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HR Connection blog

Performing the Core Functions of HR Remotely

on Mar 3, 2021 9:30:00 AM By | Suzanne Lucas | 0 Comments | Employee Engagement HR HR Department Remote
A human resources department isn't just a team of experts who know how to manage people: it's a team of experts who know how to manage the people in their particular company. Although every successful HR team is unique, most HR folks use similar tried-and-true strategies for keeping things running smoothly. For example, many check in with employees regularly to discuss their goals and offer them development opportunities. Some gauge employee sentiment by observing behavior in the office, and some take managers out for coffee to discuss leadership or succession questions. Whatever strategies they employ, the HR activities that most successfully address problems share one common feature: interfacing with people.
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Get Ready for the Digital Workplace

on Feb 24, 2021 9:30:00 AM By | Jessica Miller-Merrell | 0 Comments | Technology Workplace Digital Era Remote
Long before the pandemic forced everyone into working from their kitchens, home offices, or bedrooms, the world was very much on its way to eliminating the need for conventional workspaces. Today's younger generations have grown up in digital environments and already feel pretty comfortable doing much of their work online. But even though those digital natives probably find the prospect of working from home less intimidating than many members of older generations, in 2020 people of all ages are facing the same challenge: familiarizing themselves with the digital workplace.
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How & Why HR Will Remain an Essential Change-Driver in 2021

on Feb 16, 2021 11:37:11 AM By | Employment Enterprises | 0 Comments | Diversity HR HR Department Remote Inclusion Vaccination Policy
HR departments became unforeseen conduits of dramatic workplace transformations and migrations in 2020. And while change-driver has rarely been the typical role of most HR organizations in years (and decades) past, it is clear we have entered a new era. As we push further into 2021, HR and talent acquisition teams are already playing starring roles in much-anticipated changes, such as coordinating re-hiring and recruiting efforts to build up downsized workforces. At the same time, they are also being asked to manage complex and novel people-centric challenges, such as vaccination policy creation and rollouts.
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6 Tips for Managing Remote Employees for the Long Term

on Jan 20, 2021 9:45:00 AM By | Valerie Grubb | 0 Comments | Employee Engagement Management Remote
Managing remote employees is hardly a new concept. In fact, the shift to working from home was well underway - and trending upward - long before anyone had even heard of COVID-19. Between 2005 and 2018, the number of "regular work-from-home" employees increased by a whopping 173 percent,1 with 15 percent of "wage and salary workers" working exclusively from home during 2017 - 2018.2 When the pandemic struck, many businesses that were able to have their employees work from home did so, and by June 2020 "42 percent of the U.S. labor force . . . [was] working from home full time."3
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Building a New-Hire Buddy System for Remote Onboarding

on Jan 8, 2021 10:27:27 AM By | Jesse Finn | 0 Comments | Onboarding new hires Remote
When it comes to employee onboarding, the buddy system is one of the most reliable tools HR has at its disposal. Done well, it facilitates an immediate personal connection between new hires and the wider organization, and in the long term it can help drive employee engagement and improve time-to-productivity metrics. Such measures are especially critical in a work environment shaped by COVID-19, with many new hires spending their first days and weeks isolated at home.
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What HR Will Look LIke After COVID-19

