Everybody becomes a critic when it comes to the role of a Human Resource professional in an organisation. People dislike HR because of the nature of their role. They often tell people how to behave and what to do. It is a source of conflict for many employees. Unlike other departments, HR is involved everywhere and is always getting their noses into things. Its policies affect everyone in the organization daily, even those at the highest level.
Sanyukta mentions “The association of Rangoli with Human Resources is limited to just one aspect of their job, which is employee engagement events. This has also taken a new shape post-pandemic. Rangoli has become a stereotype for HR work because it is commonly used in office celebrations during festivals.
However, HR is much more than just organizing events and creating a festive atmosphere. It is a crucial function that manages a company's talent, from recruitment to employee recognition and beyond. The HR team at NOVA benefits also plays a vital role in ensuring employee growth and contributing to the company's ROI.”
Sowmya tells us “Someone told me - HR just click selfies and eat kulfis”
Post-pandemic, the use of technology for employee engagement has diversified, moving away from traditional activities like Rangoli making to focusing on employee happiness and mental health. Companies are now realizing the importance of addressing employee needs and are providing more personalized engagement opportunities.
With a more diverse workforce, HR is trying to adapt to changing preferences, such as hosting movie nights, having RedBull and snacks in the office, and giving more personalized gifts. Although there are restrictions, HR is finding ways to engage employees in new and creative ways.”
To succeed in the constantly evolving world of work, organizations must have a clear comprehension of what must be altered to align with both expected and unexpected future business priorities.
As businesses seek innovative ways to expand during rapid changes, a new role that blends corporate strategy and HR is emerging. This role, known as the Future of Work Leader, would be responsible for identifying the most crucial skills required as the workforce continues to evolve. This person would be in charge of both defining the organization's future of work strategy and recommending reskilling and upskilling programs for current employees. HRs are expected to adapt the most to the changing times.
Sanyukta talks about the changing role of HR post-pandemic “Post-pandemic, the differentiation has become very clear. Talent acquisition now requires a specialized skill set and a good knowledge about total rewards, including pay, perks, benefits, and compensation, covering the entire employee cycle. The HR professionals from top schools are bringing so much to the table now.
The HR head plays a critical role in sales and finance meetings, as attrition and retention are essential to budgeting and planning. Discussions about layoffs involve both finance and HR. The HR team at NOVA is responsible for the growth of employees, both personally and professionally, and their contribution to the growth team's revenue. Finance sets expectations and HR ensures they are met.”
Adarsh adds to this “The main role of HR is not just hiring, firing, or reprimanding employees, but managing the complete employee lifecycle, including onboarding, performance management, promotions, compliance, and dealing with issues such as moonlighting in a virtual environment.”
The role of HR is undergoing constant transformation and its significance is rising. As the world of work is rapidly evolving, employees are looking to their managers and HR leaders for direction on how to adapt to the "new normal".
This is a defining moment for HR to steer organizations towards a successful future. They have a unique opportunity and obligation to guide employees in acquiring the necessary skills and abilities for future job roles as they continue to evolve.
Sanyukta mentions “There has been a lot of debate on this topic. For a long time, Peeyush Bansal from Lenskart didn't have a CHRO and Bansal took it upon himself to fill the role, serving as both CEO and CHRO for three years. This is because culture stems from leadership and leadership is primarily at the CXO level. HR plays a critical role in learning and development, as well as culture and brand management. For example, HR drives the employee referral program, manages town halls, and conducts appraisals that evaluate financial performance as well as alignment with company culture values at Nova Benefits. While executing appraisals may be considered operational, taking a new approach to decision-making and change management requires strategy, all of which is handled by HR.”
Sowmya says “If you observe, HR is not part of management but also not part of the employee group, often positioned as isolated. The conversation varies in each office based on the situation. Are you taking the company's side or are you here to support the employees? To be successful in HR, it's important to balance both perspectives.
The role of HR has evolved post-pandemic, with HR departments now being more involved in strategic decisions. HR is no longer seen as just a communicator but as a key player in the decision-making process. The opinion and value of HR are being acknowledged and HR is seen as a voice for the employees, not just for themselves. The HR department has evolved and is no longer operating in the same way it was previously.”
“We have used people analytics to address high attrition rates and found that there were underlying issues in the team that were causing employees to resign. By addressing these issues, we were able to reduce the number of resignations. It's important for HR teams to show impact and demonstrate the value they bring to the business.” mentions Adarsh.
Stereotypes in human resources are unavoidable. However, HR can create an experience that exceeds your workers' expectations and undoubtedly shatter the traditional HR clichés when it achieves the appropriate mix between compliance facilitator, strategic collaborator, and employee champion.
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