2020: What to learn – what to erase
COVID-19 busted some myths around the way of working, the biggest one being the one about productivity during work from home. Although the WFH concept always existed in IT companies, there was a subconscious doubt about whether it will work. Employees were allowed to use it only when absolutely necessary. With the lockdown, physical offices were replaced by laptops of employees working from their homes. This flexibility became a big boon for business.
There was lot of fear — of job loss, of contracting infection or being around infected people, and of losing business continuity. This stress, which not only employees but all of humanity went through, is something I would surely like to erase.
HR has shown great agility and business acumen
Human resources (HR) was always a business driver, but unfortunately, it was looked at as an administrator in many cases. The pandemic busted this myth. By ensuring business continuity, while providing employee care, HR has played a key role as business driver. It is rightly said that crisis always brings out the best in a person, and I think the same happened with the HR function.
It really rose to the occasion and held the reins of business firmly by enabling the employees. In my opinion, the biggest reason for this was that employees adapted to the new normal and HR played a big role in this. Even with the pandemic it was the employees who ensured business continuity with HR enabling them. I am sure HR will not return to its earlier limited role of an administrator. Its role as business driver is here to stay.
2021 – HR turning into a service centre for internal clients with more tech
Human resources was always an HR service centre at its core, with employees being its customers. However, to deliver that service, technology, though available, had taken a back seat. That is the reason chatbots and automated HR service requests were not fully utilised. Employees preferred human interaction than using technology to solve their queries. It is important to have human interaction but not for everything. Interactions for everything may lead to fatigue for the role holders who are managing those interactions.
It is rightly said that crisis always brings out the best in a person, and I think the same happened with the HR function
This pandemic pushed for technology adoption and that will help to reduce the human interaction only for issues or concerns, which actually need human interaction. This will reduce the fatigue of HR process owners and bring more meaning into the conversations, where interactions are needed.