How HR Function will be the Game Changer Post Covid-19
The role of HR function and the HR leaders is undergoing change and would continue to change and evolve in the future. The HR leaders must ensure that the organisation is future ready and develops capabilities to do so effectively. They will have to relook at the optimal organisation structure and HR processes which are more suited to an organisation which is high on automation to grow and thrive.
Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace. The HR leaders must take the lead to manage this shift effectively at the organisation level. They need to work out innovative yet practical and sustainable ways to ensure they manage, lead, organise, motivate, and engage the workforce, 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 organisation 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.
The 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 organisations.
To be the game changer for their organisations, the HR leaders must work closely with the business leaders 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 organisation and the processes are continuously evolved and modified to create an engaged organisation. 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 organisation. We all are aware that a strong and well-defined organisational culture is critical to long-term success. It sets the organisation’s identity, helps form its mission and gives the 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 organisational 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 the 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 the 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 suggestions and ideas.
That reinforces the organisational commitment to them. The employees may surprise everyone with some brilliant ideas that haven’t been considered.
Enable teamwork and collaboration.
Get the 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.
Solicit and welcome feedback. A critical component to engagement is employees feeling that they are heard. Soliciting feedback demonstrates the HR leaders’ willingness to listen. Also, let the employees know what actions have been taken on their suggestions or ideas.
Recognise good work and good deeds.
This had taken a back seat during the Covid-19 period. Everyone, including the HR leaders, was learning by the day during this period. Encourage the employees to recognise each other in whatever ways are available. HR must ensure that the management should take extra steps to recognise and reward employees for going the extra mile to help colleagues and customers.
Share success stories.
Show the employees their work is meaningful by sharing great value adds.
Trust the employees to make decisions.
Let the employees know that the leaders trust them. It will help the organisation reach greater heights in the post Covid-19 times.
Collectively, these actions can go a long way to reinforce the employees’ trust for the organisation 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!