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Navigating COVID-19: HR & HSE Industry Insights – Part 2

Navigating COVID-19: HR & HSE Industry Insights – Part 2

Frazer Jones Market Insight

Since the beginning of March, Australia, alongside the rest of the world, has been dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. All businesses, industries and functions, including those in HR & HSE have been learning to deal with a new way of working.

As part of our new interview series "HR & HSE Industry Insights", the team at Frazer Jones spoke with some of our valued clients, speaking about the current challenges they were facing and opportunities for innovation in their company and/or industry sector.

We look back over the last month with insight from senior business development and marketing directors at leading law firms in the UK and how they have been navigating the challenges during COVID-19 and the impact this has had on their teams.

Here are the final three interviews with HR & HSE professionals across Australia.

 

National EHS Manager - Building Materials

How is your organisation promoting & managing good communication and employee well-being in the current situation?

There are weekly leadership forums via Microsoft Teams as well as 2x weekly email updates on the current situation. In addition, there are regular "phone in's" with specific team members to ascertain how people are. The company has made available an app with a number of resources designed to assist team members which has proven to be very popular.

Has there been any innovation or change to the way you work or conduct business that will be beneficial longer term?   

Much greater use of Microsoft Teams has been the big change in the way we interact with people. The mega change has been the recognition that where you work is no longer dependent on being in an office and that we are more flexible than we realise. However, in tandem with this has also been the recognition of the basic human need to "interact" with others. People in the long term do not respond well to total individual separation from each other.

How are you on-boarding remotely and what has worked well (or not so well)?              

We are currently not onboarding as all recruitment is on hold.

Are you continuing to hire certain roles? If so, what types of roles are deemed business critical in your organisation?

As mentioned above, all recruitment is currently on hold.

 

HR Manager - Agriculture

How is your organisation promoting & managing good communication and employee well-being in the current situation?

We are doing a lot of ‘listening’ to our employees through various channels (WHS Committee, pulse surveys, managers etc) and acting in a timely fashion with targeted communications, resources and tactical activities e.g. EAP support and resources, twice daily stretch sessions etc

Has there been any innovation or change to the way you work or conduct business that will be beneficial longer term?

Yes! The adoption of certain technology and IT platforms has happened almost overnight for our workforce and our stakeholders. We anticipate this will lead to greater flexibility in the way we work and where we work from as well as the delivery of some of our programs of work with face to face replaced by virtual engagement.

How are you on-boarding remotely and what has worked well (or not so well)?

POSITIVE: Structured induction plans; good communication structures; increase in 1:1 sessions in lieu of group sessions

NEGATIVE: Socialisation outside the immediate team is missed in the virtual induction process as each scheduled meeting is purposeful.

Are you continuing to hire certain roles? If so, what types of roles are deemed business critical in your organisation?

Yes, only select roles.  Executive or key roles that have been identified as critical to resource.  All other roles are on hold until social distancing measures are relaxed.

 

National Director People & Culture - Disability Services

How is your organisation promoting & managing good communication and employee well-being in the current situation?

We have two 'zoom' conference calls each day - one in the morning for leaders and one at noon where all employees are welcome to listen to updates and ask questions. We have also organised 'drink and chat' catch ups online. We have done some work online with our EAP provider speaking to employees and we're currently working on a mental health plan for the business (how to best manage employee anxiety) - should be finalised in the coming week.

Has there been any innovation or change to the way you work or conduct business that will be beneficial longer term?

Working from home has been positive - its relaxed some ideas about people not being productive from home. Business continuity has had big focus and learnings from that will be embedded into our future planning now.

How are you on-boarding remotely and what has worked well (or not so well)?              

We are mid implementing PageUp (ATS) and now working with Aust Post to make onboarding easier so less paper and all online. This situation has highlighted the flaws of our current system and our reliance on paper and physical contact

Are you continuing to hire certain roles? If so, what types of roles are deemed business critical in your organisation?

Yes we are continuing to hire for frontline operational roles - in fact our recruitment is increasing as we prepare for in advance should be have a covid-19 case.

 

For more information about recruitment for HR and HSE professionals in Australia during Covid-19, please contact one of the Frazer Jones Australia team.