HR pros in the spotlight and on the spot

Leadership has been increasingly looking to HR professionals.

A study of over 2000 companies conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that though two-thirds of companies had a Business Continuity Plan, only half of those included a “plan for diseases.”

As a result, over half of those surveyed - 62 percent in healthcare, 59 percent in manufacturing, and 53 percent in wholesale trade and transport - are makingsignificant revisions to their emergency plans, with HR personnels gaining newly elevated importance in the process

Despite these efforts, with 42% of businesses reporting in April that consumer/client spending had declined as a result of the pandemic, companies in financial distress may have to commit to broad reductions in force (RIF), and difficult decisions about hiring “triage,” layoffs, and furloughs may fall on the shoulders of HR personnel - decisions which, if rendered indelicately, may result in expensive lawsuits.

At the same time, issues of compliance have become even more relevant, as adherence to FLSA and ADA regulations may be less clear when employees are working from home instead of in the office. And with the renewed emphasis on racial equity in the workplace, HR professionals have also been leading company-wide, ongoing discussions about the ways that companies can and must move forward to support racial justice.

It’s a lot of change at once. As it relates to the return to the workplace,major concerns on the shoulders of HR professionals include:

First and foremost, creating a safe workplace that employees want to return to

Managing hybrid working models and enabling employees to work across multiple locations

Supporting this new world of work in the future

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