SmartHR | Covid 19 Blog Series | August 2020

SmartHR – Adapting our business and services to support clients across the Island . Today, Chamber member SmartHR tell us how they quickly adapted their business during lockdown to support clients. Smart HR were flexible, adaptable and adopted new ways of working, they also adapted their services to support clients who cover a wide range of industries on the Island.

Date: Tuesday 11 August 2020

August 11th 2020

SmartHR – Adapting our business and services to support clients across the Island .

Today, Chamber member SmartHR tell us how they quickly adapted their business during lockdown to support clients. Smart HR were flexible, adaptable and adopted new ways of working, they also adapted their services to support clients who cover a wide range of industries on the Island.

As with many other organisations on the Island, the sudden onset of COVD-19 had an unprecedented impact on SmartHR and the services we provide to our clients who cover a wide range of industries.

For SmartHR, all the team very quickly adapted to working from home. Our IT infrastructure enabled this to happen so that we could continue to provide the same high level of service to our clients. Our flexibility and adaptability were essential, as was having regular communications via telephone and Skype, particularly as we all kept up-to-date with the IOM Government’s COVID-19 guidance on a daily basis so that we could answer client enquiries.

We flexed our normal HR support arrangements for some clients e.g. instead of spending 1 or 2 days onsite we would log on remotely to their systems daily and attend daily / regular Skype / Zoom / Microsoft Teams meetings and we worked outside of our normal working hours. It was essential that we were able to use our clients’ preferred communication media for remote meetings and we are continuing to do this for clients who have not fully returned to working onsite yet.

The services we provided to our clients were also adapted to the situation and were wide ranging:

Advice and guidance regarding the HR / people management impacts of COVID-19, including making temporary changes to employees’ hours of work, employment terms, and layoffs.

Helping clients navigate the COVID-19 guidance provided by the IOM Government (and other jurisdictions in which our clients operate such as UK, Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey etc.) regarding business support they may be able to claim and resources for staff.

Creating customised COVID-19 guidance documents for clients setting out their policies and guidelines for staff to follow.

Creating customised homeworking policies, and homeworking risk assessment templates.

Creating customised flexible working policies and procedures.

Reviewing and amending sickness absence and holiday policies to provide greater flexibility for staff, where applicable.

Advice, guidance, and support with business restructures (temporary or permanent) and consultation processes.

Daily / regular conference calls / video meetings with clients.

Drafting other COVID-19 related business updates for management and staff.

Creating health and wellbeing questionnaires, receiving completed questionnaires, and providing summary feedback.

Supporting return to work planning including COVID-19 return to work guidance documents, COVID-19 risk assessments and associated activities.

During the lockdown period we also set-up and launched a new online HR management system (‘HRMS’) for a client, created a user guide, and delivered various online Zoom training sessions to all staff. The new HRMS has been extremely beneficial for the client and has allowed them to benefit from operational efficiencies, particularly in managing their HR data, and holiday and absence management processes across multiple jurisdictions. The system included a mobile application for staff to use and the functionality of the HRMS is now being extended further.

We also wanted to provide some free resources for our clients and the wider community to share our knowledge and to help support them dealing with COVID-19 and managing their people, so we produced and distributed via Mailchimp and social media (LinkedIn and Facebook) three resource guides covering:

Guide to Homeworking during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Health and Wellbeing during Coronavirus Pandemic

COVID-19 Return To Work Considerations

We have learned how quickly the team can adapt to operating remotely and continuing to provide support to clients in a flexible manner. As this was an unprecedented period from an employment perspective for employers, we now have the benefit of experience to support existing and future clients should COVID-19 or another pandemic affect the Island.

I’m very proud to have such a great team and that we can all operate flexibly and continue to use different technology to support our clients. During lockdown we remotely celebrated individual work anniversaries as well as SmartHR’s 10th birthday. Now we’re looking forward to having a team celebration all together!