Ever since Covid-19 struck the world, HR departments in organizations have been working at keeping the business together. Whether from a business's or employee standpoint, HR has played an expanded role in managing human resources in the current situation. The HR professionals have skilfully faced the challenges of instantly adapting the new technologies and productive tools for workforce planning, hiring, appraising, and managing.
This article provides insights on the new and expanded post-pandemic role of the HR department in the workplace.
The Rationale for HR’s Adaptation to the New Role
The coronavirus pandemic has made business managers depend more on HR leaders to navigate the current state of the workforce and stand out from their competitors. HR is thus vested with the new role of designing a forward-thinking strategy to employ and foster talent at the workplace.
Presented below are a few of the compelling grounds that state why the HR department has to adapt and adopt their new and expanded role-
- Systemize Processes
Managing and sustaining a remote working culture is an additional burden on the shoulders of HR. They hold the capacity to devise creative ways to get the work done from remotely working teams. The HR department provides a systematic approach to streamline coordination, collaboration, and communication across all organizational units. In today's unprecedented times, employees are working at distant locations. HR binds together systems and resources to ensure the smooth execution of job responsibilities.
- Stimulant to Business Growth
HR is a dominant function that redefines and refocuses business goals in response to swift changes in customer demands and market developments caused due to Covid-19. They are stimulating engines for an organization's success as they create synergies at the workplace by re-aligning the employee goals to specific business targets.
- Employee Wellbeing
The HR role is inarguably all about managing the most valuable asset of the organization - its human resources. The HR department conducts employee welfare programs, counselling sessions, and other employee assistance workshops to focus on their holistic development. These programs hold all the more significance in post-covid workplaces. They address the mental, emotional, and financial concerns of the workforce.
Thus, as ardent business partners, HR shoulders the responsibilities with the organizational heads to successfully traverse through the pandemic.
Elements of HR’s new role
The pandemic disruption has emphasized the need for HR to adopt new human resource management techniques and catalyze digital transformations in the post-covid workplace. Their expanded role now involves leveraging various new HR technologically-advanced tools and software to engage and retain their workforce and encourage them to work productively in today’s challenging times.
Following are some essential HR tech tools getting capitalized in the post-covid workplace-
- Digital performance review templates
- Online recruitment and onboarding solutions
- Communication platforms for virtual one-on-one and team meetings, chats, video conferencing, etc.
- Automated and customized tools for continuous, 360-degree feedback, employee engagement, and performance management
HR's new role encompasses the following:
- Setting Up New Work Systems
The sudden lockdowns of last year have jolted the work mechanisms in organizations. HR took on themselves the responsibility of planning and setting up new systems to enable employees to work from their homes. It involved providing the essential resources and platforms to keep them productive, connected, engaged, and motivated.
With the easing of Covid-19 restrictions and reopening of offices, the same HR is now adopting the additional role of facilitating return-to-work plans and regulating the hybrid work options in the post-covid phase. They are making adequate arrangements to make the employees (who are willing to get back to the office) feel safe. Concurrently, they focus on the resource requirements of the remotely working employees.
- Managing Employee Performance
With remote working becoming the new normal, the post-pandemic role of HR (of monitoring and measuring employee performance) is becoming more extensive and challenging than in the pre-pandemic times. They are walking a tight rope where at one end, they are teaching the employees new and digitized ways of doing work, and on the other end, they are precisely evaluating their performance on the new systems.
- Engaging Employees
Productive engagement of employees is one of the leading considerations of HR managers. They are now consistently conducting pulse surveys and feedback mechanisms to get a sense of employees’ feelings, opinions, and experiences in times of ambiguity. They are devising and implementing policies to hold on to their spark to work passionately for the company.
- Developing Leaders
HR has assumed the responsibility of developing the skills and proficiency of the leaders in the organization. They are sensitizing them of the need to communicate more frequently with them and manage and motivate the in-office and remotely located, disengaged, and perplexed employees amid the present uncertainties.
- Driving Business Continuity Planning
The coronavirus pandemic has turned tables for HR departments. Organizational heads and CEOs looked up to HR teams for redesigning workplace strategies and business continuity planning. HR took over the strategic position during the peak of the pandemic when the offices were closed down, and employees were constrained to work only from their homes. HR professionals started exploring the new-age technological tools to ensure continuity of business operations.
As this year witnessed the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions, HR started leveraging digital, technologically-driven, cloud-based solutions. They aim to manage the performance of their in-office and remote employees. In their new and expanded role in the post-covid phase, they strive to derive productive performance results from their employees for realizing macro organizational goals.
Benefits of role expansion to HR
While a lot of the role expansion gets implemented keeping the employees in mind, it is equally important to understand the benefits HR leaders and their teams would receive by adopting newer roles.
As per a recent article in HR Executive, the transformed work arrangements have created new opportunities to stimulate their career growth. They played a significant role in setting up digitized workflows, providing valuable insights on new work models, and making strategic decisions for business continuity. They can now build on the foundation laid by them in the last two years.
Thus, it is time for HR professionals to use their influential organizational roles to their best advantage. The pandemic has provided them with a latitude to augment their skills and further strengthen and elevate their roles.
The role of human resource management got revamped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It compelled HR professionals to broaden their horizons. They now wear many hats to adapt to the new and expanded role in the post-covid workplace. In addition to their regular responsibilities of recruiting and hiring talent, processing payrolls, managing employee benefits, and maintaining employee records, HR teams now perform the new role of managing the hybrid work model in organizations. The modern, cloud-based HR tech solutions and software have proved to be indispensable tools to assist HR in adapting and performing the new and expanded role in the post-covid workplace.
We at Mesh believe in providing new-age, customized, and cloud-based solutions to facilitate HR's new role. We provide a distinct platform for all your employee performance and engagement needs. Request a demo now to know more about our services. Visit our blog page to read informative content on HR-related topics.