Working arrangements | Pandemic lessons for HR pros

Pandemic lessons for HR pros

By Sally Sourbron - Senior HR Director for EMEA at ServiceNow

COVID-19 has forced us all to be flexible about working arrangements. Companies should heed that lesson when we eventually return to workplaces.

Throughout last year, the world of work has seen unimaginable change. The way we stay in touch has changed, as have our routines and our expectations of each other. Across the board, the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic have required flexibility on all fronts.

As a key strategic enabler for business, HR has a significant role to play in helping us adapt to this new normal. Here’s what HR leaders must keep front of mind…

Go at your own pace

It’s important to remember that you don’t need to make rapid decisions in response to every new change. By looking beyond the everyday, and making decisions based on the individual needs and choices of your business, you remove the pressure of having to make contingency plans for every development.

At ServiceNow we have deliberately taken a slow follower approach. This allows us to be more agile, leaves our employees feeling more supported, and provides a greater continuity of service for your customers, too.

Health comes first

It almost goes without saying, but health and safety must remain the No. 1 priority — both mental and physical. We’ve all dealt with this crisis in very different ways, and everyone will have different priorities and concerns.

It’s important to offer employees choice where possible and equip them with the tools they need to work, wherever they are. For those who do choose to eventually go back, crisis management and safety apps, like our COVID-19 Response and Safe Workplace apps, ensure we return in a safe manner.

Maintain culture

It’s vital we keep culture alive in our workforce. Many companies have stepped up social offerings to keep spirits high and help team bonding from afar.

At ServiceNow, we pride ourselves on being like an extended family, having offered well-being activities not just to our employees, but to their families, friends, and acquaintances, too.

That sense of belonging is vitally important to a successful business.

Look to the future

The past six months have seen a mass-customisation of work by employees. This will put immense pressure on HR to work differently and to double down on how they manage talent.

There’s a range of things to consider. How do you set goals, objectives, and expectations for how teams and individuals are going to work? How do we operate effectively on a local level, whilst remaining aware of the greater, global issues that impact our businesses?

Every company will have a different answer. At the very least, we’ll all need to take a fresh look at KPIs and training programmes to ensure we’re getting the most out of our employees.

Discover more Employee Experience insights for business leaders in our EMEA Workflow Guide.

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