COVID-19 – the catalyst for new generation human resources
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic upset global economies and disrupted most industries on some level. It magnified the role of human capital management in operations and exposed the vulnerability of some businesses, showing how prepared they really are to deal with crisis and continuity management – specifically in terms of human resources.
Of course, there have been some corporate casualties and no doubt that directors are still scratching their heads about how to move on from COVID-19 and settle back into routines, with the hybrid work model gaining popularity.
People have realised that because of increased connectivity, more investment in telecommunications and infrastructure, it is possible for most businesses – save a few exceptions – to ‘work from anywhere’.
But that doesn’t mean that human capital management is stress-free. Issues like remote connectivity, mobile devices, data management and protection, access control, security, mobility and productivity have increased in prominence and continue to require attention.
But we would argue that, for the most part, human resources has actually benefitted quite extensively from the pandemic.
For example, the crisis forced businesses to balance technology and people. Business leaders had to leverage new systems, update them, review and upgrade policies and procedures to adapt to a completely different way of working. So businesses have had to up their game.
The statistics paint an interesting picture of the immediate future of human capital management. A large percentage of companies seem to have embraced the notion of hybrid working, with many employees expressing desire to follow this model.
A definite opportunity that has presented itself is that organisations can now truly leverage technology but no longer neglect people.
People can bring their ‘A game’, their skillsets, expertise, soft skills, etc. to the workplace – while fully automated, integrated systems help businesses bounce back.
Gartner notes that among the changes businesses can expect going forward is the rise of a new-age worker, a new generation of employee – one who can benefit from both ‘at-work’ and ‘at-home’ work experience. There is also mention of the increasingly important role of data and its exponential growth, along with impact on the hierarchical management structure in businesses.
Human resource management is now a responsibility shared among all departments; it’s no longer siloed and there is much more emphasis on the input of employees. The dynamic between employer and employee has changed radically, and there is every evidence to suggest this will continue way into the future.