What did the Covid-19 pandemic teach to
Human Resource Management?

Board Member, Operations & Delivery Director at Abaco Consulting

Opinion Article by José Chéu, Board Member, Operations & Delivery Director of Abaco Consulting for RH Magazine [PT Only]: https://bit.ly/3lYc5an

The storm was the same for everyone, but the boats in which each crossed it were and are different. Past revenue has changed and the formula for pre-pandemic results achieved is no longer a guarantee of equal future performance.

The COVID-19 storm posed a very demanding challenge for organizations: creating strategies for adaptation, reduction and temporary suspension of activity, adjusting to the current reality, while taking care of their employees, partners, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders . Although temporary, the context we all faced was remarkable, as it was necessary for leaders to take care of the organization and its employees, both from an organizational and human point of view, ensuring productivity and psychological health. There is more and more this awareness, on the part of management, towards the main asset of organizations – people.

The pandemic affected different sectors of society, from businesses to families themselves. From March 2020 until today, many were the companies that registered a significant impact on their production capacity and turnover, forcing their closure or slow recovery. On the other hand, this crisis also revealed, in many sectors, the opportunity to rethink different dimensions of the work context, inviting us to reflect on the positive side of the pandemic adversities, which we have lived through for almost two years, which has brought us and taught and, eventually, what good we want to keep for the future. It is possible that what we live in will change everyone’s perceptions and opinions about the future of work and how, when and where it can be done.

However, reality has proven that we can adopt measures to make work more flexible, in line with our culture and mission. In organizations where remote work was possible, confinements mandated mandatory telework, forcing large numbers of employees to telework for months at a time. Others opted for hybrid models, favoring remote work, but, at the same time, initiating face-to-face work initiatives to foster a sense of belonging, trust and empathy among employees.

It is then, in this sense, that technology assumes a pivotal role in organizational daily life. This forced to accelerate trends and processes that, although already used (as in the case of telework) were not massively used. Technology has made it possible to unite the world of work with personal life, aggregating work meetings with virtual team celebrations, sharing family members with teammates – better integrating the different dimensions of life, professional and personal. The world has not stopped, but has changed: companies have reinforced the use of technological solutions, anticipated the implementation of projects, created new ones and, in some cases, began to share these internal tools with their customers so that contact and, consequently, trust were never called into question.

Now, with all the tools at their disposal, it is essential that organizations always bear in mind that the strategies they used before and that were effective may now no longer be effective and, for this, it is essential that they review them, and in order to consolidate the pillars of a good Strategic Management of Human Resources, whether the attraction and retention of talent, professional development, career or performance management, companies should base themselves on:

  • Promote the development of a collaborative platform in the organization and also a modern and secure internal network for accessing information;
  • Seek to obtain internal feedback from the organizational climate or any other initiative of a more operational or commercial relevance, through platforms designed for this purpose;
  • Carry out, whenever applicable, the onboarding process in person, so that the initial monitoring is closer, formally present it to the entire company and make the new employee’s first experience more inclusive;
  • Communicate the initiatives of the entire organization, in the two different areas/departments, to improve their reach and adherence, pr (eg: launch of a new product, start of the performance evaluation process, etc.);
  • Promote a culture of sharing and learning within the organization.

For these actions to be possible, it is necessary to integrate all the essential technological tools to be able to develop the activity and, above all, there is good talent management, providing them with the most effective collaboration tools available, so that it is possible bring employees together around relevant discussions and share critical information about the organization and key issues for the development of each talent and, consequently, of each organization’s business.