Instilling a new era of people management is the key to post-crisis recoveryby
The current working environment presents a challenge to us all, but HR must be at the forefront of creating our new working culture and leadership model.
As businesses continue to navigate the easing of lockdown restrictions and the growing threat of a secondary wave of infections, the road to recovery is becoming an increasingly hard one to plan for.
Rather than wait to follow guidance, HR leaders should be at the forefront of this new era and be grasping businesses by the scruff of the neck and leading the progress.
Strong leadership is the most important thing an organisation needs right now.
When it comes to your workforce’s needs and how they’re to be managed and supported, it’s not just health, plastic screens and stickers on the floor that HR must consider. HR directors will need to make sure that their organisation is looking at people holistically, protecting business continuity, maintaining employee wellbeing and productivity, all the while ensuring that in the fight for talent, they remain competitive.
Resist the urge to panic
We must not forget that businesses and different departments don’t just exist – they’re led. Recent economic forecasts across the globe continue to cast doubt over the speed at which recovery can take place. Resisting the urge to panic and instead instilling a new era of people management will be vital for HR leaders across all sectors.
Strong leadership is the most important thing an organisation needs right now. If you can show people you care about their present and future while you’re preparing for life after coronavirus, then you’re halfway to inspiring the confidence that’s needed to navigate these unprecedented times.
Nobody expects you to have all the answers to how your customers will behave in a post Covid-19 era. In fact, in a recent survey of CEOs in the Fortune 500 List, 54% ranked the impact on customers and uncertainty with their business continuity or vulnerability in their top three current concerns. As long as you understand the scale of customers’ demand and your organisation’s capacity to meet it, you can be comfortable with uncertainty and take a new approach to planning that others can learn from.
That means HR leaders need to commit to the way they work with data so that it’s possible to plan for your workforce’s future, even when you don’t know what it will hold. This will transform how quickly you as an HR leader can respond to market changes and pave the way for a return to prosperous people management even amid such unprecedented times.
Go beyond health
It’s vital with the easing of lockdown measures that you commit to continually monitoring the health and wellbeing of your entire workforce. Not only does it quickly flag up how any absence could impact the organisation as a whole, it’s also vital to keeping workers engaged and ensuring no one is ever stretched too thinly.
It’s more than that, however. It’s also about monitoring performance, enhancing interaction and ultimately refining the organisation’s approach to how work is done remotely, how work has changed and with it which skills are now needed and how to nurture talent.
The rules around working environments have changed, and to get the best talent, organisations will have to have the best post Covid-19 set ups. Sure, ‘virtual offices’ and socially distanced meeting rooms are important, but they are par for the course. What does your development strategy look like? How will it help to replace those serendipitous creative moments that lead to a breakthrough?
Also, when considering emerging talent and new talent joining, it’s essential to understand that ‘learn on the job’ means now. A lot of the knowledge sharing via osmosis comes from being in a close knit office environment, if that’s not there it has to be designed into the knowledge transfer flow.
Continue to look to the data for answers
HR leaders across the globe have now started to realise that it’s near impossible to know what the future holds for their people in a post Covid-19 world. So, as you try and anticipate what’s next, planning for different scenarios will enable swifter and well-managed responses.
What does this mean practically? Well, for scenario plans to be of any practical use, you need good people data to build your models with. Simply having data isn’t good enough. It has to be clean, well organised and brought together from all areas of the business, and HR needs to lead that approach.
Only by instilling this new era of people management, which has data at the core of continuous analysis, modeling, planning and execution, can organisations really hope to return to peak performance.
Interested in this topic? Read Maintaining productivity whilst transitioning back to the workplace.