May 29, 2024

HR Professionals: Adjusting Perspectives During COVID-19

By: Professor David L. Moody, Ph.D., SPHR®, FACHE

The COVID-19 pandemic created an unprecedented impact on most areas of our lives, including how and why we work. Reflecting on the situation, one truly needs to consider two factors: what work looked like before COVID-19 and what it looks like now.

In order to gain a better perspective on how businesses will survive, we need to focus on two critical factors: the mission and vision of our organizations. The mission states the reason an organization exists and whom it serves. The vision is what our mission statement demands us to solve for the common good of the organization.

Work From Home and Telecommuting
We have all seen, and probably experienced first-hand, the dramatic increase of employees working at home. A critical element to this aspect is a full review of the organization’s policies and procedures regarding working from home, telecommuting, and continuation of benefits, vacation, sick leave or other such arrangements.

Remote work policies should now stress flexibility. Generally, remote-work policies cover eligibility, work expectations, legal considerations, and technology issues. What will this mean for companies moving forward? What changes will this season lead organizations to make, based on what they saw from their newly telecommuting employees? Policies should be geared to future visioning of the workplace as the pandemic and subsequent restrictions ease.

Post COVID-19 Leadership
Maintaining skills or gaining new skills, degrees, and certifications would be a perfect incentive for organizations to offer to maintain and engage their workforce. The programs at Columbia Southern University provide a wide array of options for employees to enhance skills or move toward earning their degree while ‘sheltering at home.’ There is a need for strong leaders – organizationally and in human resources – to be prepared to bring back a skilled and competent workforce once we enter our places of business again. Our organizations are depending on our HR leaders to uphold continuance of the mission, vision and culture of the company.

How we react to the needs of employees who dedicated themselves during this pandemic crisis reflects strongly on the culture and values of our organizations. Leadership needs to plan for the future needs – knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics of the new, emerging workforce. The future is bright for those leaders and their employees who seize this opportunity for the future.

About the Author
David L. Moody, Ph.D., SPHR, FACHE is the lead human resource management faculty member at Columbia Southern University, where he has taught since 2003. With more than 35 years of health care human resource experience, Dr. Moody recently retired from his position as CHRO at Salina Regional Health Center in Salina, Kansas.

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