Article (September-2021)


It is an opportunity to re-work on people agenda

Arvind Srivastava

Designation : -   CHRO & Group Head HR

Organization : -  Bansal Group


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Do you think there will be need of recalibrating HR post covid? If yes, what would be the focus areas?

AS Yes and it's not only Post Covid. There is some or other way the World witness expected/unexpected changes every week and so the humans. We, in HR, needs to recalibrate the whole HR Processes periodically but post Covid pandemic, it was almost forced to do it to enable this shift from physical to being digital. Actually it should be an overall transformation with a focus on :

1. Employee Experience - In this critical time, HR needs to work closely and stay accessible to the employees specially the new one through a robust induction process in place. Familiarise them with the company's policies and procedures and provide electronic versions of the same to follow this in letter and spirit. Working from Home creates isolation and disorientation for many of us, therefore it is very important for HR to have a connect with colleagues and the organisation at large.

2. Employee Engagement - Engaging the workforce is the next focus point for HR. Providing them social recognition and rewards for motivated behaviour would help to improve employee engagement as well as inspire long-term behavioural changes.

3. Communication - Now as majority of the global workforce are working remotely, we should focus on various touch points like town halls, General Communication Mailers, Virtual Meetings or even an Offline Connect to establish an active leadership outreach and transparent communication to all stake holders.

4. Safety at Work place - In this critical time, we need to reinsure that not only Employees but their families should also feel that all are safe at work place by following all required safety measures in order to prevent spread of the disease. This will certainly enhance their productivity.

5. Social Security - Appropriate Health Insurance to meet medical Emergency expenses.

6. Employee Well-being/Wellness - One of important focus area to ensure employees' wellbeing. HR can certainly help to prevent burnout, loneliness, mental health concerns etc. especially when they are working remotely.

7. Infusion of Technology & Tools - HR teams will have to adopt technology & tools in order to support the organisation's needs to manage communication, collaboration and productivity across the organisation.

8. Learning and Development - Considering agility, HR will also have to invest extensively in re-skilling their workforce through online trainings modules which provide an engaging experience for employees.

Do you think that employee trust deficit has come down to low? If yes, what factors have been instrumental in this shift?

AS During this pandemic and even now when we are again coming back to normalcy, trust deficit has been drastically come down. In fact the organisation did not have any choice to shift to a completely new way of work culture treating this as a New Normal. The factors which have been instrumental are :

1. Managing the work force remotely not seeing them working build a new relationship of trust and ownership.

2. Flexibility in working hours even in week days played a major role to get them motivated.

3. Loading extra work considering they are at home and getting the desired results reduced the monitoring task.

4. Being transparent with the employees about the business whether it is cutting the jobs or Pay cuts and withdrawal of certain facilities created some anxiety and disruption but build a confidence and they started feeling as Business Partner.

5. High degree of collaboration within the organisation kept everyone engaged towards the delivery and increased the reliability which directly control the Trust Deficit.

6. Inclusion at workplace had played a major role in this shift. Employees have never experienced this major shift in their work life.

7. Empathy and compassion during these tough times bridged this deficit by re-establishing and regenerating the moral values in the society.

This pandemic experience was hard but also lead some good things.  Lowering Trust deficit is one of this and today we lead a high-trust and high-performance culture.

How far HR has worked on three factors-Purpose, passion and perseverance to enhance its contribution to business?

AS 1. Purpose :

The purpose statement of presence of HR as a department in the Organisation is the back bone to formulate the HR Strategy every year. The most affected element in this unprecedented situation was the Human and it was mandatory to work on the purpose statement of existence and role of HR to cope up with the changing Human Behaviour. We have worked a lot to set our priorities particularly keeping the situation in mind, enabling everyone to stay connected, productive, engaged, agile and loyal in this new way of work culture.

2. Passion :

The way, We as HR, has to execute the whole process and to ensure deliverables as expected this time, was not possible if we took it only as a job. A passionate approach was required to be multitasking. Mobilisation of work force from their natives, ensuring their families that they are safe at workplace and holding hands of all the core functions as a business partner was not possible without being passionate for the job.

3. Perseverance :

It was very much required to work upon to handle this critical situation and specially when there are so many other things are linked to your plan of action. But as Perseverance requires a level of patience and maturity, we had also worked on this piece. We conducted few sessions with the HR team on this. As a matter of fact, when you are clear on your goal, purpose, needs and abilities, things get shorted whether there is an issue with process, people or priorities.

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