CEO Mayank Parekh’s perspectives on how COVID-19 will change HR

As the world grapples with a global pandemic, the world of work has been thrown into a whirlwind. Unprecedented measures such as travel restrictions, lockdowns and safe distancing have crippled even the best of BCPs out there. Coupled with the exponential pace at which events have unfolded, and its devastating repercussions on our communities – HR finds itself in the midst of a perfect storm.

Yet we are not alone. I am heartened at the way the IHRP Community has responded to support each other. IHRP Connect has been buzzing away with helpful suggestions and sharing in response to the many queries that have been posted. We also hosted a webinar featuring Robert Chong, IHRP-MP® and a senior representative from MOM. The IHRP team is currently putting together a curated collection of COVID-19 related resources for sharing. We plan to host this on our website, so it can also be accessed beyond the IHRP Community. Another of our Master Professionals, Carmen Wee has kindly agreed to help guide the effort and lead the cross-industry taskforce members that we are setting up. We look forward to more volunteers from the community to join the effort. Please reach out to us at hello@ihrp.sg.

Looking ahead, I am confident that the HR profession will emerge stronger than ever from COVID-19. Firstly, adoption of HR technology will accelerate. Organisations that have fared much better during this crisis are those that made investments in HR technology and processes to enable remote work and digitally-enabled their employee touch-points. And these organisations are likely to be faster as well on the uptake. Employees on their part, having experienced prolonged period of remote working, will more than ever demand this as a norm than an exception.

Secondly, strategic workforce planning will be re-prioritised to a “must-have”. In particular, the organisation’s ability to respond to business disruptions hinges on the agility and preparedness of its workforce. Organisations will demand a more localised, near-site sourcing of talent with a more generalised skill-sets for flexibility. Just as supply chains will be reconfigured, so will global talent pools and pipelines.

Finally, boards, investors, regulators and governments will demand far more transparency over business contingency plans and put a spotlight on HR’s role as a champion for progressive and sustainable employment practices. This will be akin to impact Sarbanes-Oxley Act had in 2002 to improve internal controls, financial management processes and capabilities. Organisations will emerge from one of the darkest periods in human history, much more “human” and will look towards a rejuvenated HR to lead the way.

#StaySafe #StayHealthy #StayUnited