The 12 months 2020 was an exhausting one for HR professionals, who had been confronted with fixed office challenges starting from the COVID-19 pandemic to social actions to the presidential election. Now that it’s (fortunately) in our previous, we are able to use the obstacles we confronted to border a greater, brighter 2021. Listed below are some HR objectives to assist us accomplish that.
Evaluation Your Worker Handbook, Insurance policies
Every year, you must evaluation your worker handbook and insurance policies to ensure they’re up-to-date with any authorized modifications which have occurred, in addition to correct based mostly on how your online business really operates. The evaluation could also be extra vital than ever in gentle of how a lot workplaces modified in the course of the pandemic, which can have an enduring impact even after it ends.
For example, at the start of the coronavirus disaster, lots of you needed to develop or improve your distant work insurance policies and procedures to adapt to authorities shutdown orders. With lots of the orders being lifted and life starting to return to regular, are the insurance policies nonetheless relevant?
As well as, has the pandemic opened the potential so that you can be extra versatile with workers and permit the identical distant work coverage to proceed? Different new insurance policies you’ve enacted might have related scrutiny.
One other growth in 2020 was the passage of the Households First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which required sure employers to offer paid depart for COVID-19-related absences. The FFCRA’s paid depart mandate expired on December 31, 2020, however the stimulus invoice just lately handed by Congress and signed by the president permits coated employers to offer the depart voluntarily and declare the related tax credit by way of March 31, 2021.
A lot of you developed insurance policies in response to the FFCRA, and you must now evaluation them to find out the way you’ll deal with requests for depart underneath the Act till the tax credit expire.
Replace Your Job Descriptions
Common evaluation of job descriptions is one other important HR follow. Job descriptions incessantly change into proof when an worker’s exempt standing is questioned underneath the Truthful Labor Requirements Act (FLSA) or the important job capabilities are at challenge in instances involving affordable lodging underneath the Individuals with Disabilities Act (ADA). Due to this fact, correct and full job descriptions are key.
Once more, the pandemic pressured many workers to earn a living from home in 2020, together with some who historically had been required to work solely within the workplace. They might have been capable of carry out their jobs successfully from dwelling previously 12 months, which results in the questions:
- Ought to their job descriptions be revised to take away in-office presence as a vital job perform?
- Alternatively, did their absence from the office make it extra obvious that in-office presence is certainly a vital job obligation?
Contemplate the questions now within the occasion an affected worker requests telework as an affordable lodging sooner or later.
The pandemic not solely modified workers’ work location but additionally might have altered their precise job duties to adapt to workforce shortages or different shifting enterprise wants. To accommodate the modifications that had been occurring, you might have requested exempt workers to carry out extra nonexempt duties.
In 2020, the U.S. Division of Labor (DOL) issued steerage indicating exempt workers who carry out nonexempt duties in the course of the pandemic can proceed to be exempt, supplied they obtain the wage threshold quantity. After the pandemic is over, nonetheless, will the exempt workers proceed to carry out the nonexempt duties, probably threatening their work standing? Updating job descriptions, as mandatory, will assist to reply the questions transferring ahead.
Have interaction in Variety and Respectful Office Coaching
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) motion erupted in 2020, elevating issues about racial injustice in our society. The social motion might have spilled over into the office, whether or not not directly by affecting the psychological wellbeing of workers involved about racial discord or immediately by creating disputes amongst coworkers concerning the drive or its related protests.
Within the wake of the BLM motion, you must look into potential coaching for supervisors and workers associated not solely to office harassment but additionally range, fairness, and inclusion (DEI). The coaching can go above and past harassment coaching and tackle unconscious bias and prejudices that may be current within the office.
Lastly, who may neglect 2020 was a presidential election 12 months? The marketing campaign cycle was probably essentially the most divisive in historical past and will have affected the office, creating disagreements and arguments amongst workers. The disputes might have highlighted a necessity so that you can take into account participating normally respectful office coaching this 12 months. On the very least, remind workers about your insurance policies associated to sustaining cooperative, skilled relationships with others.
The previous 12 months of illness and strife offered many new challenges for the office. Reflecting on the experiences and studying from them can higher put together us for the remainder of 2021 and past.