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Human resource lessons learned from COVID-19

hr lessons from covid 19

COVID-19 accelerated the pace of digital transformation and led to the rapid and widespread adoption of new HR workforce trends. Many of HR lessons and practices are now established as standard processes for organizations worldwide.

One of the most obvious changes was new remote and flexible working arrangements.

However, the pandemic also brought to light other aspects of employee wellbeing, including mental health. This manifested itself in the form of ‘Quiet Quitting’ and unprecedented rates of employee turnover.

Additionally, investments in diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) and employee wellbeing, were not as impactful. The 2022 Alight international workforce and wellbeing mindset report revealed that we were facing an epidemic of stress in addition to the pandemic.

What did the COVID-19 pandemic teach HR professionals?

As we look towards the future of work, HR professionals can draw on the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. It emphasized the need to be agile, adaptable and proactive in responding to change.

The role of HR has expanded to improve workplace culture, enhance employee experience and foster diversity, equity and inclusion.

We are seeing more companies now with Chief Wellbeing Officers (CWO) and DE&I Directors working alongside HR Directors. Previously these roles tended to sit solely within the HR department.

Emerging post-pandemic HR and workforce trends

  1. Hybrid working is now the preferred working model for many. Organizations are responding with remote work options, flexible schedules and collaborative tools to facilitate communication and teamwork among distributed teams.
  2. Digital transformation is being prioritized by employers wanting to provide remote workers with an equitable employee experience. Employers recognize that flexibility is an attractive talent acquisition and retention benefit.
  3. Employee wellbeing is recognized as critical for employee engagement, productivity and retention. Links between holistic employee happiness and net profits have been proven.
  4. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is being prioritized by businesses wanting to address historical injustices and inequities and to benefit from the skill, perspectives and community of a diverse workforce.
  5. Reskilling and upskilling to ensure employees and the business have the skills needed to remain competitive are becoming central to learning and development strategies.

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