2020 has been a critical year. Especially for people in HR who have been at the forefront of the global pandemic from the beginning. While the first half was crucial to sustaining business operations, the second half seems more challenging as it is going to determine the future of the organization. As enterprises come to terms with the new realities of the workplace, HR’s role is getting redefined in terms of rebuilding the organization, securing employee trust, strengthening its processes, and creating a safer workplace.
Redefining the role of HR
A Gartner, Inc. survey of 229 HR leaders on April 2 revealed that nearly 50% of organizations reported 81% or more of their employees are working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. Another 15% of those surveyed said 61-80% of employees are working remotely at this time. It also revealed that many workers are planning to work remotely more often in the future.1
With businesses reopening operations and employees being called back to work, there’s an added pressure on the HR teams to ensure, motivate, and support employees with their roles, health, and safety. Apart from the regular job of hiring and managing employees, HR is being thrust with the additional role of navigating the employees through this time of crisis, motivating them to stay confident, and continuously engaging with them with empathy and compassion, while making a safer environment a regular thing.
There are myriad questions HR leaders are grappling with on how to create a safe environment for their employees and how to mitigate health and safety risks, while ensuring engagement and productivity.
Leading consulting company McKinsey identifies 70 workforce-protection interventions across manufacturing, office, retail, and field environments at pre-entry, travel to work, at work, common spaces, and post-infection levels.2
Some enterprises have already introduced compassionate ways to deal with these new dynamics of workplace and culture. A leading automobile manufacturing company based in India has facilitated employees to self-check themselves for COVID-19 symptoms while entering office premises. This is just one of the steps taken towards ensuring employee safety and workplace security. Enterprises are increasingly embracing technology to adapt to the new norms of a safer workplace.
How can digital transformation help HR ensure a safe workplace?
As per Gartner’s research in 2019, almost 67% of business leaders had agreed that their company must become significantly more digitalized by 2020 to remain competitive.3 While 2020 came with its challenges, the global pandemic only catalyzed the digital transformation, paving the way for enterprises to look at implementing digital tools across verticals and operations, including HR management.
World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended certain safety measures to be followed by companies to ensure employee safety across locations. This includes employee health status recording prior joining, health screening at premises and social distancing and other hygienic measure. Therefore, the new workplace is going to bring in new sets of workplace norms such as
Employee Health Status Recording (before joining) & their willingness to return
Employee health screening
Automated safety management
Automated inventory management
To help you streamline the process for the effective return of employees, SymphonySummitAI introduces The Safe Workplace Enabler Suite. This Enabler Suite contains our enterprise service management tools powered by the latest advances in AI, machine reasoning, analytics, and automation. You can leverage these tools to gain insights into the data and make accurate decisions.
Design surveys and check employees’ preparedness and willingness to return to theworkplace.
Manage and monitor the needs of the workplace to support the physical safety of yourworkforce with the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) application
Gain access to a single-view dashboard through which you can gain insights andintelligence to make a quick and accurate decision regarding the health and safety of theemployees and customers alike.
It is a given that workplace is not going to be the same again and safety is going to be the norm going forward. Regardless of the industry, enterprises who will embrace technology to rebuild their organization will have an edge over the others who don’t. And HR being at the forefront of this change needs the power to be able to create a future workplace that is both safe and secure.
Download our guide to a safer workplace and see how you can ensure a safe workplace for your employees.
Reopening-workplaces_A-collection-of-workforce-protection-interventions By McKinsey & Company