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Impact of the Pandemic on HR and The New Normal of Work

Posted by Guest Post on Oct 7, 2021 3:44:00 PM


Covid-19 has indeed affected the global economy and businesses all over the world. With companies now at the peak of recovery, the role of human resources (HR) has become more significant than ever before. There are plenty of questions about the future of HR post-pandemic. How will the prominence of remote working affect company culture and day-to-day operations? What are the social implications of these changes on employee engagement and communication? This article will discuss the impact of the pandemic on HR and future work initiatives.


Human-Centric Workplace

The pandemic has highlighted the need for adaptability and resilience in today's workforce. Organizations are now adopting more flexible working arrangements. According to a recent study, 16% of companies globally are now fully remote. Due to this, one of the top priorities for HR departments now is re-establishing company culture. This most likely requires a significant shift to hybrid working models that focus on both remote and office working benefits.

This shift is indeed a positive change. However, it is also becoming a threat to existing organizational culture. For one, employees' social dynamics won't ever be the same due to more minor in-person interactions and a highly dispersed workforce. So what can HR and business leaders do about this?
  • Mandate regular employee check-ins
  • Establish direct communication channels
  • Build a people-centered workplace
  • Focus on employee engagement
  • Conduct satisfaction surveys
  • Maximize social interactions

Prioritizing Health and Safety

HR departments have heightened their focus on health and safety, especially as employees begin to return to the workplace. HR must introduce necessary measures that help ensure the safety and well-being of all workers. These measures cover a focus on both the physical and mental health of each employee. Here are some specific things that HR can apply:

  • Implementing social distancing measures
  • Investing in sensor-based technology in offices
  • Providing counseling and assistance to all employees
  • Having career transition services for displaced workers
  • Establishing new physical and mental wellness programs

Dynamic Workforce

One of the impacts of Covid-19 on companies is assigning some employees a wide variety of roles and responsibilities. HR and employers should keep this in mind when conducting performance evaluations and hiring new employees. There's likely a need to re-evaluate and update company standards and requirements. Skill-based hiring is the new normal. Looking into new essential skill sets or checking out executive resume samples as a guide could prove highly beneficial.


On top of this, HR must also consider implementing an outcome-based system for performance management. This means that employees' performance is measured based on their results. Then, the time spent on projects is less of an issue. This system helps give employees flexibility and an outstanding work-life balance as well. Here are some specifics that might help in building a dynamic workforce:
  • Having a project management app or software
  • Constant and clear communication and team meetings
  • Utilizing performance monitoring technologies
  • Giving employees access to work-related tools


Digital Upskilling

Learning and development are quickly becoming a fundamental part of HR's agenda. Upskilling current employees with unique and transferable skills is a must. This tactic helps each individual's competitive edge and makes them more adaptable to change. Through this, companies can redeploy employees while maintaining their present level of utilization. Focusing specifically on digital skills and utilizing different technologies is highly beneficial. What can employers and HR do about this?

  • Provide relevant courses to employees
  • Conduct virtual seminars on necessary digital skills and tools
  • Provide consistent tech support to guide employees during the familiarization process


Data-Driven Decision Making

This past decade has highlighted the rise in data-driven decision-making across all kinds of industries. HR is no exception to this. Prioritizing workforce analytics helps HR gauge employee experience, engagement, and satisfaction. For an organization to stay competitive, it must prioritize and leverage analytics to forecast workforce requirements, optimize revenues, and reduce costs. This is especially important now, as the pandemic has brought a more modern and complex business landscape. Here are some ways to utilize analytics for the betterment of the workforce:
  • Measure and monitor workforce productivity
  • Regularly keep up with employee engagement metrics
  • Use data to find profitable strategies
Doing these will help HR determine the management decisions required to prepare the workforce for possible post-Covid-19 challenges.


Digital Transformation

This topic is trending more and more and has presented plenty of questions about the role of HR moving forward. As businesses continue to look for ways to reduce costs, the HR department must emphasize creating more value with fewer resources. 50% of companies now plan to speed up the automation of repetitive tasks within their company. What is the role of HR in digital transformation?
  • Cut repetitive operational jobs that can be automated
  • Help the company push the boundary of operational efficiency further
  • Improve HR functions by utilizing arising technologies such as AI, VR, and AR
  • Constantly refine the recruitment, onboarding, training process through automation and other technologies

HR is continuously evolving.

The pandemic has undeniably left a massive and lasting effect on the global economy. Most organizations and businesses were forced into a new normal very quickly and learned to adapt for survival. Because of this, it's necessary for employees, and most importantly HR, to evolve and transform to meet a new set of company needs.


HR plays a pivotal role in restructuring organizations during and after Covid-19. If companies do not adjust to the current employment climate, they'll undoubtedly be left behind. Use these tips to navigate the ever-evolving HR world and ensure your company's success well into the future.


This guest post was written by Becca Morris, a professional writer, and contributor. She writes about recruitment and marketing management in hopes to get the message across the field for tips on the industry. This guest post may not be copied or published without PeopleGuru's express written consent.

Topics: Now Trending, Workforce Management, HR, Wellness

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