HR is not just for Christmas …. parties, Team Building and admin…

HR is not just for Christmas …. parties, Team Building and admin…

Chatting (via zoom of course) to a business group last week we were discussing how much the last year had really been a challenge in HR but how we hoped that it may actually bring to the forefront the strategic importance of the HR function.

One of the group recounted how a senior colleague of his had admitted that pre pandemic he thought all HR did was to draw up employment contracts, sit in on any disciplinary meetings ‘to make sure there was no shouting’ and to organise the company away days and Christmas parties but that now he believed that without their HR support they wouldn’t have survived the pandemic.

It’s certainly true that HR used to be known to be more of an administrative and finance-led function, with transactions such as payroll, fun at work and other operational agendas filling an HR professional’s bucket but the pandemic has definitely been a catalyst to show just how important the HR function is and that it needs to be an integral part of any business, not just for admin purposes or in a staff emergency but ongoing.

In a recent Personnel Today survey 72% of HR leaders say the crisis has helped them demonstrate their value and increase understanding of HR’s role.

Throughout the pandemic HR has continuously reacted and responded as needed, building the best possible experiences for employees, prioritising safety and wellbeing, and becoming experts in new support schemes and laws practically overnight and communicating the impact each change would have on a company and its staff.

The Covid-19 pandemic has probably been one of the biggest challenges many HR leaders have faced in their careers so far and has resulted in seismic changes that are rippling through the way businesses operate. The fallout from the pandemic will be ongoing for the HR function as home working becomes more the norm, long-covid and its affects will need to be accommodated and future proofing businesses for other such situations will all be added to the already very heavy workload. p

With people becoming a core differentiator for companies, leaders have started realising the strategic value that HR is creating for businesses. The result is that the HR professional of today has more power to create a real change, by implementing talent initiatives at the strategic and tactical level.

This shift away from seeing HR as simply ‘Human Resources’ and towards being more ‘People’ focused, isn’t new but change has been slow. Recent research demonstrates that the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for change, driving items on the ‘People’ agenda up the priority list.

For those that work in the HR arena this is really good to hear and gives hope that many companies will take the opportunity to change the way they see their HR function, be that internal or external (outsourced) and to start to focus on their people, putting them at the centre of their business strategy.

But how many businesses will miss this huge opportunity and carry on as “normal” continuing to see HR as an administrative function to be called on when there is an issue instead of a talented strategical force that can (and should) be key to the overall strategical plans of the business?

So which path is your HR and People team (and company as a whole) willing to take? Focusing on your people and putting them at the centre of your business strategy, or carrying on as “normal” – with the risk of missing out on top talent and falling short with the performance of your business?

For a no obligation conversation about how we can help you to keep ‘People focussed’ and to get the most out of your HR putting it at the heart of your business strategy, please call us on 01792296178, email us on or use the contact form here.

We have over two decades of experience and understand that your people are your business – that’s why it’s our strapline!