The pandemic replaced the entire office work environment to a virtual WFH culture.
It pushed HR management professionals to adapt to the new norms and prioritize employee well being more than ever.
Not only are they responding to a lot more employee queries than before, but also going through a lot of stress themselves finding ways to effectively adopt paperless and automated processes.
Before the pandemic, most companies were already offering the flexibility to work from home but nobody was prepared for this level of crisis where everybody would have to compulsorily work remotely. Due to this, HR managers too had to come up with better ways to tackle the challenges. Let’s look at how their roles would be redefined in the coming future:
Emphasis on automation:
Post COVID, the most prominent HR functions which involve manual tasks will continue being handled by automated systems. This phase has pushed companies to adopt the use of tech tools instead of manually doing every task.
For instance, the automation of the payroll process has saved HRs a lot of time and effort. Even HRs from small companies have found cheap payroll software that work flawlessly to automate this process and bring more efficiency in their work.
Hiring the right talent:
At the onset of the pandemic, a lot of companies had to let go of employees to keep costs down. Since there wasn’t any sales happening in certain industries, the only option they could think of was downsizing to survive this phase.
As the economy starts recovering, HRs will notice a spike in hiring demands and it will be crucial to hire the right people for the right role. The use of video conferencing platforms for remote interviewing is expected to continue in the coming years.
When employees suddenly shifted to remote work culture and there was reduced visibility into their day-to-day work, it became difficult to assess their performance. Virtual meetings helped in building connections to make employees aware of everything that was expected of them.
This transparency has helped in managing their performance and makes it easy to reward those who are achieving their performance goals. The reward system to encourage employees is something that will become a permanent part of HR functions.
Increased awareness for employee L&D:
In the pandemic, a lot of businesses have realized how important it is to invest in upskilling employees. There is an increased awareness for providing new hires as well as existing employees learning & development opportunities.
The use of eLearning became a popular way of imparting training digitally. This will most definitely replace the old school in-person training sessions as it is a more convenient way of learning.
Commitment to employee well-being:
The pandemic has taken a toll on the physical as well as mental health of remote employees. Post COVID-19, HR teams will be expected to continue fostering connections with employees to ensure their safety and mental well-being.
A lot of organizations are turning towards legal counselling to provide employees the necessary psychological help for battling the side effects of isolation. HRs will be expected to identify employees that may be in need of such services.
Rethinking employee engagement strategies:
Given that a lot of employees have adjusted to this new norm of remote working, a lot of organisations may opt for this for the long term even after employees are allowed to get back to office. It will become necessary to equip them with all the necessary tech tools.
HRs must devise better engagement strategies to ensure employee productivity is not compromised. They must also seek employee feedback on what they should provide to make the WFH experience more rewarding.
For HR managers, the pandemic is playing an important role in redefining their work strategies. The above mentioned points clearly reflect all the changes that will transform HR operations in the near future.