The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in many disruptions in various organizations, especially in health institutions. Due to changes in the working environment, such as the need to maintain social distance, human resource managers in Brookdale Hospital Medical Center have been forced to think differently about the general application of their work. The Center for Disease Control lays out many safety procedures, and it is the role of the human resource to ensure that all workers are aware of these rules and that they follow them to the later. Most people were not ready for these changes, but they have to be applied anyway. The human resource management department has been working on a crisis mode since the pandemic kicked in, but now they are better equipped at handling the pandemic. Due to coronavirus anxiety and fear of the unknown, there has been less applicant volume for clinical jobs. This paper discusses the communication problem, the solution, and recommendations for better communication.
The remote work model is one of the changes that many organizations have adopted to reduce the spread of the virus (Savić, D. (2020). This makes it hard for the human resource management to complete their work since communication has become difficult. Most of the clinical work needed for the treatment of coronavirus patients requires the physician’s physical presence. Therefore, these physicians need to maintain social distance at all times. They also always have to put on protective clothing and follow other protection guidelines. It is the role of the human resource to see to it that these guidelines are followed. Laying off employees who can work remotely will create space and reduce congestion in the hospitals. The human resource management department also ensures that these people can work in shifts to reduce their exposure to the virus.
Workers have been forced to communicate through email and online video meetings. Although these forms of communication serve a purpose, one-on-one communication encourages more excellent interactions than online communication, which fosters passive engagement (Kent, 2021). It has distractions that drive the individuals away from the conversations, and the members do not participate actively. For example, members may not feel obligated to air their views as they would in a face-to-face conversation. Online interaction such as email may be fragmented, and responses may be delayed. People reply to emails after days when working remotely, and free and open communication is impossible since a continuous conversation can hardly happen.
Nonverbal cues are also hard to distinguish in online communication, so misunderstandings and miscommunications are likely to occur (Kelly, 2018). Millions of workers have also been laid off relative to the pandemic. Many physicians had good jobs and could support their families, but finances have become a problem without their careers. It is the role of the human resource management to process the paperwork and provide solace to them. At the same time, they are responsible for keeping the remaining workers motivated, productive, engaged, and secure despite the laying off of their partners. Many working parents have been forced to reduce their working hours because their children are staying at home relative to school closure. These children have online learning schedules that parents have to keep up with and their work routine. Children may also distract them during meetings, which will overwhelm them and lead to employee burnout when put together.
As things are settling down in the coronavirus fatality, human resource management needs to reimagine the recruiting process. Some of their previous workers are available but with different interests due to the impact of the virus. On the other hand, unavailable ones need to be replaced, which leaves the human resource management to create new appointment criteria. Since most workers have been working remotely, they have learned to like it, and they prefer such jobs. This is even though many clinical jobs require a physical appearance. Accurate communication is essential in this case to avoid misunderstandings about job security. The workplace has also evolved due to recent developments brought about by the pandemic (Seitz, 2020). The HR, therefore, need to ensure that these recruits have these additional skills to befit the job. Treating coronavirus patients is a delicate task, and only adequately qualified individuals should be hired. Many human resource management teams are not designed for agility and have difficulty adapting to change in time. Approval systems also have to go through many hands to be verified, which takes time (Moin, 2019). Miscommunications in such a system are hard to trace back and take a lot of time to correct. In this pandemic especially, it is essential to maintain maximum agility.
The coronavirus has affected many employees mentally, emotionally, and financially. Several workers have been laid off, while others receive a smaller salary. There is a lot of uncertainty on most employees when it comes to the health of their friends and relatives. There is also anxiety about their job security, and these high levels of stress relate to human resource management (Stone, 2020). This makes it hard to maintain healthy relationships at work, and conflicts have become common. It is the role of the human resource management to not only take care of themselves but to ensure that the employees put their interests aside and coexist peacefully. It is also their role to determine whether any workers need help and direct them accordingly. Quality communication will ensure an open relationship between the human resource management and the workers.
The workforce is the most valuable asset in a business, and the success of an institution is highly dependent on it. The human resource management is in charge of this asset and has to perform well for the institution to be doing okay. Changes are a common aspect of the dynamics of running a company. Such changes bring about hardship at work favoritism and might disrupt the team balance (Zafari, 2020). Therefore, it is essential for human resource management to quickly adapt to such changes to ensure that everyone else adopts them. With these sudden changes, it might prove helpful to regularly refer to the provided rules and guidelines, which are always different for every company. The changes might also be applied gradually rather than all at once. They could also be used as a pilot project with a trial grace period that allows the workforce to adapt to the changes smoothly (Paterson, 2020). Emphasizing the importance of these changes will also help the crew to embrace them more positively. Through appropriate communication, the HR department will identify whether there is progress or not.
