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Influence on HR Metrics in a Global Pandemic

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HR metrics for HR leaders

Lately, human resources became strategic, measuring the output of various HR efforts became vital for human resources professionals. Now the pandemic has grown and human resources teams are bound to change their metrics.

Pandemic hit businesses extremely bad, changing the way we work, communicate, and collaborate. Now Stand –up meetings turned into zoom calls, briefs became collaboration chats, and solving employee physical and psychological problems became a priority for employers.  HR technology, tools that facilitate employee onboarding, orientation, and more, are getting the respect and attention it deserves. Amid declining revenues, paper-thin profits, this was admittedly an opportunity to gauge how companies look at their employees.

Today HR leaders are analyzing everything from remote work performance to employee well-being. Health and wellness, though, has been a major area of function for human resources. The focus on employee health is strong and unlike before. The onset of a global pandemic is forcing employers to focus on areas that mattered earlier but took a backseat among other priorities. Employee wellness and health are one of those areas.

After the pandemic, employee wellness is a priority for companies now. Earlier physical and mental wellness was a talked about topic in the human resources community. There’s been little to zero importance, but everybody is talking about, at least dedicatedly has become a part of the work culture.

Employee experience is the prime focus

The COVID-19 trends have given rise to increased emphasis on wellness; health as a driver of productivity and the importance of employee experience. The role of human resource officers is important in creating a connected and collaborative work culture. To achieve this, it is important to learn how to measure the effectiveness of our approaches in these times.

Employers have been trying to do this for a long time now, but the magnitude at which this is happening now has increased. Who we’re measuring hasn’t changed, but how we measure, the frequency of measurement, what we measure, and the insights we provide upon measurement is changing. These changes have been underway, but the rate at which this is happening is fast and at an unpredictably fast rate.

The focus of these questions is to uncover who employees are, that make up an organization, what’s their experience like, and understand the organizational brand beyond what’s known to the world.

While HR metrics may not have changed, but for collecting them and the impact of the results has been great than ever before. The way companies are responding to the current times will go a very long way. It will not just decide the course of their relationship with employees, but also impact future recruitment and their relationship with existing employees and customers.

Mental health and diversity are two areas that are equally important for organizations right now. Understanding how organizations can meet the needs of its people physically and psychologically is another part of the larger puzzle employers need to solve.

Workforce Planning 

Several businesses have transitioned to remote work. However, for a few businesses, the remote work model doesn’t work. In this situation, employers need to figure out the skills and kind of people it needs to run their business successfully. HR leaders need to offer effective ways to learn and inspire a culture of learning that helps people develop skills and see the business overcome the crisis and propel them into the future.

Workforce planning earlier was structured around a subset of jobs that were critical to keep a business successful and keep achieving business targets. Organizations now need to think about new tasks and positions that have to be done and take inventory of who we have that can do them. Employers now have an opportunity to see what can be done with technology and what can be done by non-traditional workforces.

This data-driven approach to transform work was on agenda for a lot of companies. The onset of a pandemic, however, has shortened the time frame and what was expected to be done in the next 2-5 years is now supposed to be done in a matter of weeks or months.

A distributed workforce and the need to succeed is influencing HR metrics. This is an opportunity for organizations to see how AI, machine learning, HR tech, and other new means can streamline business operations and operate successfully.

Final words

The latest pandemic is an opportunity for businesses to evolve. An evolution that would have taken years would happen in a few weeks. Surely, the uncertainty and anxiety associated with this change can be crippling for employers, but this situation is the true test for leaders. Global HR leaders don’t have it any differently. Now that remote workforce is a norm, the effectiveness of new HR operations will be put through tests.

Will leaders change the way human resources operate or will they find better metrics to gauge their efforts?

Ariaa Reeds is a professional writer who curates articles for a variety of online publications. She has extensive experience writing on a diverse range of topics including business, education, finance, travel, health and technology.

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