HR departments play a key role in attending to employees’ needs, wellbeing and ability to work to their best potential. Although the past year has challenged HR teams in the way that they support the workforce, it has also offered an opportunity to refresh and refine how they operate.
On this journey to adapting to a hybrid workforce, policies have already started to change based on current employee needs – catering for more flexible working hours and remote work locations. 72% of talent professionals agree that work flexibility will be very important for the future of HR and recruiting. In this sense, the pandemic may have initiated the biggest work from home experiment ever, but it also opened up the opportunity to put new ways of working to practice.
Responding to people’s needs
Human Resources experts that participated in an Uber for Business webinar, believe that achieving work-life balance at home will take some time for us all to get our heads around with a few internal adjustments. HR and People Management teams can play a key role in helping ease anxieties, getting staff back to work and keeping a tight ship so the workplace is clean and safe.
Dr Kay Sadhev, founder of Organisation Development & Research Ltd, highlights that during times of change communication is key, including keeping people up to date with the context and what the changes are on a regular basis. Jane Si, Uber’s Senior HR Manager for Europe Middle East and Asia, agrees – and she sees a silver lining to an otherwise complex few months.
“Sometimes it takes these moments to get organisations reflecting and thinking how they want to move things forward. Now more than ever there’s a greater focus placed on what individuals specifically need – and how do we accommodate them and support them during these unprecedented times.”Jane Si, Uber’s Senior HR Manager for Europe Middle East and Asia
Those who are working from home on a day-to-day basis will understand the difficulties of delivering a high standard of work, whilst staying productive and positive. With colleagues not being able to see each other face-to-face, this is the right time to reach out and check-in to see how people can be supported at home. The HR team doesn’t always have to have the answer, but taking that first step and getting in touch with employees starts the conversation.
“Although the process has been difficult for many companies to navigate, a lot of doing so effectively, is about being positive and solution-driven, even in the face of change.”Jane Si, Uber’s Senior HR Manager for Europe Middle East and Asia
Steps towards returning to the workplace
As offices navigate returns to work, there is an opportunity for transformation within HR departments. We need to be looking at how systems have been in the past and to make some changes, primarily so that our people know they are a priority. How could your team move forwards with a better work environment? Would it help to adjust working hours, or adopt more flexible work from home policies?
One key aspect is learning how teams located around the world can learn from each other. This goes for teams that work together in different time zones, with different systems, having to adapt to new ways of working with each other, all whilst maintaining productivity levels and team morale.
Finding a balance for your people
As priorities change and evolve, so do roles and responsibilities. Many companies are looking at how their teams are working to adapt. Employee welfare is one of those adjustments, as people’s job titles may stay the same, their workload certainly hasn’t – not only do line managers and leaders need to do their job, but they now are responsible for the wider team morale.
“It is important to find a balance between the line managers and leaders taking a much more explicit and overt role, because they are orchestrating the whole process.”Jane Si, Uber’s Senior HR Manager for Europe Middle East and Asia
A one-size fits all solution
With the shift in how different employees really need to be supported on a day-to-day basis, finding a solution for making employees feel cared for and safe during this time is key. Uber for Business has helped HR departments adjust current policies to include solutions for employees working from home and commuting back to the office.
Companies are also turning towards Uber for Business for safe, convenient and seamlessly integrated commutes for their employees – both locally, and as they begin travelling for work in unfamiliar territories.
For more insight into how you can help your team work from home during this time of the year, read up about how HR can create a better employee experience post-COVID.