Covid-19 has changed the way the world works drastically. And HR leaders need to act fast if they don’t want to be left behind. But, how can you adjust to this new world? And what changes will you have to make?
Even before the advent of the pandemic, changing technologies were influencing the skills workers needed to survive in this growing world. Now, businesses need to be innovative and think outside the box. Working strategies have to be both effective and safe, – this includes social distancing and wearing masks. Companies have to think of ways to maintain revenues, while also maintaining proper hygiene, and most businesses that can, are going online.
So where does HR fit in with all of this? As all great changes come, HR companies need to advance forward. The best way to do this is by improving your team’s agility.
The term agile HR refers to the discipline of empowering HR professionals to better enhance their ability to adapt and strengthen their company by applying agile principles to their talent-management processes. So, this article will shed light on how HR can become more agile in the New Normal environment we now live in.
How can HR become more agile in this post-Covid
1Be innovative with your work
2Encourage agile behaviours in your workforce
3Anticipate and learn
4Address your skill shortage
5Diagnose the state of your HR team internally and externally
6Create a Contingency Plan
1. Be innovative with your work
Traditionally, companies encourage employees to follow a standard work pattern especially in the HR process that has been used time and time again. But, times are changing. Nowadays, rigid rules don’t produce the best outcome. HR again needs to ensure that as the needs of people change and grow, they have a way to also adapt their way of working.
A way they can do this is by breaking it down into smaller diverse units. Rather than everyone working together for everything, assign small groups of people to deal with specific problems. This gives them the ability to specialize and try out new methods – methods unique to that particular issue – that they haven’t tried before.
2. Encourage agile behaviours in your workforce
This may seem obvious, but it needs to be pointed out. Make agility something to be sought after in your company.
One way to do this is to publicly recognize employees with agile behaviours by offering them rewards and engaging them in conversations with others. They could share the task they faced, how they surpassed it, and why they acted the way they did.
Another way is to give continuous feedback to your employees. Let them know what aspects they’re agile and what aspects they need to improve. This helps to promote agile behaviours among your workforce and strengthen their ability to respond to new situations.
3. Anticipate and learn
As we all know, change takes time. So don’t be surprised if not everyone in your HR team gets it the first time. So, ensure you develop an adapting type of agility, because there is no telling what else the post-Covid has for us.
Remote work may be new to many of us, but everyone is adapting better to this new virtual environment after an amount of time. Putting people into fixed job descriptions will only limit their potential. But recognizing their growth can lead to long-term change – which helps in building a more agile HR.
Moreover, do not overstress your workforce – as tired minds can’t think creatively. Like I mentioned before, be sure to encourage employees and let them think about their actions both as a group and as individuals. If they are able to identify the bigger picture, they won’t get too stressed by the details.
4. Address your skill shortage
Let’s be honest, most of the skills you need right now to adapt to this changing environment are not available in your current workforce. While it is important to educate your current HR team on the changes to be made, the world isn’t going to wait for your business to regroup itself. You have to act fast!
Skills such as flexibility, agility, aptitude for technology, creative thinking, literacy in analytics and data insights, emotional intelligence, and the ability to manage stress are essential and you need to find and train your people so they can execute them perfectly.
So put these skills in your training list and change skill requirements in your job description. You need people who can leverage their innovative and creative skill sets to achieve business objectives in unconventional ways.
5. Diagnose the state of your HR team internally and externally
Before you can move forward in any way, you have to address what state your company’s HR team is in due to the pandemic. Chances are, you’ll be much lower than where you were before. Assess the impact of the pandemic on your workforce and determine how best to deal with that setback.
Analyze the skills you have, the skills you need, and how to rebuild your workforce to influence or fit the newly evolving business model. Then put together a Workforce Plan to help you assess your businesses' current level of talents or skills and weigh that against the future needs to achieve business objectives. This includes plans for hiring and developing their present and future employees.
6. Create a Contingency Plan
In the first wave of the pandemic, 65% of businesses were well-prepared with a Contingency Plan and these businesses didn't cut down staff.
This is one of the most important steps in guiding you towards achieving an agile HR in the New Normal. You need to create a proper and detailed Contingency Plan before you can move anywhere.
A Contingency Plan is a detailed and comprehensive strategy that involves anticipated actions the company will take in different scenarios.
The way forward is agility
The benefits of evolving as an HR agile team in this new world we’ve been thrust into cannot be underestimated. Not only will it improve business statistics and revenue, but it puts you on a higher platform than those who stay behind.
While improving on your current setup, be sure to create plans that are flexible and easily adaptable as we don’t know when the next international crisis may strike again, and your HR needs to be built to withstand whatever is thrown at it.
Building an agile HR means improving the way we handle human resources as a society. And that is something that cannot be taken for granted.