On this International HR day, let me compliment all my colleagues from the fraternity for rising to the challenge and leading from the front in managing the COVID-19 crisis. Proud of my HR fraternity.
March 2020, we all realised that a pandemic is gripping us and between March,20 & April,20 the world had shutdown. Only businesses under essential services and commodities were operating. Since, I work in Pharma and Healthcare sector, we continued to work with unprecedented challenges and since haven’t shut down for a single day. Like me most of my colleagues became responsible for Crisis Management – a role that earlier HR supported, were now leading it, with the support of others.
We witnessed the horror of the largest migration of workers of all skill levels, but mostly semi-skilled and low-skilled levels to their home towns and cities from large industrial/services megapolis’s such as Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Gurgaon, etc. We not only witnessed a humanitarian crisis but also faced sever shortage of labour at our manufacturing plants, research facilities, warehouses, etc. HR professionals all over rose to the challenge and kept the lights on.
There were sectors and companies that had totally shut down and are/were facing severe impact and losses. Such as Aviation, Hospitality, Education, etc. Cost conservation/reduction and hence job losses were the worst in these sectors. There also, HR professionals all over rose to the challenge and despite being impacted themselves, they managed and led the difficult exercise of mass severances with respect and care.
Like Government, Healthcare and Financial sectors that never shutdown totally – even IT services and other digital product and services companies came to rescue by servicing consumers and students locked in their homes. It wasn’t easy for the companies to work in 100% work from home model. HR professionals all over these sectors rose to the challenge and created a new model that works effectively in service of its customers.
HR professionals boldly took the initiative and led from the front. They have now clearly added disaster/crisis scenario planning and its management to their role. Even more hearting was to see, the increased level of focus that HR professionals brought towards health and wellness and especially mental wellness during this period. We are creating better value in our organisations by encouraging virtual collaboration, engagement and are enabling people to accept and adapt to a new normal.
During the recent second wave most companies have witnessed unprecedented levels of home isolation, hospitalisation, even deaths of their employees due to COVID. HR professional again led from the front and have provided all possible support to their employees and their families for arranging tele-consultation or proving Oxygen Concentrators during home isolation or finding them beds in the hospitals or evolving benevolent and new polices to support the family of the deceased employees. Well done fellow colleagues and I have never been more proud of being a member of the HR fraternity than now. I am sure this pride will only grow bigger.
Thank you and wishing you all a happy #InternationalHRDay #2021