Growing Enterprises (SURGE)
Indian Institute of Management, CalcuttaOpen For Admission
Well, the pandemic didn't just put the healthcare fraternity, police and sanitation workers on the frontline securing the lives, it interestingly put the professionals too on the war footing. When the entire world rattled under impending lockdowns and social distancing norms, it was the HR fraternity across the globe, working 24/7 to ensure all possible foundation was in place to support the employees working remotely. This paradigm shift in work culture across the business verticals within the organization has spurred the human resource professionals to respond to situations with an out-of-the-box approach. Let’s deep dive and understand how HR professionals addressed the key problem areas to ensure business continuity and at the same time motivate the employees to value their work and put their best foot forward.
Exploring the Key Challenge Areas
Transforming Problems into Transformational Opportunities
1. The HR professionals took on the communication challenges with a four-step approach when it came to communicating a sense of direction for future work. This approach aimed at crafting messages that did four important things such as:
Surveys were conducted to understand the challenges faced by the employees working remotely. Basis the feedback, the HR professionals engaged senior management to take adequate steps to support the employees.
2. The HR professionals took on the business continuity challenge by supporting managers create a solid delivery calendar to ensure that the employees do not slip into an unproductive mode. Training programmes were launched to enable employees to upskill and gain great confidence in the work they did. One such course HR team mapped their executives to a set of employees and ensured outreach calls were made consistently.
3. The HR professionals took on the challenge of ensuring the mental well-being of the employees by creating an ecosystem of empathy and support. Open-door communication policy has been strictly adhered to during this entire remote working phase to give employees a sense of support and reassurance. Various podcasts, webinars and wellness programmes were organized by the HR team to ensure that employees felt supported, cherished and nurtured during the times of crisis.
4. The HR professionals took on the challenge of employee engagement digitally through various live contests, talent hunts and town halls. When pandemic hit the physical team-building events, the HR professionals across the globe organized various events that not only re-kindled talents in the employees but also allowed them to showcase that at a greater scale. Incentives were paid to organize workstations at home and wellness hampers were couriered to employees to tell them how important they were as stakeholders in the business.
The HR function has increasingly grown to become a dynamic function strengthening the bridge between employees and the organization during the crucial times. It is this function that ensures business continuity through clear communication and adherence to policy guidelines. There is a growing demand for dynamic HR personnel in the current times and if one wants to explore opportunities, one must strengthen the basics academically through programmes such as Executive Programme in Human Resource Management (EPHRM) offered by IIM Calcutta in collaboration with Hughes Education. EPHRM aims at building a strategic HR function across business verticals that are aligned with the company goals and create leaders of tomorrow.
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