When the COVID-19
pandemic struck and employers had to rapidly respond, the HR department leads
the charge. Companies began to value HR more than ever before, as HR
professionals saw businesses develop, adapt, or improve their policies and
procedures allowing the company to go remote. Rapid changes went through all
companies as HR worked to keep employees informed and safe. Likely many of
these changes will become permanent, or at least more commonplace after the
pandemic dies down. Here are five effects that will likely become the new
1. Remote Work
While the world
went remote overnight, do not expect return to the office to be equally as
fast. Since most businesses now have the technology and communication infrastructure
required for successful remote work, HR will need to adapt. Not only will HR
need to virtually collaborate with other departments to implement rules, but
they will also need to increase employee monitoring and maintaining morale (see
more in number four).
2. Nurturing Culture
entire identity and mission are formed by its culture, and this well-defined
organizational culture is critical to success in the long term. Further,
culture is not something that can be automated, or outsourced, it must be
always central and present. Yet times of crisis, such as with COVID-19, where
important decisions have to be made rapidly, financial survival can overtake
culture. Once the pandemic is over, and HR has put out all of the fires, begin
to nurture the organizational culture to bring to back to the forefront.
Constant communication, commitment, and engagement, especially with remote
workers, will bring back company culture as a top priority.
3. Talent Acquisition and
Layoffs, and hiring freezes, unfortunately, have become very common in response
to the severe economic impacts of COVID-19. It is probable that as the pandemic
begins to pass companies will rely heavily on temp workers and contractors,
possibly even re-hiring former employees as contractors. HR will need to work
to ensure that the company’s reputation is maintained among the job candidates
so that the talent pipeline remains full, and full-time workers can easily be
found when needed.
4. Employee Engagement
A “superpower” of
Human Resources has always been keeping employees engaged and productive.
Research has made it clear that employees who feel their company makes a
priority of their physical and emotional well-being will be the most productive
(and lucrative) employees. HR will work to show employees they are valued
through strong employee assistance programs. These could include reducing or
eliminating co-pays for medical visits, providing employees with access to
financial education, or adjusting benefits.
5. Legal Accommodation
The final area that is expected to see major changes in HR is
legal expertise in response to the numerous changes in employment law. Changes
in company policy may need to be made, by HR, to see accommodation with recent
updates in the ADA, FMLA, and Title Vii, as well as new laws such as the FFCRA.
For more information on this topic, you can read
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