on Oct 7, 2020 10:09:00 AM By | Danielle Cronquist | 0 Comments | Company Culture Management Remote Coronavirus
Over the past several months, many organizations have transitioned to fully remote work, weddings and graduations have been canceled, and destination vacations have been put on indefinite hold. Across the USA, COVID-19 numbers continue to vary wildly, with some states seeing dropoffs in their cases while others experiencing resurgences as they make attempts to reopen. Everyone is desperate for normalcy to return, but what that will look like after the pandemic isn't completely clear yet. Even though this isn't the world's (or even the nation's) first pandemic, it's hard to know exactly how - and when - it will end. Business operations will certainly be different in the post-COVID-19 world. HR departments in particular should start looking now at predictions for what "normal" life will be like in the future so they be prepared when employees return to their offices and business can operate as usual.   More Remote Work At the beginning of the pandemic, many offices transitioned as quickly as possible to being fully remote. (Even now, as states are opening back up, many businesses continue to encourage working from home where feasible.) Many of these newly remote employees have found that they enjoy working from home and are more productive there. In-office work isn't going to disappear, but now that employers have seen that workers can be just as productive from home as in the office and some employees have found they prefer working in the solitude of their homes, more companies will offer remote work options after the pandemic. In addition, because many companies have taken financial hits during COVID-19 and will be interested to reduce costs by cutting back on the amount of expensive office space they need.   Increased Wellness Programs COVID-19 has taken a heavy mental, physical, and financial toll on many people. When the lockdowns and quarantines finally end, employees may need help getting back on track and destressing. By providing employees with resources and support in key wellness areas such as finances and mental health, companies can help those workers (and their organizations) adjust to the new normal.   Adjusted Sick Leave With a new emphasis on staying healthy and everyone feeling a bit germaphobic, many companies may choose to adjust their sick-leave policies. This could mean allowing for more sick days so employees don't feel the need to come to work if they're unsure about their health. Or it might mean encouraging employees to perform symptom checks every morning and to work from home if they show any signs of illness, even if they are feeling well enough to work.   Mask Wearing Whether or not working from home is possible, it seems likely that most employers will require or strongly encourage employees to wear face masks until COVID-19 is completely eradicated. If companies choose to have their employees follow this practice, they may wish to provide them with reusable or disposable masks.   Greater Emphasis on Company Culture Well before COVID-19, HR departments have championed company culture. But the pandemic has helped workers and executives recognize the importance of having a strong company culture in place to raise employee engagement and company performance. Culture is easier to build and maintain in an office, where coworkers can model it for each other. But when the workforce is dispersed, a company's culture is more likely to fracture - or even cease to exist completely. HR will need to work hard to counter that effect.   Altered Hiring and Budget Plans COVID-19 has had a strong negative impact on the economy, with many businesses experiencing layoffs and expense cuts. Moving forward, HR departments must work with hiring and budget plans that look extremely different from the ones they had at the start of the year. With fewer funds available for hiring and recruitment, many HR departments will choose to look internally for candidates. It's more cost effective to train a current employee to step into a bigger role than it is to seek out a new hire from outside. Not only will hiring internally save on costs, but offering promotions can help boost employee engagement and morale. Because the pandemic has affected every business in different ways, it's impossible to say exactly what the post-COVID-19 world will look like for any one organization. It is safe, however, to say that things will change. To help smooth the transition, companies should start planning now for their return to the office and eventual return to normal business.
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6 Tips For Better Communication With Remote Teams

on May 6, 2020 10:15:00 AM By | Claire Hastwell | 0 Comments | Employee Engagement Remote Team Building
How do you keep remote employees engaged? It's a question on the minds of many leaders as COVID-19 forces companies to adapt to new ways of working. While it's absolutely possible for companies to learn how to telecommute effectively, it doesn't happen automatically. Shifting from a physical shared workspace to a collection of virtual offices can challenge even the most seasoned manager.  
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Are You Supporting Your Remote Employees?

on Jan 8, 2020 9:45:00 AM By | Ultimate Software | 0 Comments | Employee Engagement Remote
According to a worldwide study, approximately 70 percent of global employees worked remotely at least once a week in 2018, while 53 percent telecommuted closer to half the week. These figures are significantly higher than studies from previous years, where Gallup found that 43 percent worked from home at least sometimes in 2016 (and 39 percent in 2012). As telecommuting acceptance and the number of remote employees continues to balloon, employers must learn to appreciate the significant value remote employees bring and support their unique needs. If you have ever worked from home, then you know how it feels when you are truly supported as a remote employee and how it feels when you aren’t.
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How To Unlock Remote Workforce Engagement

on Sep 11, 2019 10:30:00 AM By | Shane Metcalf | 0 Comments | Workforce Remote Workspace
Working remotely has previously been an exception few companies were willing to make for their people. In fact, up until the early 70’s, telecommuting was unheard of. Office optics determined how you were perceived by your manager and co-workers, and being “absent” meant you were not contributing. But new companies are now rethinking their remote workforce policies along with other cultural and performance strategies. In 2019, the exception is now becoming the rule. 
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