Now that we finally have discussions on vaccine implementation and rollouts in place, and many areas actively looking to restore the economy to its former glory, HR managers and project managers have a massive task ahead of them. Executive leadership teams will have their eyes set on project managers and HR personnel to help give them the directions or guidelines they need to get back in shape.
As employees return from remote work, furloughs or after being laid off, there are bound to be chaotic scenes of mismanagement and disruption. Some positions will have to be filled in, while some employees will need some time to settle back into their old roles. Regardless of the situation that rolls out, there sure is going to be some confusion around us.
In this article we take a look at some of the project management tips that organizations can follow when restarting their operations in the post COVID-19 world. The political and economic climate of the world has changed, and businesses need to not only adopt new trends, but also adapt to the changing times.
1. Ask All Necessary Questions
Before the executive team gives you directions to go down a certain path, there is some contemplation you should put into the process as a senior project manager and an HR professional. As a facilitator of the shift back to the workplace, you will presumably be given a number of key responsibilities to look after. From sanitation practices to different sick leave possibilities, new office workspace rules and other complications, project managers will have to overcome a number of hurdles and take important decisions.
One important decision here is to also review whether you should return to work at one time, or break the resumption into batches to acclimatize employees with the process. The pros and cons of each process and idea should be outlined in a meeting of all employees so that everyone is on board with the decision making processes. Senior management should also be prompted of all decisions.
2. Consider Legal Ramifications
Project managers should know the importance of studying the law carefully and should trudge carefully here. Even the best intentions can come with legal ramifications if not handled carefully. As a project manager in your firm, you should ensure that you build a strategy that gets your company back on its feet and does not include legal threats or ramifications.
Daniel Klien, a partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP notes, “As employers plan to reopen their worksites, a number of significant regulatory and legal liability risks may arise, and numerous lawsuits against employers have already been filed as a result of COVID-19.”
There will be some unforeseen lawsuits against employees, some other relative instructions and other ideas of the sorts that have to be taken care of by the organization. Legal ramifications should be avoided as they will damage your organization’s rapport as well.
3. Communicate Expectations with Employees
Project managers should work together with the HR department to build a communication strategy for employees as well. The post COVID-19 world has been harsh on everyone, which is why individuals need to come up with a communications strategy to expertly put forth their ideas and suggestions.
HR departments should determine the frequency and method of communication. In-person meetings will surely take some time to happen and emails can sound and look really impersonal. However, organizations and HR departments can facilitate video calling solutions to keep employees in the loop and ensure smooth resumption of operations.
Depending on the size of your organization, this task can even be passed over to the management team in each department. Managers from each department can talk to their employees and form a communication strategy bordered on mutual growth and perspective. You will also have to ensure that consistent info and details are given to employees across the organization, so that there is no confusion in the communication process.
Expect Bumps on the Way
The resumption process will not be easy by any stretch of the imagination. There are going to be bumps on the road, which will definitely scare you and the management team. In terms of the logistics of the project, developing a recovery plan for the coronavirus will be one of the biggest crisis management situations most organizations will ever have to face. The process will definitely not be easy, and organizations can expect a number of challenges as they proceed.
Organizations should also seek out assistance from all team members and employees. The more you work together, the easier it will be to come up with adaptable solutions that are easy to implement across the board.
Prepare to Shine
Though the period up ahead will be challenging and complicated for most managers, it is also a great opportunity to shine. Never before in life have HR and project managers faced such complicated situations. As the recovery period rolls out, employees that show passion and dedication throughout this recovery process will also be noticed by the senior management within the organization. The project managers tasked with the recovery process will be in a key position, as they will be overseeing the entire process and ensuring that all rules are followed without any hindrance or roadblocks.
Many challenges await HR teams and project managers in the weeks to come. As the economy opens up, organizations will have to adjust to the changing norms and make up a decent strategy. Many companies will go through significant restructuring, which is where the leadership skills of department members will be tested.