International HR Day is an opportunity to recognise all the hardworking HR professionals and their efforts. If we talk about the contribution of the HR managers and their team during the pandemic is truly incredible. While the HR department of today is one of the most tech-savvy and agile teams, their role has undergone a massive transformation in the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. The pandemic has given us plenty of reasons to celebrate HR professionals and their efforts during the crisis.
Sharmila Khan, Director HR, Micron India
All playbooks went out the window with the ambiguity and uncertainty that came with the pandemic. I learnt to trust my instincts, and lead with empathy and kindness, while I validated day-to-day operational decisions with a trusted group of peers within the organisation and a larger HR fraternity.
Hence, this day, on May 20, we must celebrate International HR Day to praise them as a profession and their positive contribution to individuals and organisations. With most employees working from home, the HR team is catering to a new set of responsibilities. Let’s put the light on some of them:
HR people’ made a significant contribution during the COVID-19 crisis
2021 is no less tough than the previous year, and with the second wave of COVID-19, It has already been a tough year for HR professionals. Without their never-ending efforts and expertise from the HR department, continuous motivation to employees, and their respective organisations. Without their efforts, we wouldn’t be seeing productivity and team cohesion thriving in a virtual workplace and ambiguous job market.
Satyanarayanan Visvanathan, SVP, Head HR (Global) and Corporate Quality, CSS Corp
The pandemic has changed a lot in our day-to-day life, not least of which has been a seismic shift in work culture, as many of us have spent the past year working remotely. The primary thing that the HR function witnessed and learned is the liberation from the mindset that work can be accomplished when we are co-located (or physically in the office).
HR people have been quick responders
The early response from HR was really impressive, they were able to get a sense of employees’ worries and concerns even in the working from home environment. They put employees’ worries first, while also considering the various business impacts. It was their years of experience in doing this that enabled their responsiveness. HR professionals have demonstrated their strategic approach in the way they’ve responded to this crisis. Not only the HR community’s response to COVID-19 has been absolutely incredible, but they’ve kept their organisations working, they’ve focused on the mental health of employees and shone a light on that for the rest of the organisation.
Pavitra Singh, CHRO, PepsiCo India
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us many valuable lessons and my biggest one has been to lead with compassion. I realised that softer skills of empathy, compassion and resilience are key differentiators in these challenging times. We, as leaders, need to be the torchbearers of hope and lead with our heart. We have to be more personal in our approach and find ways to connect in the new normal as there is no face to face interactions currently. Leaders should also ensure high-quality interactions and bring energy to every meeting.