Adjusting to the New Normal – The Roles and Responsibilities of HR

HR in the New Normal
                 HR in the New Normal

The COVID-19 crisis has drastically impacted the business world on multiple levels, leading to operational disruptions, job losses and many more unpleasant scenarios. Numerous industries all across the globe have suffered a severe dip in demand and liquidity shortages, and many businesses had to permanently shut down their operations. The majority of workforce began working remotely and the companies witnessed a colossal workplace transformation overnight. With the pandemic still continuing, the firms are now reinventing their efforts to adjust to a “new normal”. The modes of communication and work have hugely changed and ‘business as usual’ has now an entirely new definition. The economic recession and the concerns of public health are further adding to the challenges. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the most difficult times and with the changed conditions, the businesses need to rethink their strategies to attain their former glory in the market. The HR department has a key role to play in this. Aspects like managing business continuity, implementing organizational changes, supporting workforce and talent management require heightened focus now. To help the organizations adjust to the new normal, HR teams are now re-evaluating their policies and best practices for informed decision making and helping the organizations recover.

Take a look at how HR leadership in the new normal workday is helping companies recover and grow.

  1. Driving Organizational Transformations

The social distancing mandates amid the pandemic have forced companies to focus more on digitization. Although many companies were already compatible with telecommuting and were in the process of building a company culture around it even before the outbreak, now it’s more important than ever to ramp up the efforts and make judicial use of technology to support remote work. HR professionals are now taking up the role of business partners by helping the employers redefine normal operations through new workforce management techniques. They are identifying the technology resources to maintain connectivity and productivity while the employees continue to work from home. Strategic planning has also taken a centre stage to help employees keep up their work efficiency in these challenging times. HR teams are also focusing on building critical skillset and competencies required for the new normal while ensuring that the employees are safe and engaged.

  1. Managing Business Continuity

Business continuity management is the primary focus of companies now and the HR department is stepping up to manage multiple areas that require redesigned strategies. The most critical areas include health and safety of the workforce, remote work policies and expansion of the company services to accommodate the new demands like home deliveries. Helping employees stay safe while maintaining the social distancing protocols and taking precautions relating to COVID-19 is of paramount importance. Also, in addition to facilitating remote work for the existing employees, hiring and onboarding new employee virtually needs to be managed efficiently by the HR department. Businesses have encountered abrupt changes and their recovery needs new solutions to be developed for normalizing demand and supply as well as mitigating the impacts of the pandemic. HR department has a key role to play in helping the organization adjust to the changed scenarios through effective utilization of resources and new strategies.

  1. Workforce Management

Identifying the critical roles by assessing the short and long term requirements is essential. The HR departments are now prioritizing business activities and redefining job roles. Multiple areas of businesses have been affected in the pandemic and relationship with the contractors and customers have changed drastically. Achieving operational resilience is important in the present scenario and HR teams are reviewing business functions to manage the changes. Identifying the need of additional staff due to surge in specific activities and shuffling job roles and responsibilities to meet the demands is one of the most critical tasks. It’s vital to ensure that the company has adequate employees to take care of the essential activities. Cross training employees and hiring contract personnels can help organizations perform better amid crisis.

It’s important for organizations today to evaluate the various aspects of COVID-19 crisis and its impact on HR’s role. While navigating through these uncertain times, businesses need to reassesstheir potential, rethink strategies and quickly respond to the changes, and the HR departments are stretching their capabilities to help them achieve recovery and stability.

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