Is the lean and mean HR strategy sustainable?
Tough times call for tough measures.
The pandemic impacted us in many ways. It prevented or disrupted people from doing their work. However, the HR managers were quick to find a solution in the form of Work-From-Home (WFH). But the changes triggered by the pandemic goes beyond the WFH innovation.
What has changed?
The pandemic changed business needs and priorities. When economies are shrinking, the firms are also affected. So, it is not surprising that recruitment, training, and performance management practices are also changing. Let us look at what is trending.
- Recruit Only When You Must
Companies are focusing on essential recruitment. When economies are growing, it is logical to increase the bench strength to meet the increased demand. When economies shrink, the focus is saving costs.
The recruitment processes have changed all the more, across the globe. Online recruitment got a boost. In a socially distanced environment, job applications and interviews have gone online even in developing countries.
- Defer training, reduce costs
Training is a discretionary expenditure. So, it gets cut when the going gets tough. So when the pandemic struck, companies reviewed the training plans, and cut out anything that can be deferred.
The majority of the training programs are now online. The trainers have innovated and found ways to deliver the training programs digitally. The participants have adapted to online training methods. Online training also helped cut out the travel costs, venue costs, and the like.
- Pay for Performance
You may want to argue that COVID positively impacted performance and reward management. With remote working, the results rather than the hours spent in the offices became the yardstick of performance. It is not a presence, but that results in that matter. A performing employee, who demonstrates drive and initiative, is a valuable asset in times of crisis.
Are these gains sustainable?
Companies have saved costs and improved efficiency through reduced recruitment and training and improved performance management. When the sales revenues are hit, saving costs helps.
But the important question is: Are these gains sustainable?