Chief People Officer, IRIS Software Group
The last year has been tough on everyone. NHS staff, teachers and all our key workers have rightly been celebrated as the heroes of the hour. But working quietly in the background, HR teams have undoubtedly been the backbone of the workforce at large.
“HR people really are the unsung heroes,” says Stephanie Kelly, Chief People Officer at IRIS Software Group, one of the UK’s largest HR & payroll software providers. “From the first lockdown in March 2020, HR teams had to mobilise thousands of employees to work remotely almost overnight. Not only was this a major logistical challenge requiring every employee to have the right IT support and equipment, but it also required real care and attention to be given to employee welfare.”
With every industry affected, HR teams across the board have been working tirelessly to keep their ships steady – managing difficult conversations around furlough and redundancies and maintaining morale throughout the multiple lockdowns.
Utilising cloud-based solutions
Kelly continues, “The pandemic really asked a lot from HR professionals. In the space of a few weeks, they had to change their entire way of working while acting as the backbone that kept businesses connected.”
Undoubtedly, HR teams who had access to technology and cloud-based solutions were in the best position to cope with the dramatic shift in working life. Harnessing a central cloud-based HR platform enabled them to automate time-consuming tasks like payroll, expenses and attendance tracking – freeing their time to focus on maintaining employee morale and providing leaders with critical people-based insight on the best path to take and how to future-proof the business.
The pandemic really asked a lot from HR professionals. In the space of a few weeks, they had to change their entire way of working while acting as the backbone that kept businesses connected.
Helping improve daily processes
Looking to the future, Kelly says, “As lockdown restrictions ease and employees finally begin returning to the office, HR teams need to have best practice processes in place, so they can streamline the ‘day to day’ and become more strategic. Taking practical steps like putting vaccine logs, company policies and flexible working requests in one central cloud-based location that provides a single source of truth across the business will be key.”
By harnessing technology and automation and ensuring there is a single source of truth for all HR activity involved with returning to the office, HR teams can supercharge their processes as the world starts to open up again. And ultimately enable their businesses to thrive whatever the future holds.