Blog: The looming role of HR amid COVID-19 crisis

Strategic HR

The looming role of HR amid COVID-19 crisis

As majority of the organizations during this normalizing phase are facing the liquidity crunch to path their business operations, HR will be under tremendous sturdiness to intact the human resources to their optimal performance.
The looming role of HR amid COVID-19 crisis

Along with the entire world, India is also not exempted and affected acutely from this Novel Coronavirus. During this critical time optimism plays the vital role in the lives of people whether it’s a professional or the personal one. In the recent past, We have been witnessed of many such critical challenges i.e. Y2K, Global Economic Recession, Rise and Fall of ISIS etc. It is pretty much evident that we cannot avoid what is happening around us.    

According to me, each catastrophe comes with two divergent aspects which are Menace & Prospect. We must be aware of a menace but at the same time distinguish the prospect by not wasting a worthy crisis. This might be sounding contrary but we may have enough arguments to prove upon. Specially in India’s context, This lockdown has taught us many distinct things but the most admirable thing for me was the sense Homogeneity. During the lockdown, Starting from the wealthiest man to the lowest earning member was leaving with the same sentiment of being caged into their respective home just to be away from this contagious virus.

Specially, when the unlocking is prudent in various parts of India to upkeep the economic steadiness, The role of HR will be truly vigorous. As majority of the organizations during this normalizing phase are facing the liquidity crunch to path their business operations, HR will be under tremendous sturdiness to intact the human resources to their optimal performance. If we pursue the current scenario then workforce under any organization is been bifurcated between mainly three unique ratios as defined into 10:80:10 which I call it, “The Crisis Principle”. First 10% group of the workforce is there into deep panic mode, Till the time they really do not know what is happening and they are technically blank towards the situation. Second 80% group of the workforce is there into the stunned mode, They have understood the situation but not so clear which way to proceed further and struggling with this “New Normal”. Rest 10% group of people is indeed distinct in nature who has not only accepted the situation but also got the veracity of this world. They are those rare species who have proved themselves as an ingenious mindset by embracing the current menace into prospect. They are the believer of universal truth that majority of times when we believe that we have reached to an end of SOMETHING then there is always a beginning of a NEW THING. Now, here the role of HR is to identify these 10% class within the organization and should establish the motivational cause for rest of the personnel who are prevailing in dilemma. 

To implement the said perspective in confidence with rest of the CXO’s, Any HR practitioner has to deliberate upon mainly two grilling as mentioned below,

What should HR be doing Today?

  • Re-Calibrate The HR Processes (As a part of reducing the operating cost)
  • Assess the Wage Dispersion Ratio across the Organization (By using the GINI Co-Efficient Method)
  • Adopt the Fact Based Approach (To be continuously relevant)
  • Enunciation of Plan Vs. Preparation (To earn the confidence of stakeholders)
  • Focus on Employee Engagement (To aver the sense of belongingness)

How should HR be preparing Organization for Future?

  • Attune Productivity and Production (To yardstick the business case)
  • Affirm the Culture of Care (To make them feel one)
  • Re-Energize the Work Force (The law of vital few)

HR has to be committed enough to put their best to transform this crisis into a glittering opportunity but it would not be possible without walking an extra mile with a prudent approach and also without restraining their selves into any boundaries which might not have been explored so far. This time has compelled all of us to sail into unchartered territories with the innovative persuasion and vow. We all are very familiar with the universal truth that “To achieve an extraordinary thing, One has to pursue extraordinary deeds.” These endeavors have to be so exclusive and matchless on its own despite of the fact how their fellow organizations’ within the industry are reacting upon.

If I may sum up, then ongoing disruptions will result in a constant change in demands from business and stakeholders. Organizations who get their HR Transformation right and establish the veracious set of capabilities will be able to realize outcomes on an ongoing basis. This will give them a competitive edge as they navigate to the future. They will be able to use a variety of existing and new tools to deliver the changing outcomes as demanded by the business and refine their employee experience constantly. Adaptability sets forth a lifestyle for HR that will constantly reduce administrative and transactional burden by driving a “Near Zero” operations focus. In turn, this creates bandwidth and capability for driving the anchors of Business Outcomes, Adoption and Improvement that enables them to emerge at the forefront. Adaptability will change the ways of working for HR to deliver on these anchors that drives the way programs are designed, experienced and governed. In this whole gamut, The role of the HR practitioner will be to initiate adaptability and drive behavior and governance changes to ensure this becomes the only way we all think. For the entire exercise, I would like to recommend the avowal, “HR should not be on the Board’s Agenda, IT IS THE AGENDA…To the times when HR leads change for all the organizations!!!

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Topics: Strategic HR, #GuestArticle

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