The COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill and had a long-lasting effect on the operation of many businesses. Many organizations’ HR departments were affected and forced many HR leaders to rethink its functioning in fulfilling future ambitions. The COVID-19 pandemic became one of the important transformation accelerators in the operation of the business. In the next five years, many HR departments will have to change how they work, learn, and integrate new ways of appraising the employee in the workplace.
First, it will reinforce new requirements regarding workplace and safety. The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to panic and destabilized the operations in the workplace. During the COVID-19 menace, many employees relied more on the local news to access information about the pandemic. In the future, HR will take a central role in the process and act as a primary source for providing up-to-date information for future pandemics (Coombs & Laufer, 2017). The HR department is the engine of any organization. It has to ensure that all the health and safety concerns are appropriately addressed. The environment in the workplace continues to evolve, and managing employee wellbeing is critical for achieving success in the organization. The HR departments will need to stay updated on the changing health and safety guidelines in the future. The HR will also need to provide factual information any vaccine to the employees and attach medical expert documentation. Any health policy will have to be communicated in time to limit inconvenience.
Secondly, The HR departments will heavily invest in technology. The COVID-19 exposed some of the weaknesses many businesses have and made them recognize the need for integrating new technology. The HR departments suffered from low productivity during the pandemic resulting in reduced profitability. The restrictions put in place by the majority of the governments made it hard for employees who were not providing essential services to continue with their work. The incident contributed to reducing production, leading to losses by many organizations. Investing in new technology may help in solving that dilemma. The HR department will have to formulate ways to work closely with the IT departments. Working to build a good relationship may help solve new crises before they take a toll on the businesses. For instance, through automation, there will be increased production to replace human labor during a crisis. However, compressive training will be needed to adopt such technologies. Increased utilization of teleconferencing and biometric technology approaches will change how employees work. They will have to use new methods that they had not utilized before. HR can solve such problems by providing a unique environment to learn. From then, the employees will acquire new skills and develop new competencies. Besides, if an organization has the necessary tools, it may facilitate how it analyzes data from emerging trends and thereby improves its future planning.
Adapting to remote working; before the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations were still reluctant to embrace the remote working model. When the offices were closed down, and the employers had no option, working from home soon became a reality. In the future, or in the next five years, the HR departments will need to use such approaches to solve problems like overcrowding in the workplace. As long as remote working does not interfere with workplace productivity, it will continue to provide greater flexibility (Calgiuri et al., 2020). As the HR departments slowly adapt to it, they must identify its effects on the organizations’ overall strategy. A specific approach of remote working is needed to help in making efficient and better decisions.
Fourth, there will be increased diversity, inclusivity, and equity approaches. The HR departments have a critical responsibility to create an environment that encourages diversity and inclusion regardless of whether it manages a hybrid or a remote workforce. The COVID-19 exposed many loopholes in the operation of many businesses. Among the opportunities it presented is for people to work together and engage in as much as possible. Previously, such efforts failed, but the pandemic reminded people that they needed each other and organizations initiated actions to strengthen inclusivity and diversity (Meister, 2020). The HR departments may consider alternatives like hiring remotely, educating the employees about collaborative dialogue, building an employee-manager relationship, creating and reinforcing the diversity policies, and nurturing the employees’ strengths. HR should work on ways to emphasize that all the employees are welcomed and are free to contribute their ideas with ease. Diversity, inclusion, and equity are not simply about numbers. In the future, the HR department may initiate new processes to monitor and review the performance metrics to evaluate how the integrated changes impact the workplace.
The COVID-19 severely exposed many HR departments. It caught them unaware, and they had to change strategies to tackle the organization’s challenges in the future. In the next five years, organizations will have to develop new technological innovations, encourage diversity and inclusion and establish new requirements towards workplace and safety. In the long run, the pandemic will influence how the HR departments work, learn, and integrate new ways of appraising the employees in the workplace.
Caligiuri, P., Minbaeva, D., Verbeke, A., Zimmermann, A. (2020). International HRM insights for navigating the COVID-19 pandemic: Implications for future research and practice. Journal of International Business Studies, 51(5), 697–713.
Coombs, W. T., Laufer, D. (2017). Global crisis management—Current research and future directions. Journal of International Management, 24(3), 199–203.
Meister, J. (2020, March 31). The impact of the coronavirus on HR and the new normal of work. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2020/03/31/the-impact-of-the-coronavirus-on-hr-and-the-new-normal-of-work/#24d292322b60