3 Ways HR define the new normal

In human and public health terms, the COVID-19 pandemic is tragic and causes major economic chaos, leading to a full shutdown in some industries. In comparison, others have had to expand support teams quickly and increase production to satisfy increased requests, as several businesses have to shift to remote work overnight.

HR is a key section in ensuring corporate cohesion, leading attempts to improve and supporting employee decisions. The new normal’s best practices that enable better decisions and operational efficiency was defined by the most effective HR teams.

Very quickly, the corona crisis presented many businesses with a long-held scenario: workers who work from home and collaborate through digital technology and resources. A perfect remote work setup – provided that the right digital processes have been established.

HR administrators have played very special positions with workers in recent weeks: from emergency responders and trustworthy advisers to mentors and encouragers.

However, they also serve as strategic management associates. After all, what do companies hope to do if their main assets – staff – cannot function properly? Whether internal connectivity isn’t sufficient or people go insane working from home  if systems have not been digitized?

Over the last years, HR has had to adjust to evolving business conditions, try new ways and set new goals. The emphasis has been centered on structural topics, such as employee wellness, digital processes, a strong organizational culture and the sustainable management of talent. And this is not only a short chapter in the annals of corporations, it marks the beginning of a new age. This is why HR now has to be prepared for the ‘new normal.’

Using best practices HR to maintain business continuity in the crisis

The initial reaction begins with the maintenance of company stability during a crisis. That involves the introduction of health and security initiatives such as protocols to distance people from their social environment to monitor virus transmission, home-work policy and mass onboarding for businesses which need to extend their offerings, such as home delivery, which are currently more demanding.

The next step of market continuity is the rehabilitation, which involves the creation of ways to minimize the effect of the epidemic on the health and well-being of employees, and measures to normalize supply and demand so that companies can rebound from the sudden circumstances.

The last step in crisis-oriented business continuity is to move for a new normal that can adapt to situations.

Driving transformation to achieve a New Normal

Before the epidemic, many businesses were transforming their organizations to enhance digital agility and improve their competitiveness. HR leaders have paved the road to transition by building companies’ environments, consistent with telecommuting and placing technological assets in place to sustain remote employment, in competition with increasingly qualified Millennium and Generation Z employees.

These transformations were made urgent with the pandemic’s social distancing procedures which need companies to redefine regular activities. HR teams increase and demonstrate their importance as partner companies, provide data and insights as well as identify the ways market executives must handle complex variables requiring an agile response.

For example, the assets required for competitiveness for remote employees, including technical support, are identified by HR teams. They are also involved in strategic planning in order to secure workers and to improve production under difficult conditions. Most effective teams develop essential knowledge and expertise while maintaining the commitment and protection of workers.

Advicing for making staffing decisions in uncertain times

HR must be able to easily recognise the vital positions when making short- or long-term crisis management strategies. The vacancies will include workers in the impacted regions, jobs specifically related to the manufacturing or the distribution of the service and roles filled by key contractors and clients, depending on the type of company.

HR teams analyze the roles and establish what companies can handle market increases and find extra personnel to be used for contingency purposes. The first phase in preparing for difficult times is the development of function categories:

  • Essential: staff that must in all conditions be present.
  • Temporary suspension: employees who will stop for a limited time
  • Extensive suspension: staff who may be fired indefinitely or for a long time

HR teams categorizing workers may assess whether they are able to perform critical tasks as situations change and if not, undertake measures such as cross-training, qualification or temporary or contracted staff search for back-ups. HR teams who complete these measures early and make changes when situations require are best placed in crisis success.

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