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Relevance of Hygiene HR Practices
- by Meeta Gangrade

The Covid-19 pandemic has altered everything - from business models to the way we live. Nature often throws extreme challenges and uncertainties. Organizations who use adversity as a new opportunity to completely redesign and rethink their business models will reap tremendous amounts of benefits in the coming times. This is true for the HR function too, which has typically been involved with culture, diversity, performance and routine annual agendas over the last couple of years.

When the Covid-19 crisis first hit us, there was confusion all around, as no one knew how long would the crisis last. Initially, as expected, there was a knee jerk reaction. There was hope that the crisis would not last long. Then, as reality started biting in, there was acceptance of the crisis, and afew leading organizations started moving from coping to thriving with new business models. If you have not started on this journey, it is time to start 2021 with a completely new agenda.

The need to rethink HR practices in a post-Covid world

As we start looking at working in a post-Covid world, we need to relook at some of the traditional HR practices. The Covid-19 crisis has changed a lot of processes in the short term. Many organizations have benefited from the changed HR processes, and it is important that we take some of the best practices learnt from this crisis to create better places to work.

Some of the key areas that need to be rethought or transformed include:

Working hours

This is no longer a hygiene discussion. In fact, organizations need to rapidly redesign this and look at what makes sense. Long bursts of vacation may no longer be the norm. Individuals may need to actually be given more frequent time off helping them detox from lock-down fatigue. Travel is no longer a highpoint of holidays. Giving your employees experiences at home to detox or organizing safe getaways maybe a new norm.

Talent Acquisition

With the Covid-19 crisis, every organization in some ways has realized that location is no longer a constraint to talent. It is time to create a unique way to engage with talent anywhere in the world and create tools and platforms to make them productive and integrated in your culture. It is time to see if you are an overhead heavy or a lean organization. It is time to relook at your hiring strategy and see if you can create a great pool of virtual talent anywhere in the world. Key to success will lie not in thinking this, but creating mechanisms to take risks and hire for competencies where location and availability was a challenge. Creating scalable tests or live project experience based hiring methods. Creating policies which are futuristic, employee's life stage focused compelling anyone in any part of the world to join your organization.

Outcomes and Performance Management

This space needs a complete rehaul. Most performance systems traditionally measure steps and ways in which people delivered. Very few truly measured what you delivered. In the remote and virtual infrastructure, it is evident that teams need to start becoming responsible for outcomes versus conversations or presence. The culture of creating a monitoring-intensive organization and culture has to go away. More trust and outcome-based organizations have to be built. Overnight, we needed to trust our workforce when employees started working from home. We need to move away from the ?Swipe in Swipe out' culture and timesheet tracking systems. Being engaged, effective and productive is essential. Having skills beyond what you were traditionally good at has emerged critical for success. You no longer have team mates and buddies to do your work. One needs to become more independent and outcome based. This space will need significant buy in from business leaders. But without this motivation and outcomes will not be guaranteed.

Designing Engagement

The days of organizing floor catchups, townhalls, outings, event evenings is no longer relevant. With too much happening online, the HR team needs to rethink how spurts of connect at work can actually be used to recreate lost bonds. Virtual events have become harder to organize. Organizations may not have the infrastructure to run these events effectively. Perhaps leveraging apps and platforms combined with local safe small events will become important. Some interesting platforms have emerged and features like online games, polls, limelight and breakout conversations are now part of basic expectations.

Emotional Distancing

This is an important aspect that needs to be focused in 2021. HR's need to focus on reducing the same, creating time, bandwidth and scalable solutions to connect and truly understand if their employees are emotionally engaged and new surveys and interaction points will need to be configured. Seeming engaged and being engaged are two different things. HR needs to have the emotional intelligence and methods to sense the level and extent of emotional distance.

Safety and Vaccine

This is a new agenda and was never part of the hygiene practices. Designing safe organizations well supported by healthcare systems are critical today. Providing help for getting employees vaccinated and providing support to the family are going to become extremely necessary.


All existing policies need to be redesigned keeping in light the flexibility, change in format and ways of working. Policies around travel may not be relevant. New benefits may need to be designed.

The designed list above is the beginning of the newer focus areas that HR and organizations need to work on.

The world is constantly changing, and the future is always going to be dynamic. It is time to take action and drive change. Your organization can be the catalyst for inspiring a new HR culture. You can be the architect of this new design.

Meeta Gangrade, Chief Digital and Operating officer at 1to1help.net expresses her opinion on how traditional HR practices need to be re-looked at, what are some ideas. However, more of this will be deliberated at a Webinar on 30th January 2021: Register now https://assochamindia.webex.com/assochamindia/onstage/g.php?MTID=e1a6d37c3624053f321c0793d5d00adb6


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    Mar 03, 2022

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  • Safety Membership
    Feb 28, 2022

    I read this post your post so nice and very informative post thanks for sharing this post!

  • Bhabani
    Dec 13, 2021

    Great things undertaken by HR for the changing needs. Most of the HR policies and their implementation at every stage needs for a change. There is a scope to improve operating location preference i.e To develop one forum where officers can put their preferred location among the operated locations which fits to their domain .

  • kiju
    Oct 19, 2021

    very good

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