The role of human resources in business continuity planning

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Overall role of HR

At all levels of the company,  HR professionals and managers work together to develop employees skills. For instance, HR professionals advise supervisors and managers how to assign different roles to employees in the organization, thereby helping the company adapt changing environment successfully. In a flexible company, employees are shifted around to several business functions based on employee preferences and business priorities. Human capital professionals also suggest strategies to increase employee commitment to the company.

HR contributions to business continuity

Human resources play a unique role when it comes to business continuity. They offer insights and data on the most vital element of any company i.e. its people; The HR functions have undergone huge changes due to technological advancements and COVID-19. These functions work to help the organization attain its strategic goals, and position human resources as an integral resource. After all, human resources are critical players in restarting or maintaining business operations after a condemnatory event.

Specific HR actions that contribute to business continuity

Provided below are some key ways human resource professionals can work with company leaders to ensure business continuity during the pandemic and beyond.

Drive the communication strategy

When there are changes taking place in the organization, HR leaders are at the forefront of employee communication. One of the core HR functions in such situations is to work with executives who belong to different departments to build a sound communication strategy that motivates, reassures, and informs employees through challenging times. Human resource leaders must also establish a minimum communication quality standard so that each communication piece to be conveyed is properly planned. Communication is not always about how the company communicates with its people. Setting up and maintaining open, two-way communication with people that seeks transparent conversations, inputs, and feedbacks, uplifting constructive dialogues, and promoting honest conversations are important.

Guide workforce decisions

According to the recent current unemployment reports by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), minorities and women are the ones who are impacted more than any other groups due to COVID-19. As changes force companies to reduce or restructure their workforce, HR strategies set by human resource leaders must not sideline or dismiss equality and inclusion initiatives. They need to be champions of these initiatives and remind the organization’s executives of the “why” behind them.

Acting with confidence

From leading change initiatives to managing a fully remote workforce during times of uncertainty, most HR leaders are learning difficult leadership lessons in a challenging environment. To overcome these challenges, an HR strategy that identifies high-priority areas, and an action plan to equip people with the required resources and tools are needed. This will enable human resource leaders to better support their teams, maintain morale and mitigate performance dips.

Lead workplace re-entry planning

These days working in organizations is different than before, and significant planning and preparation are extremely important to sustain in this new market. Many organizations are already well on their way to establishing procedures and policies for ensuring a flexible, safe, and healthy environment while employees return to offices. HR leaders have an intrinsic ability to lead with empathy, communicate effectively, and drive positive change within the companies. It is difficult to imagine a situation where these qualities are no more significant than where we are today. HR strategy and leadership can help lead their companies through difficult times by emphasizing the need for people-first operations and business decisions that reinforce values-driven whether in good times or bad.