How human resources departments are dealing with the effects of COVID

“They think the company is taking a political stand, whereas the company, all they try to do is stay legal,” said PerformancePoint CEO Brad Federman.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – With all the changes in policies and in the workplace due to COVID, human resources departments have their work cut out for them.

For many people working in human resources, the workplace no longer feels normal.

“We run trauma centers,” said PerformancePoint CEO Brad Federman.

Federman is also the elected president of the Memphis chapter of the Human resources management company.

He called these times “three years of history” all in one.

“1918, we had the Spanish flu, didn’t we? So you’ve been through a pandemic. 1929, you had the Great Depression. We’ve been through an economic collapse in many ways, ”Federman said. “1968, racial conflicts. I don’t know of a year in our history that we’ve dealt with all of this at the same time, except for the last year and a half. “

It is wreaking havoc in the workplace.

“In the midst of a pandemic like this, you have people working 50 to 70 hours a week, and they’re getting burned out,” Federman said. “There is a push towards staff-.up. We need more people, but you are short of employees.

For a field built on employee engagement, HR professionals struggle.

“People who work have lost family members,” Federman said. “As a society, we are witnessing a collapse. You start to see this kind of behavior, infiltrating organizations, texts and messages becoming sarcastic, caustic, rude. HR needs to be responsible for trying to maintain a certain level of civility in the workplace, when we lose that civility and anxieties take hold everywhere else around them.

They must also change their policies in order to fight COVID.

“When do we bring the people back?” If we bring them back, what does the office look like, ”Federman asked. “They think the company is taking a political stand, whereas the company, all they try to do is stay legal. They try to follow the regulations.

It’s a challenge with a long fight ahead.

On the bright side, Federman said it brought more people into the HR arena.

“All of a sudden, HR is at the center. They are now around the table because we cannot get by without HR playing a strategic role. For a very long time, HR wanted to be at the table. They wanted to be in the C-suite. They wanted to be treated with some respect, “said Federman.” It’s stressful, but in the long run it’s a real draw to the pitch. “