The role and importance of HR have grown tremendously, particularly in the face of new challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. HR leaders have recognised the need to be more agile and flexible to order to adapt to the changes of the current crisis, where employee health and wellbeing have been brought to the fore.
Janesh Kumar, CHRO, RP – Sanjiv Goenka Group, FMCG Business, is a performance-driven professional who drives Strategic & Operational HR initiatives in leadership, partnering with CEOs and CXOs .
He spoke to us about the changing role of HR leaders in the era of the pandemic and how leaders can leverage technology and innovation to keep pace with the demands of the future.
What are some of the ways HR policies have changed during the pandemic?
The focus has shifted towards the health and wellbeing of employees with interventions around mental health, medical coverage etc. Also, there is a lot of innovation to keep the virtual connect as close as the real one.
Why is it important for HR to be more agile and flexible in the current work environment?
The external scenario is changing rapidly, leading to anxiety and concern amongst employees. HR needs to be flexible enough to change according to the changing scenario and that too with agility. We are now more focused on the final outcome and how can we enable that, rather than the systems and processes along the way, as in past.
How can HR leaders ensure a culture of learning and growth in organisations today?
With the ever-changing work environment and excessive use of technology, employees need to change and learn to stay relevant in the changing scenarios. This is good enough to trigger and create the urgency of learning new ways.
How can leaders leverage technology and innovation to keep pace with a future-forward workplace?
Thanks to the tech wave, now everyone is comfortable with the new gadgets and technologies. We just need to introduce the same in our professional ways of working; the new workforce is adapting to this change really fast. The technology opens up a number of new possibilities to connect and communicate with larger talent with amazing time efficiencies.
How can organisations work towards the mental wellbeing of employees through policy in the post-pandemic world?
Ensuring regular wellness check-ins and creating more awareness amongst employees. The importance of mental wellbeing is still undermined or is not understood by many. It is time to accept and acknowledge the impact of stress, anxiety and related mental illnesses and work towards a holistically healthy life.