Covid-19, Digitalisation and HR (5mins read)
How HR industry is influenced by the Covid-19 and can get along with the inevitable trend- Adopting the New Normal?
How Covid-19 Driven the Digitalization of Business
Guess most of us cannot believe that we have already co-existed with the Covid-19 for 9 months and 2020 will be gone after one more business quarter. The pandemic brought immense influences on us in many perspectives (No one could imagine that we wouldn’t be able to travel for holiday during the whole 2020). With the unexpected discovery of the virus, we were surrounded by fear and concerning when the virus would be gone at the beginning. The number of infected cases has been reported by the media every day. This gradually became a topic between people and part of our life.
To decrease the number of new coronavirus infections, some countries carried out lockdown and quarantine which affected the daily life and working circumstances of people directly. However, these practices could not be implemented ceaselessly. Business had to be continued as usual with its resilience since it would be damaged further if we paused and pended all activities. By considering the situation of the pandemic, companies decided and implemented contingency plans such as working from home for employees. We kept examining the circumstance of the virus for a while and eventually accepted the fact that the pandemic won’t vanish shortly without the vaccine. Therefore, all of us are moving forward to a new stage called the New Normal. A small space within the house would become the working area during the work-from-home period. The children suddenly appear in your web camera during zoom and say hello to your colleagues would no longer be something new as well (of course you still have to avoid this and explain to your children what they should do when you are having a meeting).
No doubt that the demand of technology for each industry has been increased. We are used to communicating with our colleagues per day by using the conference room solution such as Zoom and Google Meet. During the remote working period, employees pinch in and out with their smartphones by using HR system. All documents are stored within the document management solution and employees can share and retrieve the required document easily. Since companies experience the importance of undergoing digital transformation because of the influence of Covid-19, they understand that the necessity of digitalization and how digitalizing their business benefits the operation. Since the end of the pandemic will not derail or stop the trends and technologies we invest in, it induces them to digitalize their business determinedly.
What HR Should Do During the Covid-19?
Aforementioned, companies have to design and carry out contingency plan for business. HR professionals act as a vital role in assisting the business to carry out as usual. A lot of insights are suggested and proposed by numerous HR organizations. BBHRMS selected the TOP 5 strategies we think that are important for HR.
1/ Create and Activate an Emergency Response Team
HR should be involved in the Emergency Response Team. The team should provide the guidelines on how the contingency plan should be implemented, gather and share staff and client’s questions and concerns.
Inform employees of the revised policies
2/ Decide Who Should Work On Site or Remotely
HR should decide who should be work on-site and remote working. To avoid the spread within office, HR may consider the potential infections should work remotely for 14 days.
Report closely with the Emergency Reponses Team and management with transparent data
3/ Implement Remote Work Strategies
If working remotely is a possibility, HR should work with IT to ensure the smooth transition to a remote work scenario.
Create and share a quick guide for supervisors and employees with best practices for working remotely.
4/ Reconsider Leaves and Policies
Define and modify policies, controls, and practices that address the situation of the Covid-19.
Update and communicate with employees about amendments with transparency.
5/ Care for the Health and Wellbeing of the Employees
Both health and wellbeing could affect the productivity of the employee directly. Help them to get away with the anxiety of facing the Covid-19.
Keep on update the news of insurance plan and make employees feel secured by letting them to acknowledge their right.
The Importance of Digitalization in HR aspect
1/ Adopting the New Normal
Under the influence of the COVID-19, HR management cannot be possessed in the traditional way, such as calculating wages and manage personnel within the office. With the application of technology, HR issues such as wages calculation will be able to carry out during remote working period with the cloud technology. HR used to calculate the wages in the office and had to check on each employee’s condition before distributing the paper pay slip to employee in person. Nowadays, HR can work at home because the cloud technology supports them to retrieve HR data and complete the tasks within the system. Physical contact can be avoided since there is no more pay slip in paper. The e-payslip can be downloaded by the employee in their self-service platform. The system may also distribute the e-payslip to the employees through email. These bring convenience to both employees and HR, and accelerate the required time for employees to adopt the new policies and practices of company during the Covid-19 period.
Most HR technologies alleviate HR from burdens. The automation by digitalization raises the efficiency and productivity of the HR department. HR no longer needs to complete clerical work and finish their task manually, for example, document templates are provided for HR to carry out further action or to announce the news to the employee. Use studying the company demographic as an example, HR does not need to generate reports manually with the business analyst tool, in which HR reports can be generated automatically. Hence, HR can focus on other HR issues such as enhancing employee experience and reviewing the company policy.
Using technology ensures the accuracy of HR tasks. It is inevitable to have minor mistakes in manual tasks and we have to find a method to assure accuracy. Technology helps us eliminate errors in calculation. It serves as a single trust of data as well. For example, the processing of the leave application becomes stagnant and lots of adjustment maybe needed due to working from home and the Covid-19 respectively. Employees may want to cancel their holiday and withdraw their leave application. Since the leave cancelation may affect the calculation of wages, HR have to spend a lot of time in re-calculating the wages manually if they do not adopt any HR solution, which is difficult to ensure the accuracy. Also, the intricate leave amendment of employees may result in confusion since the data are disperse and confusing for HR to possess the update leave status and wages calculation.
4/ Compliance in HR regulations
The HR technology can serve as a safeguard for HR practitioners since those technologies are mostly updated with the latest employees’ ordinances, such as the law in wages calculation and leave entitlement. With these advantages brought by the HR tech, HR does not need to worry about violating the law and the law is not being updated. It shares the responsibility of HR and let them to rely on. Also, the company won’t be placed in a vulnerable position due to law violations, protecting the company to bear any unnecessary consequences.
By BBHRMS Research & Editorial Team