This time last year most HR leaders and their teams could not have imagined adding ‘monitoring COVID-19 wellness’ to their list of key requirements for their HR systems and processes. With the ongoing unpredictability of the COVID-19 situation around the world, HR leaders and business leaders want to ensure their staff are safe and well. They also want regular updates on the health of employees to understand the COVID-19 impacts to the workforce and the business. Although the signs of vaccination are looking very positive, it’s a long path back to normal, which means HR want an approach to monitoring COVID-19 wellness, data collection, reporting and reporting that’s repeatable, without relying on excel.
Questions HR teams needs answers to
We all know that COVID-19 has caused considerable disruption for businesses, resulting in significant pressure for HR Leaders and their teams. During the early stages of the crisis, the immediate priority was to keep all employees safe and well informed, whilst ensuring business continuity. Once the immediate needs were met, the focus shifted to managing resources carefully and tackling the complexities of government initiatives, along with the changing needs of their people and their business.
In many cases, this resulted in companies turning to excel spreadsheets to capture this data and using manual calculations to pass across data to payroll. What started as a manageable task, now includes numerous spreadsheets, multiple formulae and the increasing risk of mistakes along with significant potential GDPR breaches. But what we understand now is that businesses need real time answers to these types of questions
- What % of our workforce can work remotely
- What % of our people have shifted to remote working due to COVID-19?
- How many of employees are currently not working due to COVID-19?
- What is the trend in employee infection rates? Are there regional trends that may affect our business and business continuity?
- What areas of our business are being significantly impacted by COVID-19 related absences?
- What % of our staff do we have on furlough or flex-furlough?
- What holiday liability are we carrying as a result of furlough and flex furlough?
- How many of our staff are available for work, right now?
- What % of staff do we have unavailable to work right now and on average?
HR teams really do need to have the additional data available to them in order to constantly monitor COVID-19 in real terms and plan accordingly. This is not just for staff cover but also relates to health and wellness as well as mental health and other impacting aspects of staff working from home.
What data is needed to monitor COVID-19 wellness?
As we’ve discovered as we’ve moved through the journey of this pandemic, collection of data has been vital. Where many thought initially this could be a short-term task of collecting data, this has turned into long term need. Not only for capturing the data, but being able to interrogate it, as more data is added as well as increased parameters. Data points may include
- Ability to work from home
- Technology and equipment needed to work safely and securily from home
- Date employee stopped working as a result of COVID-19
- Details relating to self-isolating
- Date returned to work
- Details relating to self-shielding or related family circumstances
In addition to this, as development of the vaccine progresses, and more people receive it, HR teams are likely to need to track and monitor this piece of information along with the data they have already been collecting. Always needing to monitor health and wellness, as well as balance with business needs and business continuity.
Monitoring staff wellness is nothing new
Some of the details mentioned earlier are not new and can probably be captured and inferred from existing systems, but what HR teams are telling us is the complexity of tracking and absence types is far beyond what many of them have at their fingertips.
It is a challenging job to collect and keep the records of your staff, but the depth of information needed has meant that systems and processes have been creaking under the strain.
Not every system is nimble and agile. This is why so many HR professionals have told us, that on their Christmas wish list they’d like a system that works, allows staff to self-serve or self-certify electronically. They want to capture the relevant and right information, but avoiding the manual entry burden and the associated errors. A system that is safe, secure and robust.
If you’d like more information on integrating this into your current systems and processes talk to HR Christmas Wish team by emailing our elves email@example.com.