Will the Covid-19 crisis redefine the HR function?

The role of the human resources department is fundamental during the epidemic crisis linked to covid-19 to respond to human, leadership and also organizational challenges. This global pandemic is transforming the ways of working but also the missions of HR. How to adapt the life of the collective to the crisis? What place should digital be given to support business changes? But will this crisis redefine the HR function? Explanations!

The HR function: an essential link in the company during the health crisis

Maintaining effective social dialogue, setting up teleworking, partial unemployment, ensuring time management or even maintaining the managerial link: these were the missions of HR professionals for several months. Indeed, the HR function has been greatly expanded because it has put on several additional caps, making itself more essential than ever. She who complained for a few years of being confined only to administrative missions! It’s something else now! The HR function is now on the hats and must respond to various issues.

In addition, this unprecedented epidemic crisis seems to have strengthened the links between the general management and that of human resources. Indeed, the latter is now based much more on their proposals. But will the HR function succeed in meeting the challenges? After questioning a few HR professionals, it seems that they feel much more listened to and considered than in previous years. So it took a global health crisis to realize it! Thank you covid-19! However, beware: this does not mean that everything is fine. Indeed, some of them still feel exhausted by this episode and find themselves facing an uncertain future.

Finally, it should be noted that this quarantine has had serious consequences within companies and the HR function must imperatively continue to support employees during this transition.

The HR function: supporting employees and organizations!

The covid-19 crisis has shown that the HR function is at the heart of organizations and has become one of the action arms of the company’s executive committee. With regard to supporting employees, it is their responsibility to reinvent skills management as well as to adapt organizations in line with new operating methods. But not only, the priorities are also the following:

  • Sustain the new ways of working
  • Learn from the crisis as well as from the “new” role and organization of the HR function

Also, it is imperative to take into account changes in work behavior and adapt current tools. Anticipation, communication and flexibility are the key words of HR professionals!

In addition, HR professionals must maintain social ties and develop the skills of everyone without exception. Added to this is the fact that the well-being of employees must now come first, regardless of the situation!

Finally, the role of the HR function will be to ensure more than ever that the human dimension is not forgotten. It will have to make sure to place the individual at the highest level and obtain the support of the whole company!

Towards a new HR function?

The practice of remote teleworking and the new exceptional measures applied within companies have greatly modified working conditions. Indeed, it has become essential to “digitize” HR processes. It’s a matter of necessity!

To do this, HR departments will have to re-examine all work organizations, HR policies and tools to offer employees a new experience combining human and digital. Moreover, less digital HR people have easily discovered work using digital technology. It was time ! Digitization now supports HR in times of crisis!

In addition, digitization will help the HR function to avoid time-consuming tasks and refocus on the strategic objectives of the company. In other words, the health crisis is accelerating the digitization of the HR function in order to make it more agile, particularly in crisis management.

In addition, organization and adaptation are two soft skills to be taken into account and to be reinvented by the HR function if it still wants to stay in the race! The latter must take a strategic turn in supporting employees by capitalizing on the sharing of best practices. The HR function must itself review its organization as of today!

Finally, in some companies, it should be remembered that this crisis may not transform the HR function but innovate it!

Be that as it may, the covid-19 crisis is truly leading to a change in organizational priorities but also in HR missions for the years to come. Many HRDs anticipate an “accelerated digitization” of the company as a positive consequence of this crisis. Moreover, the creativity of the latter is in the spotlight in this very special period! Ultimately, Which is certain and that this period will probably leave indelible traces on the HR strategies of tomorrow.

You will understand: the health crisis has redistributed the cards for HR professionals by offering them a central role within the company. Hopefully it will hold up all the same because the stake will be to keep this new place! To be continued …


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