HR challenges

Where to Start? The Top Four Tasks HR Professionals Are Working On Right Now

June 05, 2020

The last few months have been a whirlwind for HR professionals. You’re trying to manage the typical day-to-day in your organization while also tackling new, urgent priorities like technology for remote work and employee engagement.

So what can you do to get it all done?

We’ve compiled a few tips on how you can get it all done based on the situations you might be dealing with.

Employee on the phone during work hour

1. My employees feel disconnected, and I’m worried they will
become disengaged or unproductive.

As an HR professional, you know how important it is that teams communicate effectively and connect with each other. You do your best, but it can become challenging when some or most of your workforce is remote. We’ve felt that, too, which is why we recommend tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, or Skype so your team can chat in pairs or in groups. Check with your IT department or provider; you may have access to some of these or other tools with products you’ve already purchased.

There are also other fun services, both paid and free, to help your team connect with each other and boost employee engagement. Some of our teams have enjoyed the Houseparty app, Wheel Decide, and Houseparty works well for small teams, letting up to eight people use video chat to participate in activities like trivia or drawing games. It’s available for both iOS and Android users, so you don’t have to worry if your team uses both!


Manager with a magnifying glass looking at employee's profile with their mood

2. I’m concerned about my employees mental health.
Is there anything I can do?

This is a common concern and an important one. An employee’s mental health directly affects their ability to perform and their engagement in the workplace. Not to mention that it’s becoming even more important during the recruitment process to share how your organization supports work–life balance and mental health initiatives.

There are any number of different services and resources you can provide to support your employee’s mental health at any budget. There are free resources provided by the Canadian Mental Health Association and even some specific to mental health in the workplace. Check out our recent blog post to learn more about mental health in the workplace for employees.

Do you already provide mental health services and supports to your team but don’t know whether they’re working? Sending out an anonymous survey can get your employees’ true feedback on the programs you offer. Surveys help you answer questions about whether employees use the services, whether what you offer matters to employees, and what else you could do. Asking for feedback helps you determine what works and make critical decisions. We offer a great Surveys and Forms tool for our members to get the job done. It’s important to note that when your survey is complete, you should share your results and communicate with your team so they know their opinions are heard.


Employee trying to start on a policy but confused.

3. We need to implement new processes and policies,
but I don’t know how I’ll get it all done!

Updating and implementing processes and policies is something all organizations are thinking about right now. Many employers, HR professionals, and health and safety representatives need to consider their workspace before they return to work and continually monitor as changes occur. What will post-pandemic offices look like? While there have been many predictions, most include the idea of more space or protective screens between employees.

This article from Global News points out considerations that may not have even crossed your mind yet. For example, will you need rules on how many people can be in an elevator or use the washroom at a time? There are still many questions you may not have answers to yet, but you need to think about them to help keep your employees safe.

Some of the popular policies we’ve seen implemented are hand-washing policies, workplace disinfection policies, and general housekeeping policies. Increased cleaning measures are just the start to the new policies you are probably thinking about implementing in your workplace. Our members get full access to our document library with these and thousands of other document templates. We make it easy with our HRIS platform to customize, assign, and track the progress of new policies sent to employees.

Video call interview.

4. We are hiring and some of the positions
are completely new to us.

This article from CTV News discusses some of the jobs that will be in demand as we return to work. Health and safety positions are expected to be on the rise, as well as new positions you may not have had before. You’ll likely need to make job postings and job descriptions quickly. Our members can get our job description generator tool along with all our job description templates to help streamline this process and get the job done. Having a job description for all your positions is important. Employees need to have a clear understanding of what they will be responsible for in order to be successful.

You’ll also need to consider your onboarding process and how it’s changed from before the pandemic. What can you still do? What must you change? What can you no longer do at all? For example, you still need to provide mandatory training for employees, but you may also want to add additional courses for even more health and safety awareness.

If employees still work from home, you may also have additional challenges. Doing all you can to help employees (virtually) meet the rest of your team and start building those connections makes a difference. Use video calls to help get this done, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, or get creative. Have employees create short videos about themselves or share some fun facts using e-mail or chat platforms. Slack users can also use an app called Donut that helps employees connect, bond, and feel welcome. Anything you can do to make the onboarding process a good one helps new employees feel more comfortable and can lead to longer retention of the employee.


HR professionals have a lot on their plate, and we get that. You’re tasked with keeping the culture strong and making sure employees have what they need to do their job. It can feel like a lot, but at the end of the day, you do what you love because you love what you do.

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