Talent Management in the Age of Social Distancing

By: Emily Gumm, Search Coordinator, GattiHR

At GattiHR, we want to understand how HR professionals are adapting to Talent Management in a suddenly virtual world. We spoke with Talent Management leaders across industries and found the transition to virtual work has brought a new emphasis on communication.  From our conversations, we were able to organize a few key takeaways:

1. Keeping Meetings Short but Consistent

Talent Management leaders across industries have found that the while their total meeting count may be increasing to keep things productive, it’s best when the meetings are kept short and sweet. Many leaders site that having consistent meetings and check ins help employees to work more flexible hours, if something comes and someone steps in late, they aren’t locked out of the conversation. Furthermore, having consistent meetings creates a space for employees to bring their questions and allows for great transparency across the company.

2. Making Connection Intentional

Talent Management leaders have noted that online communication has skyrocketed. Every tool already in use, whether it was email, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WebEx, Slack and Skype are all being used more than ever. With the increase use of these tools, leaders have been helped by placing an emphasis on authenticity. Some have intentionally scheduled meetings where kids and pets are invited. Others have simply acknowledged that working with and around distractions is expected. The emphasis on authenticity has allowed leaders and teams to find humor and build stronger connections.

3. Trust

Virtual work requires trust, more than anything. Talent Management leaders are finding that to lead clearly through this time, there must be trust both in the leadership teams and the employees. Some leaders have established daily check in calls to update teams and answer questions. Others have created centralized areas to submit and answer questions. While this has extended the amount of communication, it has also extended the amount of trust teams have for their leadership teams. Leaders have found the most effective tool in this transition has been to return the trust and allow employees to take the time they need to navigate this change and trust that the work will get done.

4. Work Life Balance

Considering all the modes of communication and the sudden change in work structure and approach, Talent Management leaders are placing a special emphasis on work life balance. The typical work from home rules of setting a routine with a clear end of the workday still apply. In fact, many companies are leaning on their employees who already worked from home to glean tips and tricks. But with social distancing keeping people in their homes more than ever, the need to change gears and take a break is now more important than ever. Avoiding burnout and maintaining healthy habits have become a high priority for Talent Management leaders to communicate to their teams. While physical wellbeing is at the top of every one’s mind, mental health has also become an increased priority. Making sure employees have ways to take breaks, get outside and keep in touch with friends and family has also been important.