By Simon Kent
Like it or not, there are times when HR has to be responsive rather than proactive. The rapid transmission of the coronavirus is without doubt one instance where practically every other agenda item has been put on hold in order to manage a fast-changing situation.
Yet even in this context, businesses are being told to “prepare”—a word which in itself implies an element of proactive work rather than simply firefighting. If nothing else, current world health issues are demonstrating that organisations need to have a connected approach in what they do, be consistent in their actions and the messages they send to their employees, and above all, ensure their people are protected, safe, and able to deliver.
Take away the health crisis and you have HR’s primary challenge: people first. So, how does your business ensure you get the best talent and the best from that talent? Instead of a health crisis, how does your HR strategy prepare for skills shortages, competition for talent, market changes, and the immense workplace change promised by the increase of technology?
In every case, the best option is to be proactive and not reactive. Data is beginning to be used to predict what talent you might need, where they may come from, and how they can be rewarded. Wider talent pools are being considered, and through that, organisations are becoming open to increasingly diverse workforces. In both instances, organisations are achieving clear gains.
People are at the heart of business success and it is up to HR to not just ensure that success happens, but that the message gets out there. If organisations realise this and if our talent experiences this, then we can deal with any challenge thrown at us.