7 Ways HR Leaders Are Working Around The “New Normal” Workplace Challenges
Amidst the pandemic, the responsibility of leading the company as well as employees towards growth is on the HR team. These are just a few ways of HR leaders defining the new normal. Their effectiveness can be increased by making them more adjusted to the company and employees needs.
A lot has been said about how difficult this year has been for everyone — personally and professionally. Although one thing we have all undoubtedly learnt is the art of survival. While individuals are suffering so much, we can only imagine the confusions that workplaces have to navigate through.
Amidst all this uncertainty, there are leaders who are still running their organisation and taking it ahead. Before we have a look at the ways HR leaders are defining the new normal, let us first learn about the challenges that HR managers are facing due to the current situation.
The current situation has posed challenges for the leaders of most organisations. In order to work around them, there are certain action points that they need to immediately address. These include:
- Due to the pandemic situation, a majority of the staff is working remotely. In such conditions, to bring in some control and structure, human resources managers have to come up with organisation-wide plans wherein various aspects related to attendance of employees, such as policies and guidelines, are revisited.
- The government needs to come up with a specific set of rules and regulations along with a legal framework designed for the current situation.
- Since the employees are working remotely and the way of work has changed, the job description of the employees and their role in the organisation also needs to undergo a careful revision before new positions are made available.
- There should be new ways of measuring the performance and productivity of the employees working remotely. One needs to put careful thought into the individual evaluation system in accordance with the goals and values of the company.
- With their energies already being spent on the official and legal matters that need to be taken care of despite the new normal, HR managers need to pay attention to revising the cultural activities and mending them to suit the current situation.
In spite of these unforeseen challenges, HR managers are taking up the tough responsibility of leading the organisation towards growth and development through the testing times. Let us have a look at the ways HR Leaders are defining the new normal.
- Future of working remotely
Work from home or working remotely initially started as an alternative to working in office space during the time of the pandemic. Although it started as just a temporary measure that we were expected to follow only for a few days, it looks as if the current situation isn’t a short-lived one.
Hence, HR managers are working to shift focus from the ‘temporary work from home solution’ to looking at it as a lucrative, long-term option. What started as a compromise has brought along a few perks which you can always rely upon. Hence, it is gaining popularity, and many people are actively asking for it.
There is a shift towards looking at work from home in high regards due to cost-benefit ratio. HR managers are doing a great job at marketing these well in order to gain them their due popularity.
- Gig economy
Now that the company budgets are reducing, many companies have downsized and kept only those employees that work are necessary. For certain projects, the companies hire candidates who might be suitable for the role on a short-term basis.
Once the assignment is complete, the employment of these candidates is discontinued too. Looking at the market trends, it is obvious that the market, henceforth, is going to have the need for skilled labour, although it might not be required for a limited time. HR managers are doing a valuable job in publicising this trend.
At the same time, they are also keeping a record of experienced employees who can be further utilised by other companies. This strategy might look risky from the surface level, but because of careful mediation of HR managers, the candidates are being offered really attractive compensation for their work.
- Safety of employees
A hard-working employee is a part of the company, but a healthy employee is an asset to the company. It is extremely important to provide opportunities for the employees to take care of their physical and mental health, both.
Through various facilities and measures, this emphasis on wellbeing and overall way of looking at healthy employees is making a difference. HR managers are working hard to bring about the understanding that lack of sickness does not equal to having a healthy life. There have to be active efforts geared towards increasing the health quotient.
- From productivity to surviving and being resilient
Corporates working on numbers all the time obviously do focus on maximising productivity. However, it has been correctly recognised by the HR managers that this is how they need to redefine the normal in the workplace.
Not just profits — survival is an achievement too. Hence, there is more focus on being resilient than being productive in terms of numbers and otherwise. Instead of working day and night and focusing on the goals of success that may be stressing out the employees, employees have now been asked to work on their strengths along with the company’s profits.
- Artificial intelligence
In the era that literally runs on technology, artificial intelligence is a boon. Discovering its advantages and how it can be put to good use for the benefit of not only the employees but also the company is something that HR managers are focusing on.
Artificial intelligence plays a major role in the recruitment process of candidates during the phase of shortlisting the candidates on the basis of their education and previous experience. Apart from that, there have been active efforts to utilise it aptly for the betterment of the company and the employees.
- Training of employees
The future of corporates is moving parallelly with the technical advancements, and training has become more important than ever. By recognising this aspect is how HR can help the organisation to define the new normal. With the kind of changes that the workplaces have undergone, there is a dire need to train the employees to adjust to this new normal. Right from learning how to adjust to technology to building resilience for personal and professional benefits, there are multiple areas that the employees can get trained in.
Proper training makes them confident about their growth. Along with that, the fact that the company is spending a certain amount for the betterment of the employees creates a bond of trust and understanding between the employee and the company.
- Reinventing learning spaces
Since the mode of operations has shifted to online for a long time, and it is going to be in use henceforth, there are efforts geared towards redesigning the learning spaces. There could be various ways to do that but to start with — building online forums that focus on providing activities for the development of the employees is really important.
There could also be some efforts made in terms of group discussions, group activities, a set of activities with a debriefing at the end of it to create online spaces compatible for growth of employees. Opportunities for mutual learning and development could be encouraged by giving them the structural push initially.
The pandemic may soon be behind us, but it has changed our world for good. The changes it has forced us to make in our lifestyles are here to stay for a long time. In such situations, the responsibility of leading the company as well as employees towards growth is on the HR team. These are just a few ways of HR leaders defining the new normal. Their effectiveness can be increased by making them more adjusted to the company and employees needs.
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