By Simon Kent
The most challenging aspect of âthe new normalâ for businesses is thatÂ ânormalâ is really an ever-changing scenario rather than a firm and steadyÂ prospect. The easing of the COVID-19 lockdown is certainly not a linearÂ experienceâthere are differences between countries and fluctuations inÂ the level of restrictions imposed. This presents HR with yet more challenge,Â particularly in identifying the talent it needs and how that talent can work,Â as well as ensuring every employee, whether an old hand or new start, feels aÂ part of the dispersed workplace.
In this issue of HRO Today EMEA, we have started the process of identifyingÂ which aspects of HR have changed for good and which are perhaps the moreÂ temporary, adaptable issues for the function. Where can stability be foundÂ for businesses and the people who work for them? What will be the ongoingÂ challenges for employers and how will HR maintain its sometimes newfoundÂ and certainly newly appreciated role as the guide and strategist for theÂ business?
The impact of COVID-19 has been so devastating and so encompassing thatÂ there can surely be no silver lining. But the crisis has shown that peopleÂ are what makes a company. They donât just contribute to its success orÂ mediocrityâthey are the company. As such, HR should not need to argue overÂ the importance of its role ever again.
But if that is true, HR must also step up to the challenge. It cannot deliverÂ anything less than what its businesses and people need, whether thatâs healthÂ support programmes, technology, or strategy for the future. Concerned withÂ both the general, broad brush issues of their businesses and the personal,Â individual requirements of every employee, the challenge for HR is immense,Â but it can and will be done.