2020 will be a year for the history books, that’s for sure, and it is having huge impacts on our workload and career trajectory. Every department has had to adapt but none have been challenged the way that HR has this year.
First, when the economy slows the first team to get laid off is talent acquisition, hiring freezes go into place and recruiters no longer have jobs. Next, if a company wants to tighten their budget, the very first place they look is in G&A costs. You know what falls in G&A costs, finance, accounting, IT and yep, Human Resources. Since the economy is going wild, finance people seem to be a bit more valuable and we turn towards HR for budget cuts. If you are reading this and your job was impacted by these budget cuts, I am sorry and know that you will find something bigger and better soon.
Even if your company didn’t make reductions to HR, their work didn’t stay constant, in fact, it grew like crazy. Work from home policies, Human Resources had to jump on that in a matter of hours. Processing terminations from layoffs, that falls on HR. Managing employee relations during political protests over causes as serious as racism, People Teams take care of that too. Every employee's personal problem that is impacting their work because they are trapped at home with their crazy family, HR is there to support these struggles. All of these major tasks are new outside of the normal operations that your People team was handling before 2020.
So if you are part of People Operations at your company, you may be feeling exhausted and drowning in your work. You are likely thinking that there is no time left to focus on culture programs, but we are here to tell you that now more than ever your employees need to lean on your company culture to keep morale high. Keep encouraging your employees to connect and virtually socialize through platforms like Shaka. Launch wellness competitions like walking challenges to encourage employees to get up and get moving. Host virtual events like guest speakers or BINGO via Zoom. Shaka can manage the communications and organization for all of the ideas so you don’t have to add more work to your already full plate.
Here is a great article discussing how important company culture is during this crisis and that many companies have had to redefine their culture during this time. The final paragraphs of the article touch on how important it is for leaders to show they care and express gratitude. This reminded us that People Teams very rarely get told thank you. They spend time recognizing and celebrating so many others in the company and they rarely get to celebrate themselves. So if you are reading this and you are not a member of a people operations team, go thank someone at your company who is, let them know they are extra appreciated during this crazy year.