on many people’s global perception of career development.

Regularly secured income, opportunities for promotion and advancement usually became a distant prospect. Employees with these uncertainties and sensitive thoughts fell into doubt.

During and after the pandemic, it is therefore particularly important not to neglect employees. New concepts must be developed on a sustainable basis in order to Regularly secured income, promotion and career opportunities usually became a distant prospect. Employees with these insecurities and sensitive thoughts fell into doubt. in order not to lose employee motivation and to contain frustration. Sustainability in career planning is not just a trend for employees, but much more a way of life.

Post-corona plans and strategies can help to return to a more regulated workday. Mobile, flexible working, even from home, will continue to exist in the future and should be further expanded and defined in new strategies and new work concepts. Personal training cannot be replaced by digital training, at least temporarily, but it can be promoted. The development of employees for a time after the pandemic should be cranked up again bit by bit. The entire situation will certainly continue to influence our daily lives, which is why the knowledge and skills of the individual must not only be sharpened, but also accompanied.

Only those who are not supported remain standing and develop feelings of indifference. The perspectives of the individual, both professionally and privately, are becoming the most important asset right now and are slowly supporting the integration processes back. Those who care for and accompany their employees now can assume that this jointly built trust will also be rewarded by loyalty in the future.

Employee development must not be neglected right now.

After the events of the last few months, employees expect absolute transparency. Those who initially attempted to gloss over the facts quickly began to skid. It stood out when companies were open, transparent and honest with their thoughts towards their team.

This fosters a relationship of trust between the company and its employees. Communication, used as a catalyst for change, is a way of setting a positive example and strengthening the feeling of togetherness. Especially now, team spirit is more important than ever, as everyone is dealing with the pandemic and its challenges differently. Some employees feel or felt very limited, left alone with the situation and the associated events around the workday and the home office.

Companies and the human resources managers responsible for this or the management must “put out feelers” and recognize warning signals as early as possible. Regular contact, congratulations or small attentions on special occasions must not be neglected. In corporate culture and employee management, authenticity means responding precisely to the voice, needs, fears and concerns of employees and creating security.

Transparency and cooperation at eye level can thus lead to a stronger team dynamic in the long term, which conveys a sense of familiarity with one another.

New ways are not only used in the digital new workday, but also play a significant role in employee recruitment. The local flexibility that Corona has taught us in an unplanned way makes employers more independent.

Geographical location is increasingly receding into the background in terms of its importance. In the meantime, it is no longer too important where an employee is located, but rather that he or she is available. Where location used to severely limit recruiting, new markets can now be tapped and the skills of the individual thus come into their own to a greater extent.

In the months or years ahead, we won’t be losing sight of this new work model anytime soon. The reliance on location-independent performance has gained in importance, and is just the beginning. Events such as trade fairs or career days are being replaced by virtual worlds and chatbots.

However, caution is called for here. If we currently use these platforms as the only alternative for acquiring new employees, we should not completely lose the personal exchange in the future. However, it will be interesting to see how effective and, above all, how quickly these alternatives have become a common medium. Nevertheless, even without digital recruiting, a significant volume of applicants is noticeable. This situation, especially in tourism, arises in particular from the loss of guest volume in cities. Rural hotels can thus recruit potential employees who would otherwise tend to remain static in the city.

Here too, new times call for new measures. If you remain flexible when drafting contracts, you can win over employees from the cities.

A key challenge that employees face in the home office is the feeling of loneliness and isolation. Dialog with colleagues, a regular feedback culture, but also regular team events and the common “coffee break” in between not only brought a structure to the daily work routine, but also contribute a large part to the employees’ loyalty to a company. All of these components are breaking down due to the pandemic and the resulting home office regulation. This “absence” is detrimental to the “we-feeling” within the team and to the commitment of each individual.

Not everyone feels well equipped at home or has the opportunity to retreat in a concentrated manner, which can be frustrating at times. Virtual remote solutions can help. The sense of belonging is strengthened by the virtual morning briefing at the start of the day or the online brainstorming on the new project. Here, too, employees need the security of understanding and structure. This is the only way to ensure that they continue to feel part of the team and that these fixed daily components bring a regular flow to their home office routine.

After-work drinks” via teams and the virtual yoga session in the evening, a breakfast sent online that is held together, complement the private components and ensure a good work-life balance and sufficient variety in the home office. Support, structure and the little pleasures that help everyday life bring us back a little bit of color in times like these.

What do employees really need right now? There is no simple answer, because every employee struggles with his or her own challenges and problems.

So one approach would be to ask: What does my employee need? Singularly and therefore considered as an individual. The manager must be just as interested in the individual employee as in his team as a whole. He or she must show understanding for the individual’s problems, offer support and provide relief. Empathy and caring are attributes that a manager needs.

In addition, it must be possible to inspire confidence even in uncertain times. In this crisis, employees are concerned about their job security and want to know how their company is doing.

But how does trust develop? This trust can be deepened through transparency and constant, clear communication. However, it is important to strike a balance here. Too much, irrelevant data overwhelms employees, whereas an absence makes them feel ignored and not belonging. Digital was an important issue even before the Corona pandemic. The lockdown and its accompanying restrictions forced the process to accelerate. In a short time, executives became digital crisis managers who had to accelerate and implement these new ways of working.

Agility and flexibility also play an important role and are currently an integral part of the working world. Working remotely in a home office no longer works in fixed structures and well-rehearsed teams. Flat hierarchies and cross-functional processing of projects and tasks are approaches that are more promising and future-oriented in the current situation.

Despite the prevailing crisis, a manager should not lose sight of the next steps for the company. The situation tempts to focus on the here and now. However, it is the “now” that decides which company will be made fit for the future and remain competitive by making the right decisions. Be it through digital transformation or individual work models according to the New Work concept.

“Trust is good, control is better.” This adage is a thing of the past. The lack of employee control is a challenge currently facing many managers. Whether it’s hours worked or tasks to be completed, many managers have been accustomed to providing a degree of control for their employees. Instead, the manager now becomes a part of the team and tries to maintain an integrative management style and keep motivation high through regular, informative exchange, the specification of concrete processes and constant monitoring.

Senior Consultant Denise Smelter Human Resources

Scroll to Top