Recharge your HR team for 2021

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By Nicole Burton

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the way organisations work, both now and into the future. During this testing period, HR Practitioners have been central in ensuring employees were kept safe, felt engaged and supported to work productively.

Many articles address how HR can support organisations and their employees, but very few mention how organisations can support their HR teams, and what skills HR Practitioners need to develop beyond 2020.

As we shift away from crisis management to building critical skills to enable a productive and engaged workforce, here are 5 ways to support your HR Team so they too can be motivated and effective to work through the next wave of challenges.

  1. Recharging HR

Throughout the pandemic there has been a focus on the wellbeing of staff – both mentally and physically. HR professionals invested their time and energy to research, generate and implement well-being programs for their organisations. Organisations in turn should ensure their HR team are taking care of their own well-being by actively encouraging them to identify and prioritise their own self-care needs.

It is also timely to review the existing skills your HR team and identify where new or stronger capabilities are in need. For example, are they well equipped to support your organisation with resilience building, mental health and stress management? These challenges will continue to impact workplaces beyond 2020.

  1. Stay connected as we continue to work remotely

Most HR teams are exhausted after navigating through unchartered waters and developing robust solutions to unprecedented problems. Reach out and connect regularly with your HR team to see how they’re doing, even as they begin return to the workplace. Regular check-ins (or ‘connects’ as we call them) is a positive and easy way to maintain open communication to build a candid, trusting and caring work relationship.

Your HR team will also welcome learning about how they performed as individuals and as a function during this time. A HR team strategy day (or session) prioritises space and time to reflect on what worked well, what didn’t and identify the opportunities and priorities to focus on as a function, for the year ahead.

  1. Support work flexibility

Give your HR team the freedom to develop new processes that allow for a more flexible workplace. This could mean allocating a certain number of hours per week for staff to work from home on a permanent basis, or greater work/life balance to work around their personal responsibilities and needs. These flexible work arrangements should be available to all staff, including your HR team. Offering a flexible schedule that includes working from home when needed and flexible hours can significantly reduce various sources of unnecessary worry or stress.

  1. Make wellbeing programs a permanent offering

Yes, the warmer months and easing restrictions have made venturing outdoors much more inviting than a virtual exercise class. Nevertheless, if employees are still accessing wellbeing programs launched from the onset of COVID-19, consider keeping these programs in place for good and putting in a strategy to ensure there is strong uptake across all organisational teams and functions, including HR and Senior Business Leaders.

  1. Expressing gratitude

 There’s no such thing as letting people know too often that their contribution matters.

How is that you currently make employees feel super special? Whether it’s a financial reward, a day off work, sending a care package to their home or a thoughtful handwritten note, there are a many ideas to show your appreciation to the whole team – including your people in HR.


Nicole Burton

All stories by: Nicole Burton