Partial unemployment, maintenance of the link with employees in teleworking… Human resources are on the front line in the company to manage the crisis linked to the spread of the new coronavirus.
Benoît Serre, vice-president of the National Association of Directors of Human Resources (ANDRH), which brings together 5,000 members in SMEs and large groups, thinks that our relationship to work will change at the end of the period containment.
How are HR managers positioning themselves during this crisis?
BENOÎT SERRE. We were on the front line long before confinement. In contact with the employees, we saw their concern rise. We started with educational work on protective devices such as hydroalcoholic gel, the ban on meeting more than 25 people for training, conventions … ANDRH also advised its members to favor teleworking, in trades that allow it.
What is a good confined HR manager?
He must ensure that the managers regularly call the teams, to remain a community. For example, it is advisable to make a point once or twice a day on the progress of the projects, to postpone one which is not a priority, to divide the tasks… It is necessary now to build a cell of strategy of exit from the crisis with the management committee in order to assess the commercial, financial and social situation: look at the order book, consider whether or not to authorize summer holidays…
How to keep the link?
Once every ten days at least, the HRD must discuss with the social partners to take the temperature, because the unions have another relationship with the employees. If we do not maintain the link during this period, it will be difficult to work together after the crisis.
What are your tips for preparing for the recovery?
Monitor employees who are sick or have sick people in their families. In the event of misfortune, communicate with the team of the person concerned as in normal times. Then anticipate employees’ money problems.
We are not there yet but in a few weeks it will be necessary to think about salary advances… We will have to rethink hygiene measures, check our business continuity plan to react more quickly in the event of a new crisis… If the he company communicates well in the coming months, there will be no distrust when the recovery takes place. If the boss wants to restart as if nothing had happened, there will be social tensions.
Can this crisis be a source of opportunities?
This traumatic period will modify our relationship to work. The 2008 crisis was financial and affected only the wealthy. That of Covid-19 gives us the opportunity to redesign social dialogue, the employer-employee relationship, because the rich and the poor will have experienced things in common. In addition, the health and political crisis is going in the direction of employees who have expectations about the social responsibility of their company. CSR is not a fad, it will be a real issue.