hrtechoutlook

New reality for Leaders and HR

By Andrzej Borczyk, HR Director/Board Member, Grupa Zywiec

Andrzej Borczyk, HR Director/Board Member, Grupa Zywiec

We are facing the biggest crisis in the last decade. We had all expected the economy one but did not realize what will be the cause of that. We are fighting with something totally new and unexpected, however, Bill Gates 5 years ago at TEDEX presented that we should not be afraid of nuclear war but the next type of Virus.

We are all in the health crisis, which is impacting us, our families, the loved ones, and the way we live and work. Our lives in the last three weeks have changed dramatically. At the beginning of the year, we all watched the news coming from China, but probably most of us thought it is far away and compared it to the seasonal flu. Now we are facing the situation as we are locked down at home and worried about our future. Not only from the health perspective but also from the economy and business perspective. We hear that a lot of companies have started to freeze recruitments. In this new reality, roles of leaders and HR are crucial to keep organizations going and to take the right decisions to rethink and reorganize and be ready for the future.

In Grupa Zywiec 2 years ago we had launched a new model of Leadership. I believe that today it is even more valid.

Connect with your team and yourself. Be authentic, show empathy and be close to your people in these hardest time. It is much tougher because we have to do it in many cases remotely. We need to understand the challenges faced by individual and show people that we care. We should dedicate our time and discuss not only about business but also on how to cope up the current reality. Its is not the same for everybody delivering work from home— having kids around or taking care for parents. We need to emphasize on personal and health situation as this is most important for people now.

"In this new reality, roles of leaders and HR are crucial to keep organizations going and take the right decisions to rethink and reorganize and be ready for the future"

Delivering results and keeping business continuity is a must to keep the company operational and secure the jobs for the future. Together with our teams leader has to pick up the best decision for now and coming weeks. The way we act in coming days will impact the unknown future. We need to ensure how we can use our resources the best way and re direct them. We have to set clear goals and keep the dialogue what we can do differently every day.

Developing the skills of your people and yourself is essential. We can not be successful if we can not adapt and learn very fast in the new reality. In the current situation, we have to ensure that we know how to act. We need to focus on remote management for leaders but also for those employee who work from home. On the other hand, maintaining proper mental and physical health is becoming bigger and bigger challenge.

Shaping the future seems a far away reality today, but we hope all this will pass one day and we must motivate the employees to realize their full potential. Every leader needs to build scenarios for the present and for the future. That capability is becoming more critical now. The future of our companies and our teams depends on how we build and execute the scenarios of our business continuity plan.

How HR role is changing? We need to act faster and adopt to new reality supporting the business in the best way we can.

- Be close to people, understand the challenges and grow the capabilities. We have to reschedule our long term plans into week by week activities to strengthen our people in new reality. Deliver webinars and online training only in those areas that really matters. Do not forget on mental and physical safety. Communicate, communicate and communicate that everyone in the company knows what’s going on.

- Build scenarios for now and for the future to keep people motivated and engaged. People are our most valuable resources that we need to keep our business going.

- Combine people with new technologies. In remote working, it is significant to use latest, cutting-edge technologies. HR has to ensure that all the resources used are adding value helping people to connect and achieve their goals to keep the company going.

We read many articles how COVID will impact the world and the way we live and work. It has changed it already. At this critical juncture, HR is poised to play a crucial role together with organizational leaders to manage that change. Stay close with people, understand their challenges, and create the best possible scenarios that we can execute. It will pass one day, nobody is sure when and how people behaviors will change. But, one thing is clear, we need to go through that together. People and technology.

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