The pandemic is repositioning the role of HR: these are the new challenges facing
The HR function is currently under great pressure due to the impact caused by the pandemic. Managers in the human resources department are faced with the situation of having to make decisions immediately. In addition, we had a period of adaptation to a new working model almost against the clock.
Thus, the complexity of the HR team in companies has increased considerably: managing health and safety at work, adapting to a digital environment, organizing staff and ensuring the competitiveness of teams, these are just some of the challenges facing HR managers.
However, this situation also produced an interesting change. According to the Fosway HR Realities research 2020 study, HR managers have played a more relevant role in making strategic decisions in organizations. Let’s look at several points that explain this change.
Repositioning the HR function
HR was often seen as a back office function in many companies. However, and due to ongoing legislative changes, HR has become a key strategic partner in ensuring the normal functioning of organizations. But, in addition, in companies where digitalization had already happened before COVID-19 and where teams already had a digital work environment, management received greater support in decision-making. The result? Significant cost savings coupled with improved business productivity, even in uncertain contexts like the current one.
The rise of digitalization in HR
Companies no longer have a choice: they need what is called “a single source of truth” – that is, a single source of true information. What does it mean? “That it is no longer worth having several information systems and paper files. It is imperative to be able to access a single platform which contains all the data relating to the employees, and which provides the exact information in real time. Within this platform, human resources will have all the accurate and up-to-date information to support key decision-making, ”said Enrique Escobar, Managing Director Iberia & Latam of Talentia Software.
Indeed, the Fosway group affirms in its study that “the most advanced HR departments in terms of digital transformation, and which had already acquired HR Cloud platforms, were able to respond more easily to the onset of the crisis”.
Agile response to rapid change
As Fosway explains in his report, “in the collective imagination, HR is not seen as an agile function. However, through digitization, this department intends to increase its impact and optimize processes. Therefore, at a time as complicated as the current crisis, being agile, dynamic and reacting quickly are key factors in mitigating the effects of the crisis. HR needs to assess how to react to certain situations and meet short and long term needs.
At present, the HR function has an additional and important task, which is to ensure the physical and mental safety of employees. Direct communication channels are essential for informing about organizational news, for example, ahead of a COVID-19 outbreak in staff.
COVID-19 is acting as a catalyst to reinvent the future of HR and enable organizations to question the way they have done things in the past. Putting people and technology at the forefront helps businesses adapt to rapid change and current and future needs.