The extraordinary events of the past year have left the business world in flux. But as the dust settles and the U.S. slowly recovers from the pandemic, employers may be asking themselves “Where do we go from here?”
From strengthening your workforce to minimizing your litigation risk, we compiled six objectives organizations should focus on over the next six months.
1. Re-Examine Your Employee Handbook
The employee handbook has always been an important tool for employers. It communicates essential information to new hires, defines the employer/employee relationship, and provides legal protection against employment lawsuits.
In a post-pandemic world, employee handbooks are a requisite. Many new laws were enacted, resulting in the need to create new workplace policies, and re-examine existing ones. These include protocols related to leave laws, remote work, and more. An employee handbook ensures these policies are clearly documented and effectively communicated to employees.
Handbooks need to be customized based on many factors which can affect governing federal, state, and local laws. Don’t attempt to write one yourself; this task is best left to the experts.
Download our resource to help you get started.
2. Train Your Team
Regularly training your employees is not only a smart way to engage and retain them, it’s essential when faced with a disaster. Whether it’s a health crisis, weather event, or simple business closure, employees need to be on the same page. Having a way to deploy business continuity training is essential.
A learning management system (or LMS) can help centralize your efforts, providing an efficient way to create, deliver, and track online training, even if your employees are working remotely.
During the pandemic, organizations were forced to reevaluate priorities. If employee training was cut from your business plan, now’s the time to revisit it.
3. Prepare for an Uptick in Pro-Worker Legislation
Employers can expect many changes with Joe Biden as president. The Administration has an ambitious agenda filled with labor and employment priorities. Starting with a reversal of President Trump’s pro-employer actions, Biden has pledged to “aggressively pursue employers who violate labor laws.”
Employers should anticipate ramped up enforcement of labor law violations, increases in minimum wage, more generous leave policies, and stronger COVID-related legal obligations.
Get ahead of these changes by planning for them now and allocating resources to help ensure compliance.
4. Focus on Cyber Security
Cybercrimes are on the rise and remote workers are the target. As employees continue to work from anywhere, threats continue to mount. A combination of insecure home networks, more sophisticated hackers, and human error is contributing to the surge.
Averting cyber-attacks should be a top priority. Kick off the initiative by training your team (see goal #2), drafting a formal security policy, and if needed, bringing in outside help in the form of a third-party security awareness education provider.
5. Evaluate Technology
During the pandemic, organizations had to adapt their processes quickly to survive. Business plans were reimagined, decision-making was accelerated, and technology was adopted overnight. From video-conferencing platforms to cloud computing, employers scrambled to find tools to help them resume operations.
For many organizations, the pandemic was the impetus needed to progress forward. Now, as the reality of our new normal sets in, reflect on those changes and evaluate which are worthy of investing in for the future.
6. Secure a Competent HR Resource
The pandemic transformed the role of HR. Adapting to remote work, addressing new policies, and ensuring workplace safety are just a few of the new responsibilities. And that’s on top of the usual administrative and compliance concerns.
Failure to adhere to employment laws carries hefty penalties. Over the last several months, the Department of Labor has stepped up enforcement actions. Coupled with the new Administration in office, lawsuits are expected to increase.
Having a competent HR resource to guide you is vital. If you’re not in the position to add a dedicated HR professional to your team, seek help from a reputable consultation service. To determine your susceptibility to risk, take our HR assessment.
Whatever tops your to-do list, we’re here to support you with resources to help you succeed.