We get it. The recent changes in the world have been challenging for HR people. Shifting to remote work, supporting management via Zoom meetings and keeping employees engaged over slack/teams isn’t easy.
Yet, maybe you’re like us. You can’t help feeling a sense of solidarity and togetherness. And maybe you too have noticed a few things which HR can be hopeful about
In fact, recent Willis Towers Watson research on employee engagement during COVID19 showed that 90% of companies believed their culture improved, 83% believe their employee experience is better and 84% believe employee engagement has gone up.
So we decided to come up with a list of things we’ve learned and stories our customers have shared or noticed in the world, that give us as HR people hope for what comes next.
2. There has been an increased business focus on wellbeing and mental health
3. Businesses are realising the value of culture
4. And companies are treating their employees better than ever.
5. Managers are learning how to be better managers.
6. And Leadership culture seems to be changing
7. Digital transformation is finally happening
8. HR CAN support remote work.
9. Increased growth and emphasis on learning for employees
10. We’re seeing employees and leaders truly CARE.
1. Finally, HR is getting the recognition (and investment) it deserves. Businesses and leaders have been forced to realise one thing; just how important HR is. The changed working conditions mean HR has been highlighted as the coach helping teams succeed. We’re seeing increased investments in and importance placed on HR, and we’re hopeful this will continue.
2. There has been an increased business focus on productivity, wellbeing and mental health. Leaders are starting to recognise the importance of prioritising employee wellbeing. And we, as HR people, are rejoicing.
3. Businesses are realising the value of culture Now that we can’t operate ‘Business as Usual’, it seems more and more leaders are acknowledging the importance of culture, and therefore cultural initiatives. We’re hopeful this means HR will have more leeway (and budget) in the future to focus on culture. The research above from Willis showed that 90% of companies believe their culture improved.
Overall, the study shows that 63% of HR professionals believe their organisational culture has improved, 59% believe their employee wellbeing has improved, and 55% believe their employee experience has improved.
4. Companies are treating their employees better than ever. According to Josh Bersin “In the middle of a pandemic, our research now shows that companies are treating their employees better than ever. And employee engagement, a problem that plagues more than two-thirds of companies year after year, is actually going up.”
5. Managers are learning how to be better managers. Managers have been forced to adapt to remote work and find new ways or connecting with their team. As a result, their communication has improved out of necessity.
6. Leadership culture seems to be changing Leaders are beginning to acknowledge and prioritise the value of caring for their people first, of being empathetic and protecting employees.
7. Digital transformation is finally happening; the shift to remote work is forcing leaders to realise HR needs digital tools. Josh Berson noted many HR leaders are saying “COVID-19 accelerated our digital transformation”. As organisations adopt digital tools across the board, including HR, we’re hopeful this might mean the end of manual HR tasks.
8. HR CAN empower remote work. And recent times have proved it. From our HR customers to our HR friends, everyone has been quick to react to remote work.
Yes, it has been challenging to adjust. But it’s a learning curve. One we wouldn’t have had without the current situation. And working from home… is working.
The Willis study found that “79% of companies see a positive or neutral change in employee productivity, and only 21% said it went down.”
9. Increased growth and emphasis on learning for employees With more time at home, we’re seeing increased engagement in learning and development. We’re hopeful the importance of learning will continue, meaning more support for HR’s L&D programs in the future.
10. We’re seeing employees and leaders truly CARE. The hardest thing for HR teams is helping foster culture, community and belonging at work. With something looming larger than all of us, employees and leaders are making more of an effort to care for each other. We’re hopeful that this culture of inclusion lasts beyond this moment.
We’re hopeful as HR people because we’re seeing teams come together to listen to their people, to talk freely and collaborate on projects as we’ve never seen before.
I have noticed internally, at our company, this crisis has led to us making 6 months worth of progress in a month. Everyone has come together. People are helping each other, they’re reaching out, asking each other how they are doing.
And for that, we’re hopeful about the future. And I hope you are too.
PS: Want help with point #7? You can start off your digital HR transformation FREE, right here.