The world as we know it has changed drastically in just two short months. Layoffs, furloughs, and working from home has shifted how many Americans think about their jobs while those in in essential roles fight to have our basic safety needs met.
Human resource management extends beyond onboarding and payroll. Assisting employees with the next steps in their jobs– be it task-oriented or guiding them thought unexpected upheavals in the workforce– has never been more important. When staff members are trudging rocky waters with their jobs, HR can be the lighthouse that guides them to safety.
Human resources personnel are more than the office’s party brigade who know the ins and outs of your benefits package. HR members are the point of contact between a person and the entity for whom they work and stand up for the people within a company when they feel they may be too small on their own.
In this fast-paced business world where everything is abbreviated, it is easy to forget the that “H” in “HR” stands for human. That human connection between people and their jobs is what ensures that their rights are in the forefront and their autonomy is being respected.
There have been many times when I too felt that the HR department at work were fakes who disguised themselves as social workers but only had their best interests in mind. Employees feel this way because they have dealt with poorly trained (or mannered) HR representatives. After being failed by your HR department enough, the term “human resources” starts to leave a bad taste in one’s mouth.
But that can change. Good human resource managers can put the interests and rights of staff before the company and fight for what is truly right instead of sweeping everything under the carpet. Only after people begin to realize that they aren’t alone in their fight will they realize that human resources is more than the point of contact for changing the contribution for their 401k or getting a corner piece of Rand’s retirement
While we, as Americans, work to provide for ourselves and our families; some, like those of us in healthcare have an altruistic purpose to working as well. However, maybe the international pandemic can begin the shift from being a business-focused work model to a more individual-focused one.
Instead of people working for companies, companies work more for the people they employ. After the national health and workforce crises are a thing of the past, it will be important to not forget that it is the people who ensure that everything from hospitals to grocers work. Not the other way around.