For the first time in my career, HR has been one of the top priorities for every organisation as they have navigated through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Can I hear my colleagues in Health & Safety and Payroll also celebrating this newfound popularity?

HR in 2020

This has, and will, continue to represent an unbelievable opportunity for the HR profession to demonstrate its value.

This in terms of playing a key role in sustaining organisations through these times and contributing to the success of the UK’s economy. 

We have seen enormous changes in our social and working lives and HR in 2020 is no different. This has resulted in Boardrooms, Line Managers and entire workforces looking to their HR Leaders for support and guidance on how to navigate the “new normal”.

The challenges to date have proved extraordinarily demanding to navigate. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Furlough
  • Flexible furlough
  • Social distancing
  • Dealing with symptomatic absences
  • Shielding and self-isolation
  • Flexible working
  • Home working
  • Redundancy
  • Ensuring employees’ well-being is supported

Read our Coronavirus, Furlough and Redundancy FAQs here

HR in 2020 and the new normal

The ongoing challenges present HR with a tremendous opportunity, and responsibility, to provide guidance.

This will be focused on the strategies, skills and capabilities needed to be successful over the next decade as the “new normal” continues to evolve. 

This will mean rethinking HR’s focus and priorities. Why? The following issues will take greater and greater prominence:

  • Individual and organisational resilience
  • Organisational trust and safety
  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Team working
  • Data literacy

HR will need to rethink its raison d’etre and find ways to generate:

  1. Flexibility and peace of mind for its workforce
  2. Coaching solutions to keep leaders and teams on track
  3. New ways of setting and managing achievable goals
  4. Even greater well-being with a focus on healthy mind, healthy body
  5. Creative ways to look after their people
  6. Ensuring purpose continues to drive company values and ethos

Human resources in business

Business performance will come under increasing strain. This is as the  economy seeks to recover and business re-establish themselves in familiar, or even new markets.

Ultimately, this will mean the phrase “we can’t….” is going to have to be turned around and adapted to “how can we…”

Find out more about The Role HR takes in Business Planning

HR leadership

High performing, successful teams are founded on strong engagement and wellbeing, supported with inspiring leadership.

It makes absolute business sense to look after your people. 

The latest Good Work Index Report from the CIPD highlights the importance of employers promoting healthy working practices. Ensure that managers are well trained in having supportive, sensitive discussions on well-being. Recognise the importance of promoting existing health and well-being benefits. 

We found this research by Engage for Success really interesting:

  • Employees with high well-being are 35% more engaged in their work
  • Employees who eat healthily are 25% more likely to have higher job performance
  • Absenteeism is 27% lower for workers who eat healthily and regularly exercise
  • Employees who feel cared for are 27% more likely to stay with an employer

Inspiring leadership will be critical!

Read Everyday Leadership in an Uncertain and Changing World here

HR must be able to support leaders, managers and their employees to adapt to a new set of requirements.

Do we have all the answers surrounding HR in 2020?  Absolutely not. 

Are we ready, willing and able to take on the challenge? 

For the future of the HR profession…..absolutely!