The coronavirus pandemic has created havoc for the organizations and caused human resource leaders to re-think their roles in order to adapt to the social distancing norm and a new work environment that they may never have imagined. When face-to-face communication is replaced by e-mail and video conferencing, HR administrators are finding it difficult to keep the organization running at the same pace as it was earlier. Under such circumstances, HR is not just responsible for addressing the concerns and fears of your employees, but also for meeting business requirements. 

When this initial phase of chaos settles, HR must step in to support its employees and give priority to their psychological and emotional well-being. These unprecedented times might generate fear and increase a person’s stress levels, and it is the employer’s responsibility to balance these feelings in order to keep their workforce healthy, empowered, and productive. HR leaders have shown tremendous agility, efficiently pivoting to navigate in this new environment of work, with too little time to plan. The role of human resource management has changed significantly in a short period of time and will continue to evolve in the months ahead.  

Here are some aspects in which the role of HR will be transformed: 

Prioritizing Employee Health 

People have had diverse opinions about the crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic. While some are eager to get out and get back to life as it was before, a lot of them are still nervous about the next phase. These frustrations will change when the pandemic disperses; however, long-term human resource leaders may continue to brace for them. Employees should be equipped with safety measures and information on mental health services, such as health coverage, telehealth, etc. It’s not like these were not the responsibilities of a human resource specialist before, so it’s going to be intensified in the months ahead.  

Getting Ready For Extended Work From Home 

Some companies have dedicated themselves to operating online for the rest of the year, and some indeed have planned to continue remote working till 2021. When more of the organization’s workforce is operating remotely where they haven’t worked before, it’s not just a transition for employees but also for the HR leaders and managers. Human resources, in collaboration with the IT team of the organization, should first ensure that employees are provided with what they need to be effective in order to operate remotely for an extended period of time. 

Digital Performance Evaluations 

Performance audits should proceed as usual, and even companies recognize that conducting annual evaluations on a bi-annual or quarterly basis is much more beneficial to employees. When these reviews are executed only once a year, it deprives employees of the opportunity to grow and develop during the whole year. With technology and the potential to build digital performance reviews, there is no reason to pause them. HR needs to identify the right ways to offer simulated reviews and train managers on this, too.  

Virtual Training 

Despite having worked from home for several months now, coordinating and leading a team remotely is no easy task. Leadership has to set performance goals when building a virtual network of support and culture remotely. Leaders will rely on HR teams to help them plan and establish basic operating strategies to help employees work effectively and securely in this remote environment, as well as to enable management to connect and assist their workforce through this difficult period. 

Ultimately, HR plays a crucial role in ensuring the success of organizations during and after the pandemic. Making an effort in re-imagining the business operations, designing talent plans, addressing well-being and work-life, overseeing HR processes, and promoting re-entry to the office are all important and uniquely trained contributions that HR will make.  

However, Covid-19 is a chance for all of us to look at life from a new viewpoint and support each other to grow better and emerge to be more resilient from this situation. 

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