Training is also an essential aspect of workforce grooming that enables the team to adapt better to change. The application of team training also improves employee motivation. The human resource management may establish a mentorship program for the senior executives to coach the juniors (Abdelhamid, 2021). This is a cost-effective method of dealing with change that allows seniors to improve their communication skills. Compensation, rewards, and recognition programs can also motivate the employees to keep up their hard work. However, the department has to carefully keep the payroll in check, especially in financial crises.
Human resource management should also formulate a job retention system to ensure that some if not all, workers retain their jobs. The system should look for administrative loopholes to identify processes that would reduce the institution running cost and maintain stability in the financial department. Government funding systems will also help the institution balance its finances.
To increase agility in response to change, the human resource management needs to identify and recruit top talent. This improves the readiness and responsiveness of the workforce. A learning culture is also essential. Common company values, for example, should be embedded within a diverse, multigenerational workforce to maintain agility. Motivating career optimization helps identify skills within the team and establish agile processes. Career optimization may include tapping into the recent high influence of artificial intelligence. Leveraging data and analytics and digitizing the workplace also helps improve agility – also make sure that they focus on more factors besides qualifications and competency. These factors include culture, previous experiences, objectives, potential, soft skills, hard skills, and personality (Fernandes, 2021). Employing a third-party during employment serves as an added advantage—the third-party acts as an expert in recruitment for temporary and permanent hires.
Human resource management must develop strategies that will enable them to cope with the changes appropriately. The significant occurring change is remote working. The department should study the essential competencies that their employees need to work online and be well equipped to provide such resources. The focus should be on the tools and resources (text-based tools, video conferencing tools, storage, sharing tools, and learning repositories), leadership systems, home office setup management, and communication. The existing devices may be employed and spare funds to purchase unavailable ones. Employees who show up physically should be provided with protective materials since, at this point, they are expensive for them to buy each day. The patients also need protective clothing such as masks, and the hospital can acquire them from the government of foundations that are donating them to cut costs.
Communication is vital; keep the staff in the loop as the situations change. The coronavirus safety guidelines should be read out repeatedly to avoid negligence and achieve maximum safety. Posters with these safety guidelines should also be published and hung in public places to ensure that everyone has access to the information. Assignments provided should be specified to avoid miscommunications. A support team is necessary to support remote working so workers can check in regularly, share files and track progress. Expectations such as the deadline, quality budget, and procedures should be clear, so the workers remain disciplined.
Establish a social connection, so workers do not feel anxious and lonely. The employees need to feel that they belong to a team and that there is more to them than the tasks they perform, the revenue they generate, and the paychecks they get when they deliver. Due to the lockdown, kids might not be at school, and many recreational services are closed. Workers are overwhelmed, and they need to feel comfortable when working. The human resource department should create space for personal connection, such as designating meetings to discuss off-work topics. Online games might be an excellent way to connect depending on the institution’s cultural interests. Workers can even share any delays they are experiencing and frustrations with the newly employed technological tools.
Training the employees to work remotely will maintain their online productivity. Working online has a set of distractions that these employees might recognize from working in the ‘real world.’ Setting a step-by-step training walkthrough will be essential. Establishing a mentor-worker relationship will make the employees on the training process more manageable. Online management does not have the same visibility as in a physical office setting. It is therefore easy to ignore learners, and this leads to disengagement. A system that monitors learner engagement and performance is therefore crucial. Frequent check-ins at the team and individual level will assess how the workers perform and hold up with their personal lives. Training the workers about time management is crucial since working at an office and at home might vary considerably. Some teams may not know how to work with remote teams, while other activities might be delayed since staff might lack dexterity with online tools.
The human resource management needs to portray executive presence during video conferences to enhance cooperativeness in such group settings. Professional background, professional dress code, good camera angle, appropriate voice quality, and enough lighting are ways to ensure executive presence during meetings. Preciseness, etiquette, and politely conveying sentiments are more ways to provide an executive company.
Studying the resources needed will enable adequate resourcing of the online working team, maintaining productivity and good communication. This will enhance the smooth running of the institution even with the switching to remote working. This will strain the institution financially but keep it moving to recover the losses. Maintaining quality communication will allow practical assignment and delivery of tasks. The support team and the mentorship program will help keep the employees’ motivation up, especially with the high anxiety and insecurities. Social connections will reduce employees’ stress and consequently increase their productivity.
An open relationship between the human resource management and the employees will create a conducive environment for the employees to share their interests and frustrations, which at the same time will allow them to come up with solutions. When the human resource management team presents themselves as executives in their meetings, it will create efficiency in leadership, and the employees will readily cooperate. Employee training will help them understand working in the ‘online world,’ accelerating their coping. Training is the essential critical tool that will enable the workers to understand what is expected of them and achieve it. The employees will understand how to apply their work to the online system and maintain productivity.
The clinicians should work both online and physical shifts to retain work morale and interaction. This way, they can still participate actively. Interactions in the hallway, lunch spaces, and other hospital locations might be underrated by improving them help to reduce conflicts. The workmates will have created and retained an atmosphere that enables quality production of work.
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