Most businesses and almost every job role have their own set of challenges. However, the hurdles that human resources personnel face differs from day to day, from company norms, employee grievances, to new hires. Making it one of the most demanding corporate positions.
Human resources are a fundamental and pivotal part of every organization. The success of a company largely depends on the human resources department. They are the ones in charge of the most valuable asset in business, the workforce.
The sudden shift in work culture has brought about new challenges for HR. The top priority for HR professionals is now crisis response as well as how to keep the employees engaged and being able to provide the right communication channels and tools for remote work.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work culture have taken their toll on overall employee health and wellbeing. Mental health issues such as stress and anxiety have always been present but they have significantly increased over the past couple of years. Many organizations have been implementing and initiating wellness programs as well as providing employees with health benefits, and flexibility in order to help them overcome their challenges.
A major factor in this has been remote work. When employees are working in an office environment, managers understand their needs, and that helps to tackle issues. However, with most organizations having no choice but to implement remote work - communication routes have been significantly compromised and in essence, left managers clueless or at least less aware.
In a recent COVID-19 survey conducted by Josh Bersin, HR professionals across the globe responded to the health and wellbeing of the workers to be a major concern.
The Remote Work Culture
Many are under the impression that the transition to remote work culture was one that was seamless. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, less than 50% of organizations had a remote work program. Banks, regulated industries, and many financial services companies did not encourage remote working. Now there has been a quick move to build remote work strategies and to make up for lost time, costs and productivity.
This remote work alternative has clearly led to many undiscovered problems. HR managers are attempting to build seamless strategies to overcome the challenges that it brings. The focus on employee productivity and engagement has shifted to immediate responses. To provide employees with the right tools and gather real-time updates from time to time in order to untangle the intricacies and offer support.
According to Vantage Circle, “communication is another major challenge that is on the priority list. Communication is a critical aspect that needs to be taken into account whether employees are working in the office or working remotely. Without the right communication channels, it becomes difficult to manage a workforce. The COVID-19 crisis had HR professionals on their toes and kept them looking for the right remote working tools that suit their company culture. Tools like Zoom and Slack are commonly used to meet the needs of the remote workforce, it certainly is not enough to get everyone on the same page.”
The ultimate goal of every organization is the productivity of its employees. Remote work culture makes it a little more challenging to keep employees engaged. Internal communication is compromised, and keeping everyone on the same page becomes challenging. With remote working, it can be difficult to follow a routine and a systematic workflow.
When the teams are cross-functional, managers may have little power to manage them. Not updating employees regularly or not arranging meetings can impact their morale to a great extent.
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