With the circuit breaker most likely ending in June, it’s now time for the HR team to begin preparations for life post-COVID-19. However, life after COVID-19 and the circuit breaker in Singapore is filled with uncertainty. But as a recruitment outsourcing agency, we believe that there are some ways HR executives in Singapore can prepare for life post-COVID-19.
Below, are three questions all HR executives in Singapore should ask themselves in order to prep the workplace once the circuit breaker is over:
1. Who do we decide to bring in?
Unfortunately, not every employee in your organization is going to feel safe enough to come back to the office. We recommend holding a discussion with both your superiors and the individual teams - to decide which team is the most essential. Additionally, you’ll have to decide which of these essential teams are at the least amount of risk from contracting COVID-19.
Here’s are three ways to help you figure out which of your employees is at the least risk:
Determine the health risk of each employee based on their age and health status
From what we know, COVID-19 is more likely to have a detrimental impact on individuals who are over the age of 60. As well as employees with various underlying health issues. These employees should be allowed to continue working from home.
Can their jobs be completed from home?
Employees who can complete their jobs from the comfort and safety of their own homes should be allowed to continue working from home. While the possibility of contracting the virus still looms high, it’s best to allow employees who are healthy to work from home. Limiting the number of employees working in the office is also a great way to enforce social distancing since there will be fewer people in the office.
2. How do we improve company morale post-COVID-19?
Now that we’re months into the circuit breaker, it is safe to say that most employees have adapted to life during the temporary COVID-19 shutdown. But still, some employees might need a slight push to help improve their morale post-COVID-19.
Here are some ways a great HR team can improve company morale post-COVID-19:
Be inspiring: Keep in mind that the slightest inconvenience might bring your employee down. One way to inspire collective morale with your employees is by communicating stories of inspiration. Combining this with an empathetic and forgiving leader might be the secret to inspiring your company post-COVID-19.
Be transparent: Transparency is the key to maintaining trust between both your employees and the higher-ups within the organization. Letting your employees know about the organization’s going on allows your organization to keep potential rumors at bay.
Check-in with your employees: Are your employees suffering in silence? When it comes to office life post-COVID-19, silence is not always golden. Make an effort to check in with your employees and ask them what they’re struggling with.
Some ways for HR teams in Singapore to check in with their employees include:
A. Sit down with your employees for a quick round of check-ins: An actual face to face check-in session with your employees will allow you to learn of their worries and successes in a safe environment.
B. Encourage employees to practice self-care: Self-care means different things to different people. One way to find out what kind of activities that your employees enjoy divulging is through a simple survey. Keep in mind that the activity doesn’t have to be extravagant. It can be something as simple as a small group exercise or even an additional short break.
C. Keep communication and helplines open: Keeping lines of communication open allows your employees to ask for help with the HR team on their own, at the right time. Therefore, it’s important to let your employees know of the different resources the organization has made available to them.
3. What safety measures should HR enact post-COVID-19?
Just like before the current circuit breaker, the HR team will have to enact various safety measures once Singapore’s work-from-home period ends.
Below, are some questions employees might have that HR teams should be prepared to answer:
Can employees work from home after the circuit breaker?
It’s important to give your employees the resources they need to feel safe during the current pandemic. Although the HR team might not have a direct say in whether or not employees can choose to work from home once the circuit breaker is lifted. It is still a question that organizations should ask themselves and find a solution for. An alternative to this would be to implement a staggered or rotating schedule in the office.
What happens when another isolation occurs once the circuit breaker is lifted?
Just like in the initial round of circuit breakers, your organization should already have a good “Business Continuity Plan” (BCP) in place.
Some relevant readings you might find useful include:
Alternatively, here are some safety measures HR should keep in mind post-COVID-19:
Encourage virtual conferences and meetings despite the lift in restrictions. This allows all employees in the organization to keep socially distant from one another. Alternatively, if in-person meetings are necessary, they should be conducted with social distancing in place.
Limit office celebrations and employee travels. Just like office meetings, it’s best to limit gatherings and celebrations for the time being. The same goes for employee travel. Instead, try implementing a set of guidelines that limits large gatherings amongst employees for the time being. The celebrations can be done either virtually or postponed to another date.
What hygiene and cleaning regimen should HR set in place? Aside from the hourly temperature takings, it’s best to instill other guidelines (e.g. cleaning regimen, rotating shift timetable, to name a few) that your employees can pick up.
Some hygiene precautions that organizations can provide employees with include:
Personal protective equipment (PPE) if required
Ample hand soap and disinfectant
Information on proper infection control practices such as proper handwashing protocol, coughing and sneezing etiquette, proper tissue disposal.
What are some questions you have for your organization’s HR team once the circuit breaker is over? Share them with us in the comments section below!