HR is back to work after Covid19
1. In anticipation of the end of the lockdown, what are your 30-60-90 days’ priorities as the HR Leader of your organization?
The priorities for Alteo in the next 30 days will be to concentrate on a phased return to work. We will be ensuring our employees feel safe and reassured with this step. Many have been at home, working in confinement (30 days) if they have not been part of any of our Essential Services teams. We have several employees in operations who were issued Work Access Permits to attend work during the months of March and April 2020 – we congratulate them for their ‘can do’ spirit during these tough times. They will now be welcoming back those colleagues who will be at work as from 5th May 2020. A gradual return to work in my opinion, will obviously follow what the PM’s office will dictate, taking into consideration the vital need to balance the number of employees at work in the first 30 days, to ensure we can adequately cover and police hygiene protocols and social distancing while also still being effective in the workplace. At Alteo, we will listen to our employees and understand what works best for them during the first phase of back to work – taking note of their role as a parent, a care taker for an elderly family member or any medical concerns they may have. We will be looking to limit the need to travel excessively between our various work sites – a positive eco-step no doubt for our island. We will also support our employees with their IT and network requirements to work efficiently from home during these next few weeks if not already addressed. @60 days, I anticipate that we will be better established in our new way of working with rotational office work in place and better adoption of the new model which permits a work from home more firmly embedded in our way of working for both administrative and office functions – a greater balance between a presenteeism approach and an ability to satisfy work needs remotely. We will continue to support our Property sector greatly affected by the C-19 Crisis as per others in the Tourism industry, and keep a keen focus on cost management to recover from the confinement days. @90 days and beyond, we will be better experts at managing our jobs, teams, results and re-integration into work. We will be thinking more innovatively having also discovered new skills in each and every one of us. Our learning and development journey will be taking us into new space – what does tomorrow’s leader need to succeed? Is it coaching, mental toughness, business acumen, emotional intelligence and agility and/or IT savviness? Perhaps there is room for every one of these subjects at all levels of the organization.
2. What will be the challenges that Mauritius must address in the future as far as HR and employment is concerned?
The challenges I see for employment and HR in Mauritius will be linked to the rate of recovery of the economy in the short, medium and long term locally and globally speaking. I think we as HR business partners, will be called upon to act differently in light of the review of core operational priorities. Not only will we have to face the uncertainty of employment as a reality but will also need to focus on re-thinking our HR strategy. These questions come to mind: – How will we continue to support the entry of millennials into the workplace with the economic downturn? – How will we ensure learning and development in the workplace continues if the focus is going to be about operational recovery? – How will we show support and listen to our employees in tough financial times? – What will be considered recognition and reward in these uncertain times for what will be the employee’s ‘discretionary effort’? HR may not have a crystal ball today but the last 30 days have paved the way for greater collaboration, goodwill, humility and resilience across industries, employee groups and humankind. It will help us makes sense of the tools we will need for the future and employment.