The good news first. The vaccine to protect against COVID-19 has been administered to the majority of the population across the UK. Cause of celebration. The less good news is that despite that it will be some time yet before the country can return to anything like a normal life. For some months yet, we will have to continue to be vigilant.
So for many of us life will continue to be restricted in some way or another. Working from home will remain the norm for many employees, while others are now looking at ways of getting their staff back into the work place safely and effectively. Equally, there are those for whom home working has never been an option. Whatever their different needs, HR teams have to support and manage all these individuals in a cost effective way. This would be tough at the best of times, in the midst of a global pandemic it is doubly difficult. But it can be done.
This crisis has seen technology really come into its own. Whatever the downsides of Zoom meetings, the ability of IT to keep distant teams together and talking has been a huge benefit to millions of workers and their employers. We may not be able to meet at the watercooler, but we can still communicate in real time with our colleagues, line managers and leaders. Just as COVID has accelerated workplace changes such as remote working, it also seems set to accelerate the take up of new technologies to manage our changing needs.
An app, such as HELIIX, has the ability to empower those working remotely, out on site and in the office. It gives them the opportunity to manage a vast number of aspects of their day-to-day lives, and the feedback that employee apps provide allows HR to automate many transactional functions.
Linking though to a management platform frees HR from the tyranny of spreadsheets, and instead provides a dashboard which instantly enables them to see just who is available, who is still in isolation and when they’ll be available. Our own technology has a super-useful tool that allows HR to forecast what future sick pay demands are likely to be. All of this frees up time for HR to concentrate on other issues facing the business as it looks forward to a time when we can return to some kind of normality.
Yes, there is an NHS Test and Trace app. This provides useful information to individuals, but doesn’t give businesses access to the kinds of data they need to robustly manage their workforce through the pandemic and beyond. Nor does it give their employees the reassurance that their own employers are with them, and ready to support them should that support be required.
Technology, used effectively, can bring peace of mind. By linking to an employee management tool you get double the benefit. When things are already complicated, anything which helps to streamline the process has got to be a welcome addition to the HR systems toolkit.
The good news too is that such systems need not be expensive. REVIV’s own in-house management software HELIIX costs, per user, about the same as a single shot of expresso coffee. And that’s the professional version. The standard option is free. Not only does it have useful functions which can immediately help you manage the health and productivity of your employees, but many of these will continue to be useful as we emerge from this virus back into some kind of normal life. The COVID-19 chaos will end. The tools are available right now to guide you through this crisis, but also to help your business and your workforce emerge from it fitter and more able to face that future with confidence.
Sarah Lomas is president and CEO at Reviv Global
Click here to see a demo of HELIIX.