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Evolving Pandemic Induced HR Crisis In The Making

2 Mins read

valentinrussanov via Getty Images/ Evolving Pandemic Induced HR Crisis In The Making

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Human Resources Executives have been up and doing, solving a myriad of evolving people issues. While working from home solved the problem of employees exposure to COVID-19 while in the office, or commuting; school closure created another one for them at home.

The school situation this fall is anything but normal. Parents are anxious, many are facing months of full-time or partial at-home learning. How will they juggle remote work with their children’s need for help with their virtual schooling? Will they have to choose between their jobs and their kids?

Evolving Pandemic Induced HR Crisis Is Forcing Parents To Choose Between Their Jobs and Their Kids

The answer needs to be “no,” since these are evolving pandemic induced HR crisis. It’s on employers’ shoulders to make sure parents can continue to succeed at work and at home during these chaotic times.

By providing support to employees, companies also win in the long-term. They will have better retention of top talent and a more positive, productive culture.

This is an issue that affects the millions of parents who make up about one-third of the U.S. workforce, half of whom are currently without childcare. And it hits the more than 25 million working mothers especially hard. They are more likely than dads to leave the workforce when childcare needs can’t be met.


Are There Plans Or Support Programs To Tackle The Evolving Pandemic Induced HR Crisis

This is nothing short of an HR crisis in the making. Yet research from the Society for Human Resource Management shows that most companies are severely lacking a plan to support working parents.

“It is not only virus induced ‘herd immunity’ that we need. We need to evolve and build stronger-healthier workplace communities through this crisis.”

Those plans must include granting employees greater autonomy and flexibility. Typically, research shows that remote workers are more productive when they’re untethered from the office. They even put in more hours on average than traditional workers.

A True Silver Lining In The Storm

If companies truly want to support parents struggling with unusual school schedules, it’s not enough to simply continue work-from-home arrangements. Below are quick tips:

Have a “life comes first” attitude. The lines between work and life are blurred for us all, whether we work in an office or out of our living room. When email, chats and texts can follow us home, it’s no longer easy to find work-life balance.

Get casual, get comfortable. Kids, pets and other household members will drop into video calls. Meetings will get canceled or cut short for family reasons, and interruptions happen. These are all realities of remote work, especially when kids are home all day.

As you’re navigating these challenging times, remember that we’re all in this together. Everyone is struggling. If your company can grant employees extra flexibility, trust and help them. Build a stronger community through this crisis.

It is not only virus induced ‘herd immunity’ that we need. We need to evolve and build stronger-healthier workplace communities through this crisis. The result will be a stronger company culture and happier, more loyal employees — a true silver lining in the storm.

The above is not the full story. Myfwl/Work Life Feed re-adapted the write up for short minutes readers. Click here to view the full original write by Larry English at Larry English is president at Centric Consulting and the author of Office Optional: How to Build a Connected Culture With Virtual Teams.

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