In times of crisis, all eyes are on HR. It is precisely then that HR professionals must use their people skills and be there for their employees. Martina Ruiß, Head of HR, explains how this works at Personio.
Crisis management: What if 400 employees need to work from home quickly?
Measures for a quick transfer:
- Employees should take their laptops home in the evening for emergencies
- Tests whether the technology for home office works and examination of legal issues
- Ask colleagues to update their contact details in Personio so that they can be reached
- Regular updates on what is happening in the background
- Provide Q&A documents
- Guidelines with tips & tricks for working from home
- E-mails to colleagues on vacation to inform them about the situation
What can HR do to keep the everyday work going?
Formation of a home office task force to deal with the following questions:
- How do we keep employees productive, which tools can help?
- How do we keep employees motivated?
- How can we support leaders in remote management?
- How can we support health topics in home office?
- How do we ensure that fun and social exchange are not neglected?
Support for employees with children:
- Reduction of working hours by 25% without reduction of salary. Here we are dependent on the support of the other employees in order to absorb the work.
- Financial support for external child care support. Here we cover 50% of the costs up to 200 Euro per week.
How do you motivate employees in home office and promote exchange?
- Try to stay in touch. We at Personio have in addition to our all-hands meeting on Fridays a company meeting on Monday mornings, as a kick-off, so to speak.
- Make meetings and 1:1s with managers more frequent.
- Communicates rather too much than too little so that everyone is informed and has understood what is being said.
- Use virtual coffee chats or lunch dates to keep in touch with colleagues.
- Use communication channels that are just for fun. We have a “Random Slack Channel” where employees can also post funny GIFs and memes.
How do you deal with vacation and expiration of remaining leave?
- Many colleagues whose trips have been cancelled would rather work than spend their time at home – that’s okay.
- What won’t work is that all colleagues take their holidays for example in the second half of the year.
- Compromise: We postpone the expiry of the remaining leave until the end of May.