How do you define an essential worker?
It’s the question lots of people have been asking. There are obvious vocations like the NHS, the forces, Supermarket workers etc – but what about the people keeping companies running that are (and will be going forwards) vital to our economy? What about those working long hours in challenging work environments to make sure their companies are still there come the summer.
So the question is..
Has there ever been a time when the role of the Head of HR/People has been more in the spotlight and more crucial to a company’s success or survival?
I doubt it.
HR professionals across the country must have seen their roles elevated over the past couple of weeks as the people side of businesses comes into sharp focus. Whilst this must be daunting for some, I would expect it’s refreshing for others to be recognised for the critical role they hold in the company. Whilst still having to operate on a tactical level, HR professionals are operating strategically. They’re involved in nearly all board conversations because they are the link between the employees and senior leadership. No function is better placed to (pun not intended) take the temperature of the business than HR.
HR are getting pulled in every single direction right now. Not only are the being looked towards as leaders, they’re also managers, legal aides, psychologists, teachers, and in many instances, parents.
Whilst most of the population are thinking about their own individual daily roles and balancing their home/work life, HR are having to do that not just for themselves but for everybody in the company.
The real positive that could and should come out of this is that when we finally return to normality the view of HR will have shifted. I’m not suggesting that the role of HR hasn’t always been seen as incredibly important, I’m saying it should now be viewed as what it is – business critical.
So our hat’s go off to all those HR/People leaders and here’s hoping you get the recognition you deserve long after the world gets back to business.