These have certainly been interesting times for the Human Resources Profession.  We were faced almost overnight with a pandemic that forced us to consider how it is that we work and react instantly to the changing world!

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So much for the lengthy analysis and metric driven approaches we have been touting for years!  The same ones that gave us the seat at the table!  There is no defending of decisions or presenting the best practices…. we were instantly thrust into the world where the swiftness of action was more valued than the font and color scheme the power point deck. 

COVID-19 has presented itself with the opportunity to lead an organization from the HR seat, protecting your most valuable assets from this catastrophic disease while insuring that on the other side there were jobs to come back to.   This is the time where you should be thinking quickly and decisively about the next steps—not only the steps that are immediately in front of you—but the next steps that will guide your organization for the next 6-9-12 months. It doesn’t matter what level of HR you sit in- you should all be thinking about these questions—because these are the people questions—and people are your job!

Answer these questions:

  • Are you okay? You can’t take care of anyone if you don’t take care of yourself!
  • How are you ensuring your employees are safe TODAY? What does the guidance say? What is legal?
  • What happens when someone gets sick?
  • How are you going to ensure they stay safe when you re-open?
  • Who goes back into an office first?
  • What does the “new workspace” look like? [This isn’t going away anytime soon]
  • Are you employees working from home OK today? What are we doing to ensure they stay that way?
  • Are your essential workers OK? What are we doing to ensure they stay at that way? Are their families ok?
  • Do I have to layoff my employees? How do I know they will be there when I need them back?  What am I doing to ensure they remain engaged?
  • What does the viability of the business look like? What steps can we take to ensure we stay viable?  Pay cuts/hour cuts/401K cuts/furloughs/forced vacation? All of these things while understanding that employees won’t be happy about any of them.
  • How do we communicate it all?

As always, Steve and I are so very grateful that you have chosen to listen to Survive HR.  Our title couldn’t be more fitting right now!  If we can ever be of service to you, please reach out!

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Kelly Scheib
Kelly Mendez-Scheib graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Master of Science, Industrial Relations and Human Resources, as well as a Bachelor of Science, Labor Studies and Industrial Relations from the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State. She serves as the Vice President of Human Resources at Tindall Corporation which includes overseeing workforce planning, and employment, compensation and benefits administration, development and training, employee relations and more. Kelly has performed numerous duties within Human Resources, and brings with her a host of professional certifications, including the Senior Professional in Human Resources certification (SPHR) awarded by the HR Certification Institute, Senior Certified Professional certification awarded by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-SCP) and is a Registered Corporate Coach (RCC). In her spare time, Kelly also enjoys volunteering in the local community, teaching as adjunct faculty at local universities, serving as a foster mother, and spending time with her family and five children.