Article (April-2021)


HR Leaders to lay their hands on optimization and adapting technology

Namrata Sharma

Designation : -   Director HR

Organization : -  Marriott Hotels, Mumbai


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How do you define the Leadership in HR in the present environment?

NS In face of the unprecedented challenges that the COVID-19 crisis has imposed on businesses, the leaders of the Human Resources (HR) function have become the primary guardians of the health, safety, and wellbeing of employees. HR leaders are playing a key role, covering several fronts, such as ensuring the health of the workforce, implementing safety protocols for those individuals who need to continue working in the offices, production facilities and warehouses, leading the communications between the business and its employees, developing work-from-home policies, and preserving as many jobs as possible. Consequently, HR leaders have been forced to navigate unexplored waters, regardless of the industry they are in.

For HR leaders, the pandemic has provided an unparalleled opportunity to work even more closely with the business and solidify themselves as true business partners to their internal colleagues.

According to you, what should be the competencies of a good HR Leader?

NS Employee wellbeing and resilience competencies of HR professionals are rising to the top of the priority list for employers. Here is a closer look at four top executive HR competencies and skills one need to lead for resilient HR movement.

1. Advocate for Employee Wellbeing

Most HR professionals are naturally driven to make work a place for employees to thrive. Inclusive and inspiring cultures; and a practice of lifelong learning that benefits employees and companies alike.

2. Breakdown of Paradigms and Learnings

Unexpectedly, the pandemic has favored the breakdown of paradigms and has generated numerous learnings for HR leaders. The pandemic has also provided numerous learnings in terms of how different leaders react to the crisis. Under current operating conditions, executives of different seniority and responsibility levels have demonstrated their capacity to adapt to the new circumstances. They have also boosted their creativity to solve problems they had never faced before, as well as their agility to make quick decisions with limited information and assuming risks that they were not used to take.

3. People Analytics

Many HR leaders also highlighted the relevance of understanding the worries, anxieties, and feelings of their collaborators in a timely manner for which they are applying people-analytics tools. The information that is generated periodically through these tools is being taken to the war rooms for their discussion, analysis, and decision-making processes, primarily with the aim of evaluating and, if required, reorienting the way the leadership team is communicating with the rest of the organisation.

4. How to Keep Your Employees Motivated

The relevance for employees-primarily those who still go to the work centers and are more exposed to contagion-to perceive that their companies are taking care of them beyond providing protective equipment and maintaining safe distancing protocols. In this respect, other measures that have been implemented include temporarily modifying working hours so as to reduce the exposure of employees to contagion in public transport, increasing the frequency of the employee transport services and, in general, measures aimed at fostering a healthy social distancing.

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