The role of the Human Resource function has become pivotal, especially in the COVID- 19 scenario.
While on one side, they have to keep pace with the business, implementing various austerity measures for ensuring sustainability, there is a need to support emotional and mental well-being of employees.
However, the moment of truth is that both, the employer and employee are anxious in the current scenario for varied reasons. Well, both are right in their thought process.
The employer is busy calculating the losses faced by the business due to the lock down, payment delays due to cash flow challenges of customers, restricted business growth potential due to conservative mindset and predicting the time for getting back the traction. Accordingly, common austerity measures like hiring freeze, travel restrictions, deferment/cancellation of increments/bonus/incentives and withdrawal of benefits gets initiated by them.
Employees, on the other hand, feel aggrieved due to employer’s austerity measures as they strongly believe that they had no role to play in the business losses due to COVID 19 lock-down, and perceive that the austerity measures taken are unfair to them.
This is where the role of HR becomes crucial.
As an employee advocate, it should reasons out with the Management to minimize not only the number of austerity measures but also gets them implemented in a way to minimize their impact on employees. It should continuously explores ways to alleviate the impact on employees.
As a Company representative, HR can connect regularly with employees, explaining them the current business situation and how the Management is doing its best to stay afloat and also take care of employees. This has a calming effect on the apprehensions in the minds of employees.
HR also has a significant role to play in keeping the employer and employees connected through various communication channels which help in retaining overall trust and transparency.
Therefore, all HR professionals should take pride and do their best in the current scenario. The times today gives a great opportunity to this domain to showcase its true mettle, thereby shining and cutting through the darkness created by COVID-19.