Covid-19 and HR Challenges

Article: Redefining HR practices in the post COVID-19 world — People Matters

With the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, the entire world has witnessed how drastically and devastatingly routine life has toppled rather just being changed. Where an invisibly little deadly virus has made everything  upside down be it switching from real time office environment to work from home, cinema screen to home theatre, dining out to home food,  shopping malls to online shopping and so on, adjusting to the new normal seems as only solution left to saving lives. In such enigmatic times, where to deter the virus attack and to save lives, a global emergency has been declared and lockdowns are being viewed as the most viable option left, economies are facing worst ever crisis of their lifetime. A deeper look and human race is found bewildered in the midst.

In such uncertain times, the deadly wake of Covid-19 has posed a great responsibility on the shoulders of HR fraternity at global level like never before. 

The biggest ever challenge is to manage labor-intensive industry itself like construction, manufacturing, transportation and hospitality etc. In this particular context, perplexity increases in both cases of remaining open or keeping close the business operations. Already living at the verge of poverty line, if aforesaid industries with no option to rely on remote working at blue-collar level, will allow workers to carry on with their job responsibilities, they may fall prey to Covid-19 especially in case of working in closer groups and if they will be stopped working to avoid the spread, they may die of hunger rather pandemic. Such a crucial situation demands HR professionals to come forward with their expert input to tackle whatever worst may come next while hoping for good to prevail.

During the first wave, it was not just Coronavirus that increased death toll but also unemployment that pushed people beyond limits to die either natural or suicidal death. Where people, serving in industries like hospitality, travel and tourism, construction, airline, transportation etc., at a massive scale lost their jobs regardless of their healthy contributions for years, some still survived only because of their organizations’ best HR Practices. A closer look at Nan Inc Org Chart shows no change in people and positions before, during and after pandemic’s first wave. Accepting the challenging second wave, company’s HR believes to come up with some viable options to deter the negativity followed by recurrence of pandemic. 

HR professionals are also facing communication as an ever bigger challenge. No matter, business operations are being closed till the time pandemic threat fades away or remote working is being opted as new normal, absence of loud and clear message is sure to create a mess. So, t =he responsibility to select right communication tools rests with HR as at the end of the day they will be the one tackling pressure of such mess from both sides – employer and employees.

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