COVID-19 HR Helpkit for Nonprofits

In light of COVID-19 and the current economic climate, nonprofit leaders are faced with unprecedented challenges. Amidst funding uncertainties and government mandates, many nonprofits must decide how to sustain operations and continue providing important mission-driven and client services in their communities while managing workforce challenges, such as administering layoffs or furloughs and ensuring adequate staffing for essential services.

KH Consulting partnered with Skye HR Consulting to create a “Helpkit” to help nonprofits navigate uncertainty and change in the era of COVID-19 response. It includes a three-part video series that invites nonprofits to listen in on a conversation with experienced consultants from both firms as they discuss:

  1. Frequently asked questions about HR standards and practices;
  2. Approaches for making sound HR decisions in a time of uncertainty; and
  3. Ways to nurture strong relationships with staff, funders, and donors.

The Helpkit also includes the following documents:

Sky Headshot-01
Skye Mercer, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
HR Consultant / Leadership Coach
Skye HR Consulting, LLC
Katie Howard
President and Strategic Principal
KH Consulting, LLC

Three-part Video Series

Part 1 — Information: Review the basic HR terms, definitions, and rules related to downsizing
  • What is the difference between a layoff and a furlough and how will it impact my employee’s unemployment insurance? – 04:55
  • Can I reduce my exempt employee’s salary? – 09:46
  • How does unemployment insurance generally work and what does the CARES Act mean for unemployment insurance? – 12:58
  • If an employee is approved by the state for unemployment, will they make less money than they do in their usual paycheck? – 16:06
  • What special unemployment insurance programs are there in the State of WA right now, and where do I go to get additional information if I’m operating outside of WA? – 19:07
  • It seems there is a lot of information out there – where can I go for trusted information about HR matters? – 22:49
Part 2 — Decisionmaking: Review steps for making sound personnel decisions in this unknown time
  • What steps do I take to determine if layoffs/furloughs are the best choice for long-term sustainability? – 02:13
  • Can an organization change employee positions or descriptions temporarily for COVID-19 response? – 05:27
  • Can an employee who is laid off and accessing unemployment volunteer their time for the organization? 07:31
  • How can my board support sound decisionmaking, and how can I support my board to respond instead of react in panic? – 11:22
  • How should I involve donors and funders in my decisionmaking process? – 16:00
  • How do I continue services if I lay off my employees? 28:08
Part 3 — Relationships: Discuss best practices for maintaining a strong relationship with employees during the layoff process and after, with the aim of retention
  • What do I say to my employee during the layoff discussion? How do I make sure to provide them with all of the information and resources needed? – 03:35
  • What is some advice for employers about how to continue to be responsive and supportive to employees who have questions about the layoff? 07:38
  • How do I maintain engagement with my employees during the layoff if I plan to rehire them? 13:39
  • What are some suggestions for employers on how they can embody diversity, inclusion, and equity in their HR approach? 18:10
  • How should organizations continue to engage and communicate with funders/donors and employees throughout the duration of this crisis even if they don’t have new information to report? 20:45