The New Face of Human Resources
There's no better chance to bridge the gap between how the HR Department perceives itself and how others perceive them than the pandemic and its aftermath. The COVID-19 situation has clicked a reset button. Hence changing the way and the world we lived in before COVID-19.
There's a new world order now, which requires a shift in mindset, thinking, and execution. Organizations that insist on living the same norms as before the pandemic are heading full speed towards a considerable challenge, especially with the wave of the Great Resignation.
Back to People
For years, human-resource executives have been on a cost-cutting treadmill, using analytics and big data to existing HR operating models. Their mandate has been to optimize labor costs, strengthen compliance using standardized metrics, and assist in adopting technology outside IT, which has been a worthy but uninspiring objective for their departments.
The focus has been on productivity and how to evaluate it, even in HR areas that have been traditionally filled with meaning and cultural significance—recruitment and learning, and development. The challenge now for chief human-resource officers (CHROs) is whether routines have replaced the creativity and innovation required to attract and develop talent, manage and reward performance, and optimize workforce strategy. During recent interviews with more than 70 CHROs by Mckinsey from some of Europe's top enterprises, this need for more people-centric policies came through loud and clear.1
Focusing on Well-being and Support
According to Bryan Hancock, a partner and global leader of McKinsey & Co.'s talent management group, HR professionals have traditionally cared for employees' physical and mental health, but now they're taking a more proactive approach. This entails taking note of how people are feeling as well as building abilities for detecting and assisting with problems early on.
According to Holly Maurer-Klein, SHRM-SCP, a vice president of HR/Advantage Advisory in Pittsburgh, doing so needs HR to display more emotional intelligence.
New Ways of Thinking and Functioning
HR is a vital player in determining how individuals can work effectively in their new post-pandemic workplace, whether onsite, hybrid, or completely remote. This necessitates flexibility, adaptability, and inventiveness for both HR experts and employees.
HR used to have a couple of months to develop a policy then go through three layers of vetting, but With COVID-19, HR had three days to develop a policy and have it approved.
Even as businesses adjust to a new work environment, the speed and need for innovation will remain. It's not just going back to work. With speed and agility, there are entirely new methods of operating.
HR can play a crucial role in identifying what worked effectively throughout the crisis and expanding on that to gain competitive advantages. According to Hancock, a corporation might shrink its headquarters and build regional hubs to tap new sources of talent. HR must think out how the hubs will function with headquarters, how work will be coordinated, and so on in this situation. According to Hancock, one crucial aspect is the systems and processes that must be in place to support smooth workflows and interactions.
It's vital to understand how the firm wishes to operate in the future, both culturally and operationally. For example, how does HR prepare managers to monitor remote workers effectively?2
Mckinsey, 4 Jun 2021, Talha Khan, Back to Human:Why HR Leaders want to focus on People Again?, Accessed 5 Mar 2022, https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/back-to-human-why-hr-leaders-want-to-focus-on-people-again#
SHRM, 1Sep 2021, Tam Harbert, The Pandemic has expanded the Role of HR, Accessed 3 Mar 2022, https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/fall2021/pages/pandemic-expands-role-of-hr.aspx
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