Article (June-2020)


Role of HR in Redefining Work and People Strategies

Dr. Sandeep Kumar Joshi

Designation : -   Head-Talent Acquisition

Organization : -  Shree Cement Ltd., Beawar, Ajmer

Other Writers : -  Dr. Ashu Sharma - Programme Chairperson - Executive MBA & Associate Professor- NMIMS, Mumbai


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Start of 2020 was unprecedented to come across COVID-19 pandemic, which is an unsaid emergency all over the world. Due to COVID-19, lockdown is initiated by many countries for so long therefore people are not able to move from their places even for work. Hence, economy and financial markets are certain to get impacted across the industry and world. This has given growth in digital economy which has opened up new ways of working. For seamless functions, organizations need to rely on digital platform and technology which will emerge the new business model. Thus HR has to play a vital role to manage workforce with new business model and play real business partner role.

It is important for organizations to think on preparedness for future and likewise HR needs to be relooked on its sub systems viz. Talent Acquisition, Performance Management System (PMS), Learning and Development, Employee Engagement, Reward & Recognition etc. in line with new business model to go along with organizations on the same pace.

Organizations are required to divide employee job roles in two parts viz. critical/essential in nature and non-critical/essential therein, critical roles are required to work from office and not critical work can be assigned to work from home. Hence when the situation is under control or over, the new way to work can be, few roles would be performed from home and few would be required to perform from office only. Transformation will happen like virtual office (Work from home) so entire business model will be restructured and rebooted which will leverage virtual business model.

In view of new scenario, organizations are required to review existing HR policies and introduce new policies in the context of future requirement to manage business seamlessly.

Governments have implemented some compliance which is to be looked upon while drafting policies. Policies are to be drafted how to work in such situations for remote working or working from home and more agile to adopt the change.

Important aspect is to check readiness of the organization therefore they need to conduct "risk assessment of organizations readiness", therein organizations need to evaluate nature of risk such as technology, sustainability, business, operation, environment, people etc.Thus assess the impact of all these on current business once business restarts in forthcoming months. On the basis of assessment details, up skilling and re-skilling of employees should be done on top priority to manage organization thereby define work priorities, technology adoption, adoption of new regulatory changes and impact on business to change. Moreover, additional medical examination of COVID-19 can be introduced in "pre-employment medical examination".

Relook at HR Functions

1. Talent Acquisition

a. Review critical positions,

b. Multi skilling & Up-skilling workforce,

c. Gig Economy

d. High Cost Replacement

e. Talent redeployment/job rotation

f. Workforce rationalization and realignment and Role profiling.

2. PMS

a. Need to redesign

b. Variable pay

c. Decrease fixed cost and ESOPs.

3. Learning and development

a. More focus on in house training and Virtual Learning

4. Employee Engagement

5. Compensation and benefits

a. Pay structure and Outliers

6. Reward & Recognition

Organizations to manage manpower cost

1. Cost effective Compensation and Benefit structure i.e.realignment of compensation structure, Pay levels/ bands.

2. Manpowerrationalization.

3. Revisit the existing HR policies and draft more cost effective policies.

4. Outliers need to be addressed to make pay ranges discipline.

5. Redesign appraisal process & career ladder of progression.

6. Review and identify critical positions, restructuring of roles, talent deployment, role profiling, work force realignment and job rotation instead of new hiring.

7. Identify at least 20-30% roles which can be performed from home.

Redesigning new business and workforce model can be successful whenorganizations are agile to adopt the change. Onceorganizations are ready for change and technological advancement even though there would be somechallenges such as how to manage remote work force, digital HR enablement, monitor remote workforce productivity and keep them engaged. Moreover, it is indispensable to manage balance between people and business. However, people who are working from office would be having different policies to govern unlike work from home employees hence prejudice between work from home employees and office employees to be taken care.

Herein leader has to play an important role to design an agile organization andmanages change effectively. This will lead right balance among people, technology and business. Building the
culture of resilience in organizations will be able to move forward for present and future.