Why HR Professionals are Central to Managing a Business’s Response to Covid 19

April 9th 2020 | Posted by phil scott

Why HR Professionals are Central to Managing a Business’s Response to Covid 19

Why HR Professionals are Central to Managing a Business's Response to Covid 19

There is no doubt that we are living in the midst of some difficult times right now. However, it’s important that we do not get overwhelmed by the negatives and that we optimise our abilities and any potential positives as much as possible.

This is especially the case for HR professionals who are central to the way that businesses manage their response to the Covid 19 situation. With this in mind, there are several areas where HR managers need to focus their attention at this time.

Helping the workforce to maintain solidarity and stabilise

It’s difficult to maintain stability in a workforce which may have been reduced, furloughed or subject to different routines, such as working from home. However, this is a vital part of an HR professionals role. They need to adapt to their own different working arrangements and make sure that individuals have the access they need to information and support about issues such as dealing with stress and mental health problems or financial difficulties. Providing this type of support is vital to a business maintaining as much workforce stability and solidarity as possible.

Connecting and enabling the workforce

The businesses that are most likely to survive the Covid 19 crisis, and recover and grow afterwards, are those that can adapt best to the current situation. HR professionals need to understand this and they need to promote the enabling of practices such as remote working, flexible working and virtual teams. The use of technology is at the forefront of these practices. For instance, more workplaces are now utilising facilities such as Skype, Slack and Zoom to keep everyone connected and able to continue working, from a distance.

Planning for the future

One thing that is certain is that the Covid 19 crisis will pass but it will leave its mark. Many businesses will suffer financially as a result of the turmoil. Some will not even survive. HR professionals have an important role in helping businesses to flourish again after the downturn. They will be central to the forward planning which could be the difference between success and failure. One of the most important things that HR professionals need to do is learn from the crisis and take positives from it. For instance, it’s clear to see how methods such as agile working, video conferencing and flexible working can be utilised. HR professionals need to help businesses to understand how these methods can continue to be used to their advantage, even after the crisis has passed.

This is a time when HR professionals have the opportunity to embrace the challenges in front of them and work to help businesses remain focussed and organised. They also have a responsibility to make sure that the workforce is connected and enabled to help individuals deal with their situation. Perhaps most importantly of all, HR managers need to promote learning from this experience and show how positive new ways of working can be embraced even after the crisis is resolved

If you are an HR professional looking for a new role, whether a director, manager, assistant, or at any other level, register with us. If you are an employer looking for an HR professional, contact us.