Do you think there will be need of recalibrating HR post covid? If yes, what would be the focus areas?
SS COVID has literally changed the way HR was operating till 2020. Earlier it was a normal paced procedure driven bureaucratic HR from its prior STATIC role, it has now moved to being a more AGILE player in Business. There has been a paradigm shift in the roles and responsibilities of HR Managers. The first and foremost thing that COVID has brought in is Remote Working. A recent Gartner poll showed that 48% of employees have been working remotely, at least part of the time after COVID versus 30% before the pandemic. Remote working has created Borderless Working World. Talent availability is across geographies. Talent is available abundantly without any location or geographic constraints. Technology has come to the forefront and is imperative to drive successful remote working. Employee Benefits programs have changed. Talent Engagement is a key focus not only for HR but even line managers. Mental Health and Well Being of employees is another area of focus which was not emphasised by companies and HR earlier. Gig Economy has boomed and will be having a greater share of work in corporations going forward.
All the above definitely require re calibration of HR function for sure and it has already happened. The focus areas will be all above as new ways and means must be adopted to manage HR function in coming times.
Do you think that employee trust deficit has come down to low? If yes, what factors have been instrumental in this shift?
SS COVID has brought in trust deficiencies for sure. The sudden shift to remote working has precipitated the same. Employees had to adjust to new norms of work from home and get prepared to work without direct supervision and adapting to work remotely. Initially remote working saw a dip in employee performance as a feeling of working in silos/alone was not something the employees were used to. The adjustments took time and performance was initially hindered but soon the resilient employees who did not have the choice bounced back and started performing well and in many cases efficiencies and productivity increased. Work planning according to their priorities within given boundaries of their managers was a welcome. They could adjust their deliverables on the timelines assigned and it became a norm.
Employers started monitoring their work through active remote work management which led to dampening of the trust between employers and employees as some amount of micromanagement, time sheets completion etc. creped in.
Due to some negligent employees who started moon lighting (working for others), and not adhering to work from home policies of companies, some employers had to take tough steps for managing remote workers which led to trust deficit amongst employees.
How far HR has worked on three factors-Purpose, passion and perseverance to enhance its contribution to business?
SS The 3 Ps, Purpose, Passion and Perseverance were the cornerstone of HR during the pandemic, especially remote working. We have seen HR reinforcing the Vision and Values of the organisation, trying its best to conduct virtual Town halls wherein the Leadership team consistently spoke about the purpose of the organisation and drove passion amongst employees to align with the Vision and Mission and contribute towards organisational success. HR played a significant role on reinforcing the above and helping in all ways to ensure optimum employees contributions.
Here HR played an active role in reaching out to most of the employees to ensure that they had all the facilities to perform and deliver as per company's expectations and it broke the shackles of rules and procedures to ensure that employees are comforted and perform and give in their best. Even health and wellbeing of employees which was not on priority before the pandemic, was a key area where HR contributed.