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COVID-19 and Human Resources — How Your Team Should Move Forward 

Just as you’ve heard a million times before, COVID-19 has left its mark on various aspects of our day-to-day lives, but most significantly; the workforce. As business returns to normal, and the days of remote work dwindle down, your HR department is likely battling how to approach their return to the office and how to help the business, and employees, thrive post-COVID.  

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Anthony Klotz, Texas A&M University Professor, noticed a shift in the upward climbing trend of employee resignations within the U.S. workforce. Due to the pandemic, the number of resignations and the rate of resignation amongst employees in the workforce quickly leveled out. Now, as the pandemic is easing up, many individuals are making career switches due to burnout, limited growth opportunities, long-term remote work, and a better work-life balance.  

Coined by Klotz, “The Great Resignation” is expected to continue for months, and potentially extend into the beginning of 2022 as more employers require the return to the office. In April 2021 alone, 4 million people  – or 2.7% of the workforce – quit their jobs marking the highest one-month quit rate within the last 20 years.  

Regardless of the motives and reasonings behind the resignations of employees, HR managers and team members must place a higher emphasis on recruiting and retaining top talent now more than ever before. As employee outlooks and priorities have shifted within the last year, employers must be prepared to offer better competitive benefits and flexibility, not just to compete with other company offers, but to match the desires and expectations of their prospective and current employees.  

Claire Barnes, Chief Human Capital Officer of Monster Worldwide states, “As workers think about going back to their workplaces, they’re taking stock of what’s a priority for them now. Certainly, health and safety is a top concern but so is balancing career growth, family needs and overall happiness. For many, that means starting over and making a change.” 

Some industry leaders believe that burnout is a root cause of the record-breaking number of people switching jobs. Kathryn Mayer at Human Resource Executive writes, “the pandemic has resulted in higher rates of depression, anxiety, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder and burnout among employees. Recent research from the Mental Health Index: U.S. Worker Edition, for instance, finds that pandemic-fueled trauma is driving a dramatic decline in employee focus and contributing to continued worsened mental health, especially among the nation’s youngest and oldest workers.”  

Prioritizing the mental health of your team can be done in a variety of ways. The key to showing you employees you care and understand? Empathy. In a matter of days, life was turned upside down in March of 2020 and, arguably, remains a bit unprecedented. Establishing a comfortable level of work-life balance and providing your employees with the flexibility to do so can go a long way. Some of the most requested benefits post-COVID include hybrid or fully remote schedules, collective PTO, childcare assistance and relevant mental health programming.  

Sure, HR professionals have a lot on their plates right now in order to take care of a company’s most valuable asset — its people. Despite their heavy workloads to improve employee experience and increase retention during a resignation, it’s crucial that they tend to their own needs, too.  

Our seasoned business professionals can help your team return to the office or continue working virtually. With solutions designed specifically for your organization, INVO offers a diverse range of products and services that streamline operating a business, especially during these everchanging times. Contact us to learn more about our solutions. 

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