Things in workplaces around the country are almost back to ‘business as usual’ – but the new normal is not the same as it was before. Now, most office-based companies have reams of staff working remotely who hadn’t been doing so previously, many have a smaller workforce than before (because of redundancies, as well as a whole host of other external factors) and lots have new working practices and procedures that are still settling in.
During the ‘new normal’, it’s important to note that no matter how things ease, we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic; which will undoubtedly have affected your staff’s home lives as well as their work. Having moved and adapted working practices to fit remote working and extenuating circumstances, now too is the time to do so with performance management – but how best can this work on an ongoing basis? Let me explain…
Lockdown has brought a whole host of surprises, changes and challenges to employers the length and breadth of the country (and the world!), but the most prevalent has been the pivot to home working. Office-based businesses and employers have, in order to maintain their workforce operating at an acceptable level, largely allowed staff to work remotely – allowing them to continue working and earning whilst also staying safe, socially distanced, and, in many cases, caring for their children who are unable to attend school.
Of course, working from home is not a new practice; and most big brands already offer facilities and options around this for employees who are able to perform their role remotely. However, there has never been an event before that has sparked such mass change in typical work practices, and so many employers and employees are facing challenges around such rapid adaptation.
Since the rebirth of the Black Lives Matter movement following the murder of George Floyd, employers around the world have turned their focus internally and looked at the diversity and inclusivity of their workforce and hiring practices to recruit and retain a variety of staff. Whilst many big brands have chosen to reveal their diversity statistics, policies and progress publicly, not all have – and for many small businesses the challenge remains that they don’t have many applicants approach them for vacancies; or are unsure if non-white people are.
Businesses can flourish from embracing diversity and difference amongst their workforce, but it’s still important that employees are hired on their merit, as well as their other attributes: and no one wants to feel like they’ve been hired as tokenism.
There’s a variety of ways employers can look to broaden their hiring horizons to include better candidate diversity… and here’s just some of those practices.
Times have been hard for businesses of all types, shapes and sizes over the last few months, and with the support available beginning to change, lessen and in some cases end, analysts and consultants all over the country are predicting redundancies and company restructures on mass scales. If your business is one of the affected who will be making job losses, then read on: there’s lots of ways you can go the extra mile to protect and support your workforce through these changes.
It’s clear as the country begins to ease COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and life begins to take on some semblance of what it was before the pandemic began, whatever the ‘new normal’ looks like, it will be in place for quite some time. Dependent on a workplace’s operating situation throughout lockdown and after, of course, arrangements for employees will vary hugely. But there are some things all employers should bear in mind when re-absorbing furloughed staff and making their best efforts to resume business-as-usual – and here’s my top pieces of advice.