HR Management During a Pandemic

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Priscilla Opuni BINEY

On 20th May 2020 we celebrated International HR Day. On that day, professionals, and organizations all over the world celebrated the second annual International Human Resources Day. A day of global recognition of the dedicated people whose hard work makes the HR profession a vital function across all industries. Kudos to all HR Professionals out there doing the most and making impact one stride at a time, especially in a pandemic.

In recognition of that, I present some key learnings in an exceptionally challenging period such as this past 1.5years, lessons which can be useful in a post-pandemic period. 

Investment in Self-learning and Self-Care is Key.

Covid-19 has brought about massive change in our day to day lives and work. This means that HR must remain curious, to ask the right questions and seek the right solutions to the complex issues of how to keep work unaffected. HR also must invest in self-learning to stay ahead. Most importantly, we must put our own well-being first because unfortunately we have lost some professionals to Covid-19.

The Need to Improve Employee Experience

It has become clear that companies must do extra to improve the employee experience. With many employers adopting remote working, something which most employees were not used to, many of them felt out of touch with their companies initially. HR therefore must put in a lot of work to bridge this gap. Strategies must be adopted to keep employees engaged and productive. Managers must be guided to ensure their teams are delivering results. These lessons will prove especially useful even in a post pandemic era.

Employee Welfare is Compulsory

Employee welfare is a must, and we need to emphasize on it. It must not be jeopardized. Covid-19 brought this to the fore. Organizations have had to provide PPEs and supplies for their employees. Policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) were developed to help manage cases that may be recorded in the workplace. Some invested in conducting periodic tests for their employees, not to mention the periodic fumigation and cleaning of office premises, as well as the periodic checkups on employees to see how they were faring. These need not cease in a post pandemic era. Employers must continue to prioritize employee welfare as it produces a healthy and happy workforce, which ultimately culminates in productivity.

Flexible Ways of Working are Here to Stay.

There is the need to accept that flexible ways of working are here to stay. Most employers are still struggling with this reality but as the saying goes you must “innovate or die”. We must be ready to adopt new technologies, invest in the right infrastructure and equip our employees with the requisite skills to enable them use new technologies.

We Are Stronger and Resilient Than We Think

One key learning is that the human spirit is more resilient and stronger than we know it to be. After bracing Covid-19, as it swooped in on us, we have gone ahead to overcome the initial fear that accompanied it, then we have gone further to modify our lives and work and are set to survive and even thrive in the face of the pandemic. Am in no way downplaying the negative effects of the pandemic on our economy, nor the sad loss of some Ghanaians, but truth is we have largely survived it.

The key thing to note here is that the human spirit is immensely adjustable under extreme conditions. With the kind of lockdowns we have seen, it is important to note that ability to adapt is a key ingredient for business survival. Extreme conditions can also bring the best out of people. This is evident with the proliferation and thriving of online businesses.

Conclusion

It is said that in a rapidly changing environment as we find ourselves today, you either innovate or die. Businesses must be ready to embrace change and find innovative ways to remain relevant and sustainable.

Author’s Bio

Priscilla is Head of HR at UMB Capital. She is passionate about Human Capital Development. She enjoys providing support for SMEs who cannot afford to set up full-scale HR Departments. She loves everything about People & Culture in the corporate environment.

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