HR evolution or the future of HR after the coronavirus

HR evolution or the future of HR after the coronavirus
  1. The future is nearer than we can imagine
  2. Employee involvement and remote work
  3. Managers will be the heroes.
  4. Confusion in benefits

The time has come for organizations to change their mindsets from survival to growth. The basis of this kind of change is caring for people.

The situation related to the coronavirus epidemic and how we, as employers, team leaders, and employees, can adapt to it and create a future in a changing environment. The article touched upon many aspects of the employee's life cycle in the company. What has come to the fore is how professional life is now intertwined with private life and how employers will change, both in terms of employee care and technology.

The future is nearer than we can imagine

What is certain is that there is no going back to the good old days. The only thing we can expect now is that a lot will change. It will also be new to look at various life areas, ranging from interpersonal relations, medicine, through teaching methods, the development and use of technology, equalizing opportunities in society, and ending with the labor market.

Among the aforementioned post-coronavirus trends in HR, there is nothing that would surprise us very much. However, putting them together gives a picture of how much will change in employees' lives so far. Recruitment can be transferred entirely to the virtual world. We've also proved that we are pretty good at remote work, so why wouldn't it become the "new normal"? Technology is advancing faster than ever, allowing you to automate more processes. Professions will disappear sooner than we thought. The world does not like emptiness, so we can also be sure that new ones will develop in their place.

For economic reasons, there will also be more freelancers. We will place great emphasis on building an organizational culture to support the effectiveness and commitment of employees, regardless of the form in which they work. Company presidents will soon have a new task: creating a work environment based on mutual trust, working in a new leadership model.

Social changes are also taking place in the face of the pandemic. We pay less attention to differences, open ourselves to people who have not been paying much attention so far (e.g., neighbors) and help each other more often. A new pattern of attitudes has emerged - people cook more on their own, many shop online, despite easing the restrictions. It is difficult to generalize and expect that the whole society will change suddenly and permanently. The coronavirus has certainly reevaluated the way many people think. Many of the changes that occurred during the pandemic will stay with us in this or slightly changed form for longer.

Employee involvement and remote work

Team and business managers should realize as soon as possible that they cannot expect people to work at home in the same way as they do in the office. Just because it won't be the same doesn't necessarily mean it will get worse. So what can be done to increase the productivity of people in teams working remotely? Socialize their work, make them feel that they are not alone (e.g., video calls will be more appropriate than email or phone calls), and provide tips on preparing for remote work. Small things, such as preparing the space for work in advance, separating it from the rest area, taking care of the daily portion of the exercise (preferably in the open air), taking breaks from work (the optimal work rhythm is 52 minutes of work and 17 minutes of breaks), can be of great importance for efficiency.

Importantly, people working remotely should also accept that the working day is unlikely to last eight hours now. There are not so many meetings, there are no coffee breaks with colleagues, no lunch or commuting to customers, and our brain cannot work at high speed for that long. It is worth realizing that each day both our colleagues and we have (and always had) three or four hours of effective work ahead of us and plan tasks to use this time as best as possible. Trust in employees will be the key. We have to believe that they will do their job on time and to the best of their ability.

Managers will be the heroes.

These are not the only challenges facing managers. During several months of remote work, it was noticeable that many of them cannot manage teams remotely. In a situation wherein many organizations will implement a mixed form of work (remotely and in the office), team leaders will have to develop new skills.

What will the employees' needs be? The emphasis will shift to appreciating people and their work. Empathy towards employees will be of great importance - listening to their voice and needs, the company's flexibility in terms of the offer, place, and work method; all this to better meet the team's expectations. It will also be necessary to provide support for personal success and care for employees' well-being, regardless of their age. The leader's role will now be even more invaluable, and many believe that people under 35 are best prepared for these changes.

Confusion in benefits

The current epidemiological situation has also significantly impacted the benefits market and made employers face the need to verify their offer addressed to employees. During the first months of the pandemic, many employers showed that they could perfectly adjust benefits to the new operating conditions. This has been a temporary change, but you will ultimately have to decide how to shape your offer permanently. The benefits provided by employers must certainly change. This is due not only to the inability to implement some of them (e.g., gym tickets, cinema tickets) and the currently different needs of employees. Benefits during the conference emphasized several times how important it is to study the current needs. For some, it may be the possibility of renting an additional laptop for a child to use online classes, and for others - the possibility of using psychological support. The areas worth paying attention to now are employees' mental well-being and their financial security (some employers already offer, for example, the possibility of paying wages flexibly, more than once a month at the employee's request).

There is no one certain scenario for the development of the situation. You need to look for new solutions and react flexibly. You can't just wait for what fate will bring. This forces you to think strategically and be constantly ready to change because they are waiting for us is more than certain.

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