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HR has always played a hugely important role in keeping companies running smoothly. It’s HR that handles hiring and managing employees. It’s HR that processes payroll. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, however, HR’s role in an organization is even more important than before.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw many more employees than ever before working from home in order to comply with lockdown procedures. Putting the technology in place to allow employees to communicate with each other and to remotely access their work may have been the job of IT. However, it’s HR that has had to help keep remote workers productive and engaged throughout the pandemic.
The pandemic has been chaotic and completely unpredictable. As a result, rules and regulations regarding the pandemic have also changed. Companies responded to changes in the risk from the pandemic as best they could. This meant changes that had to be implemented and enforced company-wide. HR is typically the department responsible for navigating the rapidly changing COVID-19 requirements.
Many companies are dealing with a reduced workforce right now. For some, they were forced to let some employees go due to pandemic-induced loss of revenue. Facing the risk of having to close completely, companies had to make tough choices early in the pandemic. Later into the pandemic, though, many employees began leaving of their own accord, a process that came to be known as the Great Resignation. Because of this, HR is having to help managers and companies navigate having a reduced workforce.
With so many employees having resigned, HR departments across the country are now playing an even greater role in the companies’ future. HR is already involved in the applicant tracking and hiring process. With so many companies looking to hire new talent, HR’s expertise in finding applicants and the hiring process is invaluable.
Thanks to the Great Resignation, employee retention is more important than ever. HR plays such a large role in managing employees that the department can help design employee retention strategies. Employee engagement is vital to this process and it’s HR that has the connections and knowledge to improve it.
Offering higher pay isn’t necessarily going to help companies attract top talent. HR plays a major part in figuring out what employees are looking for in their compensation. Sometimes, they can ask current employees to discover what perks and benefits would help them feel most engaged. Often, it’s flexible schedules and remote or hybrid work that is most attractive to both existing employees and applicants.
HR can help employees to be more productive by improving employee engagement. This has the added benefit of improving employee loyalty to the organization. HR plays an important role in productivity by helping to balance the needs of the company with the needs of employees. Employees have to prioritize their well-being and avoid stress, which can in turn increase both engagement and productivity. HR can help produce strategies for valuing employees and enabling them to have a work-life balance.