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Role of HR in the New Normal work environment

This pandemic has caused a disruption in the corporate world, forcing organizations to rethink and restrategize. Organizations have updated their business plans while making adjustments in the way of working to ensure the business continuum. These changes revolve around the People Aspect of this pandemic and may have left employees with a feeling of uncertainty, isolation, and more.

Human resource plays a crucial role in catalyzing changes in the workplace. As the initial chaos is gradually phasing out, the HR department has to step up and prioritize employees’ emotional and mental wellbeing. They are tasked with facilitating employees while keeping them motivated to achieve high productivity and preparing for some hard decisions.

There is an urgent need for the HR strategy shift in accordance with the new normal.



Gearing up for the New Normal

The present and the new future of work rely on remote working, perhaps accommodating workweeks split between office and home. It would be important for HR to revamp the policies in agreement with the new normal.

As we move forward, we would have to incorporate various activities in the new virtual way of working: the on-boarding and orientation of new employees, the recruitment practices, employee engagement programs, exit processes, and everything in between. In other words, HR would have to plan the entire employee journey and manage the new challenges that accompany the virtual workplace.

Not only the work hours and location of work but also the work arrangement has now become more flexible. The workforce will now be constantly learning new skills to match the ‘future-ready’ thinking and remain competitive.



New Normal – New Challenges

Many of us suspected that working from home would result in employees working for fewer hours, due to lack of motivation and accountability. On the contrary, employees are working longer hours and a lack of absenteeism is seen during the pandemic outbreak. Employees have shown praiseworthy agility in adapting to the new normal. But the enthusiasm may fade away soon, which is why the HR department must not stay in the fool’s paradise, especially when job security, a crucial factor for employee satisfaction, cannot be guaranteed at this time. The HR department has to ensure that employees stay inspired and incentivize high productivity with non-financial rewards. As the market improves over time, we may expect a rise in productivity.

The latest way of working may give more value to certain roles and render a few roles unnecessary. Upskilling, reskilling, and being able to acclimatize to new technology and tools would, without a doubt, help workers to adjust to this new normal.

Organizations, in general, are focused on achieving goals, more to the point long-range goals such as profit and growth. But employees habitually focus on short term goals and requirements such as getting their monthly salary, being subject to appropriate working conditions, receiving fair treatment, or getting a promotion. Connecting the two sets of goals and striking a balance between them is and has always been crucial. Now that the businesses are stabilizing after the lockdown, it is of utmost importance to pay attention to this equilibrium.



                                                                                                               -Ishani Singh