The conversation, work-life balance and more: post-pandemic HR in discussion
Last year, businesses were thrown into survival mode, doing their best to respond to the pandemic. This year is all about being proactive and shaping the industry to thrive. Last year, it was about upgrading apps and devices. This year, the focus is on enhancing the employee experience. What good is the company when the people are drifting away?
A Microsoft global survey released in March found 41% of employees will consider leaving their current employer this year, and 46% are likely to move because they can now work remotely. It also found nearly one in five respondents say they believe their employer doesn’t care about their work-life balance. With job churn becoming a significant risk, HR must cultivate a business culture and community based on empathy and technology support.
HCM APAC President at Rizing Mike Ellis said there are two aspects that HR is considering as companies are starting to return to the office: how the people are coping and how HR can serve the best interest of both the business and the people.
“From the first aspect, HR puts a lot of emphasis on (employees’) wellbeing and mental health. I think there’s a lot of shock and apprehension. We’ve almost settled into two years of being remote, not being around people, and suddenly you are around people,” Ellis explained to Tech Wire Asia in an interview recently. “They’ve had to adjust to being remote and dealing with different things, so we can’t expect them just to drop everything and run back into the office.”
Ellis continued: “The other aspect of it is, do we want them to? Is it effective having people in the office? Or do we now look at interactions in the office as being more of a collaboration and team-building/sharing type of activity, rather than ‘I need you to be at your desk from nine to five, so I know that you’re working?’”
These concerns lead to HR taking on more responsibilities as they navigate the corporate, social, digital and even legal transformations. It is a whole new ball game for the human resources department, from retaining loyalty to attracting and hiring new talents.
“We definitely see not just increased workload for HR, but also the changing nature of what they’re being asked to do,” Claire Badger, talent practice director at Rizing, told Tech Wire Asia. “More than ever before, they’re being involved in things like organization design and looking at the best ways to structure the organization, particularly with remote working and how that would look.”
“There’s a lot of different information that HR is being asked to capture or maintain now. Being the gatekeeper, it has to ensure that the business has the information needed to make the right decisions.”
Feeling of isolation and losing the sense of belonging are major demotivating factors for remote workers. As much as technology can be alienating, it too can be used to create a caring and inclusive work atmosphere for the employees wherever they are.
“There’s a need more than ever to have key touchpoints with your employees. You’re not meeting face to face regularly, so there needs to be a way to build that human interaction into the processes you’re running. An (HR) system can help you do that,” Badger said.
Rather than handing out the occasional engagement surveys, companies can do more regular “pulse checks” to help address employee concerns, like managing stress and taking time off. “Being able to get those regular real-time sorts of feedback from employees helps managers to have the right conversations with the employees,” she said.
Aside from that, a modern HR system can house more functionality to enhance the employee experience, from rewards to upskilling. For example, more companies are expanding their learning catalogues. “Companies are offering all sorts of different learning channels that they may not have considered before by providers such as LinkedIn Learning. They’re offering employees development opportunities which might not even be related to the business that they work in,” she said. “It’s giving them some other things to think about when they’re stuck in their home, and they can’t get out. It builds on the value proposition that they have for their employees.”
The ebook “Keeping employees engaged in a new world of work” gives more information on how to keep employees engaged and productive in the face of dramatic workplace disruption. It looks at HR’s challenges and how modern HR software can be part of the solution.
Rizing provides consulting and technical services leveraging SAP platforms to enable businesses to achieve a truly intelligent enterprise. Its proprietary apps, such as Synchrony People and Lyra, extend SAP Successfactors’ functionality to optimize the new functions expected of HR.
It is said that every great relationship begins with a conversation. Kickstart it with a Rizing expert who truly understands the business issues for HR and how to solve them.
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