02 Jan How HR has Transformed for 2021 and the Future – Part 2
As 2021 takes off, HR has certainly embraced a variety of measures to deal with the new sensibilities brought on by the events of the past year. As they transformed into a model that can support the well being and stability of organizations through a difficult period, they have established fundamentals for successfully dealing with future challenges that lay ahead. WWD reviewed a few of these transformations and now discusses additional ways in which innovative teams have dealt with and are prepared for other factors that will weigh in on 2021’s HR outlooks.
HR’s role within an organization will transform
The previous classification of an HR team as being just administrators who were concentrated primarily on reactive transactional support then driving value for the business has changed. The outgoing 2020 year has discredited that notion and elevated the function of HR to one of the pivotal reasons companies floundered or flourished during this historic period. For an organization that had the capability of allowing employees to work remotely, the early days of the pandemic saw many companies shift to distributed models, seemingly overnight. The logistics involved in accomplishing that and then recalibrating all your employee programs to adapt for an extended or permanent period of time was not a simple job. It was uncharted territory for those in HR. There was no manual or precedent at this scale. But HR made it happen. That’s not an administrative ability—that’s business continuity.
Businesses relied on HR to ensure the organization’s talent capabilities and skills supported the obligated shift in business models that resulted from the pandemic. Their contribution is what allowed these businesses to survive what could have been a catastrophic event for them, and brought to the forefront what HR can do for a business.
HR transforms into a responsive role
Regardless of what your business methodologies were like in the past, the companies who best maneuvered their way through 2020 were able to proficiently shift their priorities and programs to the volatile times they faced. The HR guidelines and manuals of the past had to be revamped. They were not designed for the rapid changes and shifts we see today. It is a challenge in itself to leave behind ingrained ideas of how to handle the matter, but even more grueling was to quickly reengineer massive embedded systems and structures. To thrive, not just survive, HR had to put in to play agile practices. When an organization can be flexible quickly and rely on their HR to support them, any difficulty results in a stronger and better company.
HR transforms from an independent department to an open-source one
Traversing a historic year should not be done independently. The power in collaboration was evident at the preliminary stages of the pandemic, where many HR leaders shared their pandemic response plans and opened their templates, research, and thinking to each other. What a difference this made in contrast to the previous one track mind held. The united intellect HR leaders could now absorb from those significantly impacted sharpened their ability to make informed decisions for their businesses—quickly. The value and benefit of open-source practices have been proven and validated.
The field of HR continues to strategize their ethics and processes as a new year begins without a clear view of what the future may bring. But they are not going at it blindly, for 2020 allowed them to work now with renewed clarity and focus on inventiveness and impact. Whatever 2021 may bring, HR is ready to continue its metamorphosis with each challenge and is better prepared to make the decisions that will contribute to organizations and employee success.