Have we adapted to new ways of working post-pandemic, and are we reaping the full benefits for our businesses and teams?
The pandemic introduced considerable uncertainty and volatility for all businesses. HR leaders had to quickly switch their focus to determine the best way to move forward while receiving inconsistent messaging in response to the growing Covid-19 emergency.
Despite the turbulence, 72% of HR leaders say the pandemic has helped them demonstrate their value and increase the understanding of human resources’ role. 87% of C-suite Executives credit HR for leading change and driving new ways of operating, helping organisations to become more flexible and influential than ever before.
Survivors versus Thrivers
According to HBR, our evolution has resulted in a two-way channel system when human beings are faced with change.
The Survive Channel is activated by threats and causes feelings of fear, anxiety, and stress. In contrast, the Thrive Channel is activated by opportunities and associated with excitement, passion, joy, and enthusiasm.
When faced with rapid change, it is no surprise that our first thought is to survive. But today businesses want to hold on to the positive new practices brought on by the pandemic to continue driving innovation, adaption, and leadership, and to build an even stronger proposition.
Leading with integrity
Reflecting on the pandemic, leaders were forced to communicate honestly and transparently to stay afloat amid changing Covid-19 regulations. Going forward, culture and leadership skills should emphasise empathy and openness, which will strengthen the employee value proposition and support in overcoming future change challenges, and continue building a culture of trust and transparency.
Employee collaboration was pushed high on the business agenda as leaders needed to communicate with their dispersed teams. This new attempt at driving better collaboration must now be extended to all employees and departments: creating team-building opportunities, promoting diversity of thought, and helping to identify new business solutions.
Agile and flexible working
The pandemic was a first-of-its-kind event to have such a large group of global workers suddenly shift to remote working, and all at the same time. Although the rapid and wide-scale adoption was to facilitate business survival, the permanent adoption of flexible working shows that organisations can thrive in this newfound way of working – moving faster and being able to change more quickly than once thought.
As Covid-19 forced the pace of workplace innovation, HR leaders have identified simpler, faster, and less expensive ways to operate – and in a way that supports a better work-life balance for employees.