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Keep Business on Course With Employee Development

Julie Schweber, senior knowledge adviser with the Society for Human Resource Management, says keeping your business on track during the COVID-19 pandemic is critical. One way to maintain continuity with your business is by upholding traditional HR activities, like performance reviews. Learn more about Schweber’s views on the importance of regular employee evaluation.

Are there any advantages to delaying employee development during the COVID-19 pandemic?
If an employee is continuing to work, I can’t think of a downside for recognizing or rewarding performance, and an employee performance review is the key way to do that. I would hope retailers who have frontline workers see the benefit in offering performance reviews as an employee development tool.

There may be some situations where it makes sense to push back a review slightly—for instance if someone is temporarily furloughed or working remotely. In that case, notifying employees about your decision becomes really crucial.

Retail has experienced turbulence amid COVID-19, but many home improvement stores have seen business grow and are considering hiring new workers. What advice do you have for hiring and onboarding new employees during this time?

At the Society for Human Resource Management, we are hearing about more onboarding and employee training being done online, so remote options could help bridge the gap during the pandemic. That approach may not lend itself to every industry, but exploring remote onboarding options could be an effective way of introducing new employees to your policies and procedures. Emails, phone calls, webinars—there are many options to help reduce contact as much as possible before a new employee joins your business.

Even on a conference call, a retailer could share information about schedules, insurance, the organization’s mission, what you’re doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your store, quickly and potentially with many, many listeners.

Dig Deeper

Schweber also offered guidance regarding the use of masks in retail. Learn more from Schweber on how COVID-19 is impacting retail operations by browsing the latest issue of High Performance Retailing.

About Todd Taber

Todd Taber
Todd is an assistant editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. He graduated from Indiana University where he majored in journalism and French. Throughout his career, he has aimed to highlight small businesses and their community value. He joined NRHA in 2017 and now serves on the news and marketing teams. In his free time, he likes to run, spend time with family and travel the country.

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