For this thought-provoking webinar, we were joined by three HR leaders to discuss how critical people are in adopting change, especially within the new working world since the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us as we ask ourselves, how did Covid-19 affect the role of HR?
The Current pandemic has affected everybody and every business in different ways, from employee mental health and wellbeing to common HR hurdles. These three leaders discuss how their companies, roles, and responsibilities have changed over the last 12 months and which changes are here to stay for their companies within the new "normal" way of working.
The Three Guests
Sheryl Godwin-Jones - Peoples Operation Manager at ANS Group. ANS are a Cloud and Digital Transformation company that helps people think BIGGER.
Sarah Hetherington- Head of People at Boxxe. Boxxe is a Digital Transformation company helping clients become more efficient and effective in every aspect of their working lives.
Charlotte Batters - Head of People Operations at CTS and Cloud M. CTS and Cloud are a Google Cloud partner that is a growth partner for organizations who want to "Spark, Enable and Empower".
Working From Home
For many working from home has become the new normal. The pandemic has meant some businesses have had to change and adapt drastically to keep their businesses running at an optimum level. We were keen to find out from our panel of leaders if the pandemic acted as a trigger or a catalyst to this new "normal" working life, what challenges they have observed during this movement, and how they overcame any employees' resistance to change.
For two of our HR leaders, working from home was already a part of their businesses' "normal" working life and acted as a catalyst. They already had fundamentals in place, such as laptops and online digital platforms. So, in 2020 when employees were told to pick up their laptops and work from home, they could easily accommodate this need as they already had a remote working culture.
On the other hand, Boxxe and many other businesses worldwide were very much office-based before the pandemic. A lot of workers didn't have laptops and operated from a desktop. For these businesses, the pandemic was a trigger that came with significate challenges, and changes had to be made overnight.
"We must do this TODAY - and we must make it work.
Although these HR leaders experienced different responses to the working from home protocol, they all shared the same challenges with internal recruitment and maintaining collaboration spaces, engaging people remotely and the importance of this, especially with new starters. Here are some of the tools and ideas they used to help collaboration: HR platforms, Google Workspace, Virtual Coffee Catch-up meetings, encouraging walking meetings (1-2-1s whilst walking) and saving the best till last... Virtual Champagne Fridays!
Making People Happy
Employees are like the foundation of a building- without them, the business would have no structure. For companies to thrive, employees must enjoy their work in an encouraging and supportive environment. When the pandemic hit and the "normal" working environment changed, it became vital that employees were supported and mentored through these changes. These changes directly impact the employees and, depending on how the employee reacts, will impact the organisation as a whole.
All of our leaders agreed it was important to create an encouraging and supportive environment in which employees feel valued. However, this environment had to change to accommodate the "stay at home" rule that was enforced by the government. They needed to ensure that employees had a safe place online to enhance employees' well-being, where their hard work could be recognised and help smooth the transition of communications whilst working from home.
The leaders discussed initiatives within their companies that have been adopted to help employees with their pandemic transition and help them feel valued. These include:
Incentives for hitting targets
"Means Together" campaign - put into teams to hit a target with a leaderboard
"Spread The Love" programme - to recognise others' hard work
Weekly Newsletter - share news updates and top achievements
For more insights into how critical people are in adopting change, especially within the new working world since the COVID-19 pandemic, make sure you watch the full webinar video above!
We've got plenty more fantastic industry experts lined up for 2021 to participate in our webinar series. If you'd like to learn more or get involved as a speaker, please contact Robert Taylor. We would love to hear your thoughts on HR challenges post covid-19.