During a crisis, it’s essential to build bridges, not barriers. For HR, this means focusing on enabling the company to thrive amid uncertainty and to engage and support employees to give their best.
“HR is facing a new frontier in terms of how employees learn, think, work, serve and lead,” said Hamidah Naziadin, Group Chief People Officer, CIMB addressing the audience in TechHR 2020. “The HR function needs to review each and every single component in the employee work life cycle – from attracting, recruiting, onboarding to developing, retaining and the exit formalities,”
At CIMB, the company focused on specific interventions in each of the focus areas:
- Recruiting – There was a need to broaden the talent selection pool, consider alternate employment options and digitalize the process to improve candidate experience.
- Develop – Move towards co-creating career and development paths, so employees are empowered to take charge and design their own learning through a digital platform.
- Appraise – Crowdsourced performance data, focus on forward looking development conversation and have regular check-ins
- Reward – Leverage analytics to formulate agile, holistic, personalized reward strategy, provide employee choice and refine the new performance management framework.
When the employee doesn’t see or experience the brand physically, how do you build the emotional connection that’s needed?
Trust and care as a bridge
Trust and care are essentially the new workplace’s currency. “When you’re able to assure that there’s a meaningful and genuine relationship with the employee that’s purpose driven, it creates a safe harbor for innovation and risk taking,” Hamidah said.
Employee wellness and wellbeing is critical. From flexible work arrangement to providing support to employees who need it, it’s critical to demonstrate care to your employees.
Ensuring a culture of trust and care at a time when we’re not physically present helps foster emotional connection which further drives brand loyalty and employee engagement.
Communication as a bridge
“There’s a need for ‘visible, decision, positive’ communication. HR has to take responsibility, and be the first to communicate,” Hamidah said.
Employees need to hear from the HR first – not from other stakeholders. Speed is important. And consistency in actions helps reaffirm words. Effective and clear communication takes away uncertainty and speculation.
Giving back as a bridge
A crisis like the current pandemic is an opportunity to give back to the community. Involve your employees to give back to the community and help others in need. Whether it’s identifying ways that the employees can support local efforts or enabling them to contribute to multiple financial channels, giving back to the community helps foster a sense of belonging.
As custodians of culture, HR needs to focus on building bridges. As the business landscape continues to evolve, HR needs to evolve their practice. In closing, Hamidah encouraged participants to keep asking questions – “Whatever you are going to propose for the future – whether it’s a policy, benefit, or a new way of working, ask two questions – is this going to be a barrier? And am I building bridges for my employees to bring organization success?”