The pandemic has exposed the fault lines in our societies, in our infrastructure and also in our organisations. It’s brought the crucial work of HR to prominence too.
The first critical phase in responding to Covid was ‘keeping the ship afloat’.
Its challenges encouraged Human Resources managers to be courageous and embrace change. This involved working out the furlough rules and enabling the workforce to continue being productive, and safe, whether at home or in work locations.
The next phase will be ‘steering the ship on a different course’ and will be more varied and unpredictable as the economic impact of the pandemic rips through different industries.
There will be mergers, acquisitions, downsizing, rapid growth and re-organisations. Again, HR will be taking a lead by being dependable and authoritative as things progress.
When looking to the horizon, the focus hasn’t moved too far beyond remote working. As work-designers, we know the physical location of work is just one factor.
Here are three suggestions for how HR can take a lead in the next few months :-
Embrace Workforce Technology.
HR continues its development as Workforce Technology Evangelists.
We’ve learnt so much in the last year about effective remote work, we now need to take this learning to help build the next phases where there will be more change.
Which tools and practices will support more healthy, productive and successful teams? HR can pilot new tools and techniques, from employee sentiment analysis to coaching bots and blockchain work credentials.
Enable Team Effectiveness.
All the magic in our organisations happens in teams, yet most of our management processes are focussed on the individual.
Human Resources managers need to embrace changes to this traditional dynamic, and need to enable teams to be productive too. This involves team-sourcing, measuring productivity, capturing employee sentiment, providing psychological safety and many other factors.
We need to cast the net widely when sourcing work, from permanent employees to freelancers and suppliers and automated solutions.
Getting the right teams together using evidence about what actually works in your organisation is crucial. Work out which attributes determine success for your employees and freelancers, and continuously fine-tune your screening process.
As we interview and employ remotely, screening can provide trustworthy and valid insights about how an individual may fit within your company’s culture. Screening current employees can also be a smart move. The longer our teams work from home, the more trust we must embrace. HR may consider continuous screening to ensure employees are staying fit and proper inside and outside of the workplace. Screening such as SMCR checks can support this.
Take a lead on Digital Transformation.
We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months. – Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO
All the changes to our organisations involve strategy, workforce, and also technology.
Research by IDC shows that 70% of Digital Transformation fail, and the biggest barriers are all around people.
This plays to the strength of the Human Resources function. So buddy up to the technology leads, and show your expertise in change management, organisational design, communications and designing learning solutions.
HR needs to take a lead and rebuild our organisations to be more resilient and stronger.
If you’d like to discuss how screening can benefit your evolving teams, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org