When the first wave of corona virus-related lockdowns hit Europe in March 2020, we all had the impression it was a storm to be weathered: rough for a while, but one that would pass within a few months. But then, as much of Europe once again tightened restrictions amid surges in COVID cases, the realisation dawned that even now after the one year mark, this up-and-down situation may continue for some time. Vaccine distribution has started, but the reality is that they will take time to reach us all and for the pandemic to be considered truly over.
The pressure to find good solutions falls on line managers and HR practitioners
We can all acknowledge that the past 12 months have taught us a lot and made us re-evaluate everything about the way we work. Even though the digital revolution was already well underway when COVID hit, it accelerated exponentially with the sudden need for an online workforce. This presented challenges for leadership across every industry, especially in those businesses that had been dragging their feet in getting digital tools established.
The new way of working also meant that we learned a lot about what people can and can’t cope with. While some adjusted quickly to remote working conditions in the shorter term, many struggled over time with feelings of isolation and disassociation. Before this is all over, almost everyone will have felt the need for renewed connection, better balance, and more effective and flexible ways to stay tuned-in to their work, their colleagues, and their company’s culture and values.
While these are challenges that we all face regardless of seniority or profession, much of the pressure to find good solutions falls on line managers and HR practitioners. More than ever before, creativity and innovation in people management are what’s needed.
Use of technology frees up time for human connection
The good news is that part of the solution is already out there, you just need to put your feet on the path to getting it in place. This lies in finding and adopting tools that help your people managers stay in touch with their reports on a regular basis, and how they can use the information they gather to give upper management an overall view of how things are going. Pulse surveys can help with the overview, but as far as helping your staff feel connected and heard, there’s no replacement for face-to-face contact, even if it must be made via video calls.
An HR system benefits the entire organisation
HR systems that support one-to-one check-ins, absence management, and other kinds of employee follow-up are an essential tool when remote or hybrid work is the norm. But they have sweeping benefits for the entire organisation. Digital HR systems are advantageous to:
- Leadership – important high-level data and trends can help you see how your organisation is coping with remote work.
- HR – with processes automated, HR staff can turn their resources toward more strategic work.
- IT – the master data element of a comprehensive HR system can handle access management, licence maintenance, and feed data to other systems such as payroll and ERP.
- Managers – by lowering the threshold for beginning a round of status meetings, check-ins and/or performance management sessions, line managers have more time to spend doing the work that matters.
- Employees – with self-service access to HR information and support, employees will feel more in touch with the organisation and their part in it.
Have you been thinking of introducing an HR system in your organisation but you don't really know where to start? Based on our extensive experience we have written an easy to read guide with tips and tricks to how you can move forward with your digitalisation of HR.
Download the guide