Role of HR: Pre & post COVID world
In the gigantic universe of corporate organizations and workplaces, employees have an irreplaceable stance. For decades, the people management function at workplaces has held prime importance. To ensure the company’s operations are optimized and driven towards its goals, Human Resource (HR) professionals play a supreme role at the apex of any organizational hierarchy. However, today, we’re at the crossroads of HR management in the current plot.
The HR department is at the heart of all employee-centric needs of any organization. HR professionals are the people-friendly ones, who know how to manage the workflow of the company by ensuring every single person is working seamlessly and the company’s policies are regularly updated. Traditionally, this role involved in-person interactions with all the employees, throughout the day. HRs have been instrumental in talent acquisition, upskilling, and development of employees and conflict resolution within teams working together.
Over time, the sphere of HR has evolved from being limited to employee satisfaction, to have a larger impact on the company’s overall growth. The influence of technology has brought several changes and has made HR a vital enabler for any workplace. Today, about 75% of the HRs around the world use recruiting software efficiently.
The fortunate partnership of digitization and HR ushered in several advantageous outcomes like effective resource planning, requirement forecasting, talent sourcing, and recruitment assessments. The integration of resource management software within HR teams has given rise to smart HR programs and effective leadership.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit all organizations and industries with the same magnitude but the repercussions are varied. While some companies found it easy to transform digitally and revive their operations without a glitch, others are still having a tough time switching to the digital mode of working. This asymmetry has been a function of several factors including the digital capabilities of businesses and the management tactics being used to connect people digitally.
The fancy idea of remote working has become indispensable now and HRs have novel responsibilities to address. They have to establish a common ground for all the employees together from diverse geographical and socio-economic backgrounds, especially for employees staying in interior areas. The need for automation and flexible collaboration tools has grown even more now. As a sincere effort to strengthen employees living in Tier-2 cities, many renowned companies have made significant efforts in the past few months to facilitate them with the necessary infrastructure, thus making remote-working smooth for them.
Remote assistance extends to the aspect of health as well. The circumstances have made health and safety a sensitive issue for all employees and HR has to ensure every person is able to avail of any and all benefits. HR can share physical well-being measures and important policies or health support packages to alleviate the concerns of the employees.
‘Human’ in HR
Have you ever wondered what lies in the soul of the function of HR? 67% of the working professionals believe respectful treatment for people at all levels is of utmost importance for job satisfaction. Interestingly, the most important fact about human resources that we often forget, is that we’re all humans first. The pandemic has played its card to demonstrate that we can be resources only if we’re humane enough. As the consequences of the pandemic kicked in, HR professionals welcomed new battles to fight for.
When businesses encounter adversity, it is the people that make victory possible. But in the case of this worldwide threat, people themselves are at their weakest points. Communication plays a pivotal role for any remote working team and HR has the power to harness the maximum potential out of effective communication.
Productivity and Collaboration
In the areas of talent acquisition and management, HRs had to make some tough decisions. Drying up revenues and difficult team management calls for reduced team sizes and strategic talent sourcing. As a result, with the sky-rocketing layoff figures and increased freelancer intakes, employees are more uncertain than ever.
The HR role is not limited to the retention or removal of employees only. If HRs were to acquire new employees or train existing ones, 77% of them would choose the latter. For any HR team, the prime concern lies in setting up work continuity and handling the daily tasks with the best possible outputs from the employees. Diminishing employee productivity is a serious roadblock for remote-working teams and effective collaboration is the only way out. The onus is on HR to revitalize the work environment and make it conducive for the employees to deliver their best.
70% of the survey respondents acknowledged that their company needs to do more to prevent employee burnout. To address the grave issue of employee mental health and insecurity, some of the companies tried some unconventional ideas. They conducted various motivational speaker sessions and keynote talks to maintain the energy and vibe amongst the workforce. Several connect-fun sessions were held on a periodic basis to rejuvenate the teams burning the midnight oil to meet business targets.
The magical world of digitization that was embraced as a ‘good-to-have’, turned out to be a saviour for organizations across the globe. But it is now required to be equipped with the element of empathy, human touch, and work culture. The amalgamation of the humane HR function and digital solutions sustains the post-COVID era.
Future of HR
Things might never be the same again, but human beings can be the masters of change. Current situations call for thoughtful initiatives that help settle the chaos and resume work in the best possible manner. It’s high time to pay heed to learning and development for the digital times. Businesses stay in the same competitive world but the geographics have dismantled. Thus, judicious planning for workforce enhancement is imperative. The crisis might resolve soon but the lessons are to stay with us at our workplaces forever. This transformation of HR is to empower digital workplaces in the times ahead.