HR leaders are the pillars that keep employees aligned with the company goals. This is currently very crucial due to several factors such as remote working, communication gaps, psychological factors and lack of employee engagement, etc. HR leaders, therefore, need to lead the shift from work-life balance to work-life blend in this new normal.
DigitalHR’s virtual event on ‘The Future of HR 2021: Evolving Role of New Age HR Leaders’ was held on 26th February 2021 and examined the ways in which HR leaders are navigating the challenges and adapting to the new normal in the post-pandemic workplace.
The virtual event witnessed the participation of leaders from the Human Resources field from across industries. The panel was moderated by Pooja Luthra, Board Member, Trident Group and Founder, Humane Insights and comprised of Devi Maheshwari, Head, HR, FlexiLoans, Rajesh Kumar Sinha, Assistant President & Head HR, TBEA India, Dr Sanjeev Dixit, Global President, Human Capital Management, Cadila Pharmaceutical and Jayashubha K, Chief People Officer, TVS Credit Service Limited.
Opening the session, moderator Pooja Luthra, Board Member, Trident Group and Founder, Humane Insights remarked on the current situation of the pandemic, “The situation has been the same; we have been in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Every industry has dealt with the situation differently. The idea of diversity has taken a new meaning, especially with people working from home”.
Devi Maheshwari, Head, HR, FlexiLoans, added, “The first thing that has changed is understanding the needs of the employees and what they require right now and this has been a key challenge which we faced. A major shift for our HR teams was building a connect virtually amongst teams members in the prolonged virtual work setting”.
She continued, “We must bring a more human aspect to the workplace. People have gone through a lot of struggle during COVID at a personal and professional level. So we need to be more humanistic and having a more caring culture in the teams, not just in the leaders, but also in the way people are interacting with each other.”
Jayashubha K, Chief People Officer, TVS Credit Service Limited opined, “The pandemic has made us look at how we can work beyond office spaces. HR took centre stage in the pandemic and the pandemic has opened up the HR function in our organisation.”
Drawing focus to experience in his industry of manufacturing, Rajesh Kumar Sinha, Assistant President & Head HR, TBEA India commented, “The was the time that gave the opportunity to the HR team to demonstrate true empathy towards employees”.
Sinha also spoke about the initiatives the company had taken to support and ensure the wellbeing of its employees, including medical insurance policies for employees and their families.
He added, “The way of working has changed significantly. Communication has been very important to our company during the pandemic. The fundamental have remained the same and digital is a tool, but because of virtual platforms, the ways we do certain processes have changed”.
Dr Sanjeev Dixit, Global President, Human Capital Management, Cadila Pharmaceutical added, “The pandemic has given a reality check to organisations as to what VUCA was all about and most of the senior management have been caught unprepared. One of the biggest myths busted was that employees cannot be productive working from home. In my own experience, people have delivered better working from home than commuting and then getting to the office and being productive”.
He continued, “The most important focus has been first, how we can ensure productivity across the board, from the workmen right up to the senior management, in this unprecedented situation. Second is how we can learn from this situation; the entire process of reflection and introspection has now become a part of the regular discussion among the senior management in terms of how we have been preparing for any such risk”.
Dr Dixit further added, “This situation has given us an absolute sense that we have to be ready for anything which might not be in our plan and which might occur – how we are keeping the entire organisation not only current ready, but also future-ready”.