By Simon Kent
The immense task of dealing with the impact of the pandemic over the past year has been a challenge like no other and a double-edged sword for HR. HR has had to work hard to manage and protect its workforce from major disruption and hardship whilst also ensuring the business it serves is agile enough to adapt, survive, and even thrive in whatever circumstances emerge.
Has HR’s status been boosted and secured through its actions over the past year? The answer is yes and maybe. Organisations have a new respect for the HR function, just as they have a new respect for the people who work day in and day out for the good of the business. Neither can be taken for granted nor dealt with through simple remuneration.
However, holding on to HR’s newfound recognition within the business cannot be taken for granted. In the past year, HR has demonstrated that it is far more than an administrative function—but it needs to continue doing this if its status is to be maintained.
HR can continue to have a huge impact on the success of the organisation it serves. As one interviewee pointed out, the people aspect of the business that was once regarded as “fluff” has now become a critical issue because companies will only get through the current challenges by the work of their people.
It would be nice to think that HR will achieve an elevated status through its work alone, however the function needs to be clear and direct in what it has done. It needs to continue to demonstrate and promote its impact and be clear that its role in the future is central to every organisation. Alongside its professionalism, positive impact, and measurable success, HR needs to make some noise.