It’s been almost 18 months since the global pandemic hit and over the last month or so I’ve been reflecting on the lessons I have learnt as an HR professional during this time.
We’ve all heard the tag lines throughout recent months of this pandemic creating ‘Unprecedented times’ in both home and working life, and that statement although overused, is very true.
As an HR professional, working life was turned on it’s head as offices closed and face to face interactions were taken away from us like a carpet being pulled from under our feet.
Human beings are social creatures, so the various lockdowns enforced upon the planet, hit some people harder than others. HR Professionals were forced to find new ways to connect with their teams spread all over the region as the landscape of working life was redrawn.
We all watched the world from our homes and watched how people began to react to lockdown.
Extroverts that thrived from the day-to-day social interactions of office life went into crisis.
Normally flourishing sectors watched as sales professionals no longer knew how to sell without being able to sit face to face with their prospects and clients, and the absolute necessity for digitalisation for every process in the work place, no matter how big or small became increasingly apparent.
However …out of this madness came a great light, great innovation, and huge strives forward in streamlining business activity that I may not have happened with such speed if it weren’t for the Global Pandemic of Covid-19.
From the perspective of BSTG, it’s clients’, key partners, management and staff…Never before had our communities and workplaces come together in such an unbreakable and driven way to create a unified approach to creating a new workable way for business functions to continue.
As an HR professional, living through this pandemic Charles Dickens Famous words sprang to mind “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light”
It’s been an amazing learning curve that I can only take as a huge gift.
Here are my key takeaways from the lessons learned during lockdown when it comes to business function, people management & support:
- As soon as a way to connect (even in a different way) was found normality can be somewhat restored. With the introduction of zoom meetings, Microsoft teams, remote conference calls, and webinars, a shift from crisis to adaption was recorded. Cloud-based systems were lifesavers and came out on top as they can be accessed anytime, anywhere by anyone. (Beneple provides a full Cloud-based HR solution and is free to use).
- People need people. If you nurture the person their performance will follow, if you only address sales and performance-related topics you’re missing out on one of the most important parts of employee support. Here at Blue Sky Thinking Group, we implemented a full employee wellness strategy through Safe Hands.
Displays of Dedication
- At the height of the crisis, as an HR Manager, it was abundantly clear which employees were ‘all-in’, as people went above and beyond to support the maintaining of regular and new business functions and retain their jobs while the rest of region was downsizing dramatically. Adversely it also became apparent which individuals struggled or didn’t contribute, which makes highlighting areas of performance management much clearer.
Technology is King
- Digitalisation of every single process within a business became essential. The overarching fear that dwelled within many employees and management alike disappeared as a paperless working process was forced upon us. It was enforced but it worked, and it created a whole new way of looking at the business functions and how simple streamlining can be (even if it isn’t initially out of choice.)
- Streamline your business – take processes online, look at Docusign, e-sign, and cloud based document systems (www.beneple.com/hr/)
Beneple proved to be a lifesaver for maintaining business function from an HR perspective as it’s a web page you login into. It takes away any issues of network-based file-sharing systems that you would normally lose access to if not in the office.
Nothing is impossible
- We will always adapt, and we will always overcome, we will re-write processes, and we will be innovative and create new ways to connect people.