For most business owners, COVID-19 turned normal business strategies upside down.
In addition to managing the financial and operational aspects of the pandemic, owners are dealing with an abundance of HR challenges. These include the physical and mental well-being of their employees; maintaining productivity levels while working remotely or under new safety protocols; and struggling to find and retain the right talent during a labour shortage that’s been coined “the great resignation”.
So, how do business owners find the balance between careful strategies to manage their business while trying to stay connected and retain key talent? The following considerations should be top of mind for business owners to consider.
1. HR as a sounding board for owners
Rather than working alone, reach out to HR experts to bounce your ideas off of, obtain best practices, and get immediate HR advice and solutions to meet your needs.
Whether it be an urgent standalone issue or a more strategic look at your workforce for the future, a second set of eyes and a fresh perspective can often help put things into better focus.
2. Leadership and management support
Leaders and managers you rely on must adapt quickly and makes decisions in the best interests of all people.
3. Return to work and flexible work programs
Since March 2020, owners and leaders have already started to implement plans for returning to the workplace, with more regimented health and safety policies and protocols.
Surveys show a growing (and significant) number of Canadians want flexibility when it comes to where and how they work.
Talent retention and attraction has become one of the biggest challenges since the onset of the pandemic. Businesses may want to offer more flexible and remote working practices to accommodate the growing demand for such options from employees.
4. HR policies update
COVID-19 led to an entirely new working environment for many businesses. Whether it was adapting to employees working remotely, addressing new health and safety measures, or adjusting to multiple lockdowns and closures, owners have had to navigate new waters without formal policies to guide them. Many businesses found that their policies did not have the proper provisions for strategies to deal with the change in their workforce.
Additionally, an organization’s remote working or flexible work policies may not be written in such a way to protect both the business and the employees. There are a number of considerations here: how to manage workflows, communication practices, resource requirements, insurances, and health and safety concerns. Having a policy in place to address these issues is necessary to create consistency in these practices. Keep in mind that some of your people may be more open and flexible with new arrangements while others need more guidance.
How does a national accounting firm like BDO help?
BDO Canada has come a long way since founder Colonel James M. Dunwoody left Belfast for Canada, joining a firm of chartered accountants. Our service lines are among the most extensive in our industry and we provide support for small and medium business owners with Virtual HR services. Our team of certified and experienced HR advisors are a phone call or a virtual video session away from providing immediate answers to all HR issues as they arise or implementing longer-term HR strategies.
Scott Conner is an experienced tax practitioner and practical problem solver at BDO. As a partner specializing in Canadian income tax, Scott has particular specialties in private companies, planning for estates, trusts, and complex transactions. Scott works closely with his clients to understand their specific needs and adjust strategies accordingly. Scott and his team take a proactive, hands-on approach. They closely follow existing and proposed legislation to determine how it will affect individual financial goals, and provide ongoing guidance.