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HR Policies and the Coronavirus Pandemic

hr policies coronavirus

HR departments have played a critical role during the coronavirus outbreak, providing ways for employee resiliency. They communicate important information and protocols are followed while supporting mental health support services for staff.

All this change requires policies to be reviewed and revised periodically, here are six policies which should be revised accordingly.


During the coronavirus pandemic, many companies were forced to implement flexible work arrangements. Employees were permitted to work from home or another remote location such as a coffee shop or library without being exposed directly to the virus. This allowed employees to remain productive without being at risk.

However, permitting employees to work remotely from home may create greater communication issues between team members located at various sites. To prevent miscommunication and avoid mistrust among staff, it’s essential that there be a comprehensive telecommuting policy in place.

Telecommuting allows employees to avoid the commute and save on gas and public transportation costs while alleviating stress and time pressure associated with it, leading them to feel more productive at work. A telecommuting expense reimbursement policy must also be put in place that details which expenses qualify for reimbursement as well as how and when employees must submit claims for reimbursement.

Establish a telecommuting policy with guidelines regarding when and how employees must come into the office, in order to foster team morale and reduce feelings of isolation among telecommuting employees. Furthermore, such a policy can also help prevent COVID-19’s spread via indirect mechanisms such as fear among coworkers (Chai et al., 2022).

Sick Leave

As coronavirus continues its spread, HR and business leaders must carefully consider their policies regarding sick leave. While some states have implemented temporary or new paid sick leave regulations in response to its pandemic nature, employers may opt to expand existing policies in order to cover COVID-19-related absences.

Many OECD countries provide more generous statutory paid sick leave and family care support systems than in the United States, which have expanded during this pandemic. A recent BLS survey asked employers about modifications to their sick leave plans due to COVID-19 pandemic; one quarter of private industry establishments increased availability for employees to use sick leave as a result.

Sick leave laws differ by state and company. While some require employers to provide certain amounts of paid sick leave up front each year regardless of employee employment status (e.g. a large employer could provide 56 hours of sick leave to all full-time employees starting January 1). Some states also mandate doctor’s notes when using sick leave for illnesses like fever or flu while other allow such use as well.

Work-From-Home (WFH) Policy

If your company offers Work From Home (WFH), a clear policy must be established regarding when and how employees can work remotely. You should stipulate when online work must occur during core hours and provide guidelines for communicating with colleagues when working from home; for instance, you might expect remote workers to respond within an agreed upon time frame when responding to requests from in-office team members or use instant messaging apps instead of telephone calls when answering requests from fellow team members.

Include a list of acceptable reasons for working from home and any tenure requirements before providing remote work options. Also consider mandating that employees possess appropriate software and internet connections so they can perform their duties at home; in addition to this you could require them to have their own office or bedroom space dedicated exclusively for working from home.

Once you have an effective work-from-home policy in place, its enforcement should be straightforward. Employees can maintain productivity levels and a sense of togetherness by using similar communication programs as in an office environment; video conferencing tools allow for remote attendance at meetings; task tracking software provides project management functionality – and so forth. Key to any successful flexible work program are effective performance evaluation systems: If an employee falls below expectations after you introduce such policies (as Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer did after introducing such measures into her company).

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement refers to the emotional and professional bonds employees develop with their employer and colleagues. Engagement results in job satisfaction, productivity increases and retention rates; employees who feel emotionally invested in their workplace experience a sense of fulfillment, pride and ownership that drives high performance and innovation – these employees become psychological “owners” of the business that drives success for all involved parties involved.

Coronavirus Pandemic Impact on Employee EngagementHR managers can use the coronavirus pandemic to increase employee engagement through providing meaningful work opportunities, building communication between colleagues and leaders, and offering flexible working arrangements tailored specifically for employee needs.

One of the keys to employee engagement lies in listening and responding to feedback. Acting upon employee feedback shows leadership’s appreciation of its workforce and dedication to creating a work environment that meets employee needs; this can be accomplished via regular pulse meetings, performance conversations, stay interviews, employee suggestion boxes or anonymous surveys. Employers that listen and respond to employee feedback foster a culture of trust and integrity among staff; timely employee feedback enables leaders to quickly address sources of discontent before problems escalate further.

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