The past year has torn back the traditional office curtains to reveal the inner workings of the human world behind spreadsheets, balance sheets, KPIs and bottom lines. It is the people who drive the business onwards, who had to work from kitchen tables and unsteady bar stools, and who pushed out the boat at 11pm while juggling kids and a global crisis.
It shone a light into the crevices that often go unnoticed in the business, and highlighted how important it has become to invest into human resources (HR). According to Nicol Myburgh, Head: CRS Technologies HCM Business Unit, employees are critical to the success or failure of the company and now is the time to invest into their success with the right HR practices.
“It’s all about gathering information, collecting the data on your people, and using this data to ensure that your employees are engaged and aligned with your business goals,” he explains. “It has never been more important to have these insights than today, in the pandemic. People need to see their value, they need to understand how their jobs impact the business as a whole, and they need to know what lies ahead.”
HR takes on this role, and with the right tools, can use data and insights to refine the role and how HR professionals engage with employees. They can ensure that your people understand the big picture and how their responsibilities influence others. And they can pull people into the business when they feel disengaged or disenfranchised. This is particularly relevant today with many people still working from home and rising incidents of burnout and fatigue. People need to be inspired and made to feel that their contributions have meaning beyond the 9-5.
“The risk of not paying attention is losing your people, and they are your most valuable asset,” says Myburgh. “If you lose your top performers now, you are going to struggle to replace them in the current market. If you already have, then you need to understand why you lost them and how to prevent this in the future. This is where your investment into HR can make all the difference.”
The reality is that only a percentage of people will return to the office over the next six to eight months; many will continue to work from home as the virus continues to impact health and safety. Many companies have found that the work-from-home ethos has been more productive and valuable for them so they’re actively encouraging people to stay at home, if that’s their preferred approach. Either way, it means that the workforce is fractured, which makes a cohesive and well-designed HR strategy crucial to ensuring ongoing engagement and productivity.
“There are both short and long-term benefits to investing into your HR resources,” concludes Myburgh. “In the short term, you are putting processes in place that can manage the diverse employee landscape and that can take multiple workstyles into account. In the long term, you’re building a foundation that will put people first, and that will cut out the infighting, politics and negative complexities that come with poor communication and visibility.”
HR is a positive tool that can be used to unlock potential, growth and employee wellness. It is also a shield against the risks that come with a disengaged and fractured workforce. If you invest in HR now, then you’re preparing for tomorrow using the lessons learned from the uncertainty of yesterday.
For more information, go to www.crs.co.za