It is time for HR to shine! Historically, the intangible services of Human Resources have struggled to find their place amidst the concrete results of Marketing, Sales, Accounts, and Design amongst others. Even though HR has evolved and has more power on the Board table, it is still seen as a cost centre rather than a real value-add. It is hard to understand the logic since people are the ones who turn the vision of the company into reality anyway; but that’s a different discourse.
In view of the unplanned and novel situation the world is facing, many companies have to remain employee-friendly and humane if they want to retain their customers and the brand identity they have built. We are all suffering and there is a low threshold for anyone who is seen to be inhumane.
This offers HR a unique opportunity to shine by showing how creative it can get in ensuring companies maintain employee and customer loyalty without further impact on the organisation’s bottom-line. Some of the practices that companies have adopted to mitigate the situation are WFH (Work From home), many have set furloughs in motion and pay cuts.
At the moment, agility is the most important thing but HR can be proactive and remain people and organisation friendly by planning for the under listed:
- Instituting WFH as an option for Employees: It is now clear that not everyone needs to commute daily. Firstly, it is great for the environment (Cleaner waters in Venice), people have less stress or at least a different kind, can spend more time with their families especially at pivotal times and then there is the mid to long financial benefits from reduced capital and operating expenses. The flexibility of on-site work should be encouraged for people who thrive on human interactions.
- Increasing efficiency through technology: CRM tools, collaboration tools, and performance trackers are examples of tools that can be integrated to improve your team’s efficiency.
- Team Structure: Your business and industry will determine whether teams are fixed, flexible or a combination; whatever the case may be, HR needs to get more creative about the structure of teams so that there are no evident gaps in performance.
- Right-sizing: This ‘’elephant in the room’’ needs to be talked about. Workforces that are under or over what is required can be more efficient if they employ more or let go of the less efficient excess.
- Improved employee management: Whether people work remotely or in one physical location, it is important that they feel like a team and retain the connections. HR has to find a way to keep everyone grounded and connected to the vision and goals of the organisation as well as to their team members
- Flexibility in every plan: COVID-19 is a Black swan event and has taught us to ensure the best laid plans have some flexibility in them.
Be thorough but cut yourself some slack as there will be some experiments in the mix. Now go out there and shine!!!!!