How Human Resources Function will be the Game Changer Post Covid-19?
As employees adjust to how, when and where they work, it is a great opportunity for HR leaders to do a great job at what they already know is important and critical in the Post Covid -19 world.
The role of HR function and the HR Leaders is undergoing change and would continue to change and evolve in the future. HR Leaders must ensure that the Organization is Future ready, develop capabilities to do so effectively. They will have to relook at the optimal organization structure and HR Processes which are more suited to an organization which is high on automation to grow and thrive. Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace. HR leaders must take the lead to manage this shift effectively at the organization level. They need to work out innovative yet practical and sustainable ways to ensure they manage, lead, organize, motivate, and engage the work force including the Gen “Z” or face the risk of being left behind. They will have to be the key resource to bridge the gap between what employees want and what the organization offers in the gamut of facilities, compensation, flexibility, learning and career development opportunities provided to employees. They will have to design immersive learning experiences to help develop leaders capable of thriving in the post Covid-19 world. HR leaders will have to move from purely a cost base to a more strategic, business advisor role, with a focus on talent management, efficient service delivery and a holistic design of the workplace. They need to be the Game Changers for their organizations.
To be the game changer for their organizations, the HR must work closely with the business and co create the vision for the post Covid-19 era and the capabilities to compete in the Post Covid-19 world. Ensuring the Skills required in a foreseeable future are proactively either acquired or developed in the organization. The Processes are continuously evolved and modified to create an engaged organization. This would be first and most critical step in moving the level of the game few notches up.
Another element to be considered by HR is the culture of the organization. We all are aware that a strong and well-defined organizational culture is critical to long-term success. It sets the organization’s identity, helps form its mission and gives employees at all levels a sense of identity and purpose in their work. However, culture is vulnerable in times of crisis when decisions are being made on the fly and financial survival takes priority over almost everything else. Culture is impossible to automate — there is no technology solution that can preserve and enhance organizational culture. HR must ensure that culturally the focus shifts from “Productivity” to “Value Addition”.
Everything in the workplace has changed and it would never be the same again, but what keeps employees motivated and what managers and leaders should do remains the same. As employees adjust to how, when and where they work, it is a great opportunity for HR leaders to do a great job at what they already know is important and critical in the Post Covid -19 world. Employee engagement, constant communication and demonstrated commitment to the culture by leadership in alignment with HR and HR Leaders are the only tools that will work. Some of the actions which the HR leaders must initiate in the Post Covid-19 world are:
Create a sense of belonging by Communicating. The more information is shared, the easier employees can cope with their recent past. Genuine Empathy would also help.
Ask the employees for suggestion and Ideas. That reinforces the Organizational commitment to them. The employees may surprise everyone with some brilliant ideas that haven’t been considered.
Enable teamwork and collaboration. Get employees working together to solve problems. Use the tools to spread collaboration to mitigate the effects of isolation of expanded work-at-home and other unfamiliar situations.
Welcome feedback. Solicit and welcome feedback. A critical component to engagement is employees feeling that they are heard. Soliciting feedback demonstrates HR Leaders’ willingness to listen. Also, let employees know what actions have been taken on their suggestions / ideas.
Recognize good work and good deeds. This had taken a back seat during Covid-19 period. Everyone including HR leaders were learning by the day during this period. Encourage employees to recognize each other in whatever ways are available. HR must ensure that the management should take extra steps to recognize and reward employees for going the extra mile to help colleagues and customers.
Share success stories. Show employees their work is meaningful by sharing great Value adds.
Trust employees to make decisions. Let employees know that leaders trust them. It will help the organization reach greater heights in the post Covid-19 times
Collectively, these actions can go a long way to reinforce the employees’ trust for the organization and improve their engagement levels ensuring contribution and satisfaction for them. This helps the employees to remain motivated and engaged. It is all about Hope, Happiness and Health.
It’s time to tighten up the belts. We are about to take off!