The finance chiefs in the corporate world are the first people everyone turns to when a financial crisis strikes. This was the case during the 2007-09 business crisis when the business world was in shambles. A company with a good Chief Financial Officer is one who makes it or breaks the company, that much is very clear to all in the business world. But the coronavirus crisis is a different ball game altogether, bringing back the focus on the department that many people consider secondary – the Human Resources. A tenacious HR chief is the need of the hour in crisis such as the current coronavirus epidemic.
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Role of a CHRO flare-up in tandem with the coronavirus crisis
The CHROs are the think tanks of the corporate world and their decisions in times as crucial as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can help boost employee morale, overlook the mental and physical well being of their employees and also make sure the remote workers are productive. Their decision to lay off employees during situations like this global lockdown is also another critical aspect of their job.
Many large corporations all over the world were greatly dependent on people analytics to establish a path in the past and also in the current scenario. A pandemic as enormous as this has made the world feel its effects on the health of the workers and the business in general. With time the duties of the corporate Human Resources chief and their responsibilities towards the employees have seen a vertical trend in power. A business cannot function without providing the necessary products and services that it promises. In the same way it cannot function without the skilled employees who provide the said services. Therefore, fulfilling the staffing needs and making sure the right talents are hired into the organization are essential duties and are bringing back the focus on HR personnels.
A CHRO is the need of the hour for your human capital
With great power comes great responsibility. Corporate HR is similar to finance in terms of using predictive tools that help in boosting the business goals and find the best business opportunities. Using algorithms and people analytics to avoid attrition and better understand the human tendencies of employees to engagement, compensation and better career opportunities is now a major role that CHROs play rather than only concentrating on administrative tasks. The COVID-19 epidemic is pushing Corporate HR chiefs to take the reins of the business by boosting the morale of the remote workers and by tracking their productivity.
Amid the coronavirus crisis, the company CHROs are establishing control over their lines of communication so as to keep all the remote workers well informed. The shift from coming to the office on a regular basis to working remotely can be difficult for quite a few but the Human Resource chiefs should prepare the employees especially during the initial days. The employees certainly face a situation of unrest with many companies trying to cut costs by laying off a huge chunk of the workforce. Setting up support groups for them to discuss their fears and queries is a good way of showing empathy to the employees. The CHROs need to step in and reconsider the company workflow. Policies that affect the payroll of staff need to be monitored and the staff can be reskilled or deployed in another part/process of the organization.
Working from home has become the new normal for many workers around the world. If anything, the coronavirus lockdown has taught us that things can change very quickly and we as workers can adapt to crisis. A good corporate HR is therefore a necessity rather than a privilege as we never know when tragedy can strike. As the world is preparing itself to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic, companies are relying on HR professionals to ease the anxiety of remote workers and keep them motivated. As the HR deals with the coronavirus crisis in these paradoxical times, they are also growing closer to their people. The future is uncertain, and in these times the CHROs need to chalk out a plan to deal with the crisis as we do not know whether this will go on for a few months or will we face an economic slowdown for years to come. Whatever may be the outcome, we are in the midst of a substantial change in the way we conduct business with the focus being on the HR chiefs.
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- “First Look at Chief Human Resources Officer Compensation Trends in 2019” by Scott Allen in August 2019 for Redford Articles
- “People Before Strategy: A New Role for the CHRO by Ram Charan , Dominic Barton and Dennis Carey for the Harvard Business Review, July–August 2015 Issue