Blog Articles

How COVID-19 Has Changed HR Workflows

Understand which parts of your HR checklists have changed due to the pandemic and learn how to optimize for these changes.

Aimie Ye

by Aimie Ye - May 21st, 2020

As if the COVID-19 pandemic has not done enough damage to businesses all over, it has also greatly affected the day-to-day operations of HR professionals. From general HR tasks to payroll, compliance, and benefits, the Coronavirus has introduced new regulations that create additional challenges and responsibilities for HR managers. 

We know your time is valuable and your plates are full.  Modern HR software like GoCo streamlines administrative tasks, and gives HR pros more time to solve bigger problems and focus on employee experience. Here are a few ways GoCo can help:

General HR

Review Communications Plans for COVID-19

  • Share ongoing communications with employees

  • Provide frequent updates to the management team

  • Remind employees to update contact information if necessary

  • Review Return-to-Work Checklist if you are looking to reopen offices

  • Understand confidentiality regulations for employees who call in sick

Revise Your Employee Handbook (if necessary)

  • If you’ve transitioned to work from home, add “remote work” policies accordingly

  • Get employees up to speed on all expectations and communication requirements during work-from-home

  • Add your emergency policy and procedure

  • Revise and even remind everyone about your sick leave policy.

Properly Address Employee Illness

  • Plan steps for after an employee tests positive for COVID-19

  • Communicate with the employee’s coworkers and anyone who has had contact with the employee

  • Prepare an employee isolation plan

Keep Remote Employees Engaged

  • Communicate regularly with employees

  • Virtual 1:1’s and check-ins

  • Encourage feedback 


Hiring Guidelines

  • Hold interviews remotely (via webcam)

  • Screen applicants for symptoms of COVID-19 if necessary

  • Set flexible start dates for applicants with COVID-19 or displaying relevant symptoms 

  • Organize, document and store relevant new hire data in your HRIS

Review Your Remote Onboarding Checklist

  • Send Virtual Offer Letters, Documents, and Policies

  • Add Employee to Org Chart

  • Ensure proper remote set-up with IT department

  • Prepare equipment for employee

  • Prepare hardware, software, etc. for new hire

  • Ensure new hires are trained on remote communication tools, meeting applications, etc.

  • Help new employees set measurable goals and store online (like in an HRIS)

  • Set frequent calls with new hires and offer mentorship


Evaluate and Review Benefits Programs

  • If you need to furlough or terminate employees, understand your benefits programs

  • Review health and severance plans to familiarize with the terms

  • Understand the impact on your 401(k) and other plans

Understand the ACA Employer Penalty

  • Evaluate the ACA penalty and COBRA coverage information for group health plans to prevent the ACA penalty

Review Employee Policies and Agreements

  • Understand the impact of leave or termination on compensation and benefits

File ERISA Plan Report (if applicable)

  • Understand the eligibility requirements to file employee benefits plan reports with the DOL


Review the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

  • Familiarize yourself with the terms of the FFCRA

  • Understand reimbursement regulations for employee paid sick leave and family medical leave

PTO/Time Tracking

Track COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave

  • Track leave requests in compliance with FFCRA (EPSL & EFMLA)

  • Calculate leave balances

  • Approve and make adjustments to request


Review Insurance Policies

  • Factor in changes in employee vehicles, equipment, and other items that may be necessary for remote work 

  • Understand Workers’ Compensation changes (if any)

Review I-9 Updates

  • Understand the changes in reviewing I-9 documents in-person with employees during the pandemic

As exemplified above, COVID-19 has added an entirely new list of tasks and considerations to the plates of HR professionals everywhere. Schedule a demo today to learn more about GoCo and automating your HR workflows!

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