The Importance of Values in Human Resource Management in the Post Pandemic World
What is a Value Driven HRM Approach and how can it be actualized in Practice?
Values are everything when dealing with people. Without humane and compassionate approaches when dealing with employees, suppliers, fellow executives, and other societal and governmental stakeholders, people to people relationships become fraught with friction and introduce an element of tension.
With the Covid 19 Pandemic making it worse for many, the lack of values adds to the problem and exacerbates existing inequalities and inequities.
This is where a Values Driven Approach in HRM or Human Resource Management makes the difference between transactional approaches and fulfilling approaches.
Indeed, HR professionals ought to remember that they are dealing with people, and hence, being fair and open with them is the only way out of getting the best out of them.
This is not only backed by HRM theories but also from the Case Studies of successful Business Leaders who excelled mainly because they stressed the importance of values in their interactions with people.
Moreover, the present Post Pandemic World calls for healing the wounds and scars of the prolonged lockdowns and the overall decrease in empathy and respect towards our fellow human beings. Therefore, values have become more important now.
Rediscovering the Lost Art of Connection in our Virtual World and Walking the Talk
Having said that, one must also note that the past year has seen India Inc. and Corporates worldwide displaying scant regard for their employees and stakeholders.
From withholding pay and bonuses during the lockdown to increasing the workload on their employees as well as firing and laying them off at short notice, corporates have been anything but humane towards their internal and external stakeholders.
Even the Big and the Best firms have been found wanting in this regard. This is where Change has to come and be led by a new generation of HRM professionals who are steeped in values and are not hypocritical at the same time.
In other words, there is an Urgent need for HR professionals to not only espouse values but also to walk the Talk meaning that they must practice what they preach.
Lockdowns and Home Quarantines have made people more edgy and seeking human contact and physical interactions and hence, HR practitioners have to take the lead to organize employee get-togethers and other such events to promote bonding and rejuvenate the Lost Art of Connection.
Indeed, a new approach to HRM is needed in this Post Pandemic world that prioritizes values above all.
What Joe Biden Can Teach HR Managers about Old Fashioned Value Driven Leadership
Talking about leadership, contemporary HR professionals can take the lead from the President of the United States, Joe Biden, who is now trying to heal the Bitterly Partisan and Extremely Polarized United States that has gotten to a situation over the last Four Years where its survival as a United Entity is under threat.
Indeed, if not anything, Biden is making an attempt to practice Good Old Values based Leadership and there is a lesson here for the Present Day HRM professionals.
In a world where Technology has robbed us of Physical Connections and where Social Media is getting on everyones nerves, there is something alluring about Old Fashioned Values.
For instance, in India, NR Narayana Murthy of Infosys was known to be hands on and humane in his approach to people, whether they are employees or external stakeholders.
Before him, the legendary Late JRD Tata was also known for his compassion and vision to make the lives of the employees of the Tata Group better by building Townships and other amenities to provide them with comfort and bonding with fellow employees.
Therefore, it is our argument that a return to old style leadership would do everyone a world of good.
Why it is Important to Reach out to the Tech Driven Millennial and Gen Z Employees
Having said that, we also know that suggesting this approach would look anachronistic and out of date with the present day realities.
Indeed, reaching out to Millennial and Gen Z employees needs a faster paced and in the moment approaches that perhaps old style managers might not be able to accomplish.
However, it is our contention that Values are Timeless and Universal and more so in the present Post Pandemic world.
For instance, when working from Home, many of us would like to be in touch with our peers and colleagues and try to lighten up the atmosphere in times of Heavy Workloads.
This is where a competent HR manager can innovate and be creative in their approaches to organizing Team Meetings and One on One interaction with the employees.
Moreover, Team Building Workshops can be organized virtually as well in addition to Physical Interactions that can be used to rejuvenate the employees.
Above all, with so much stress and strain taking its toll on employee wellbeing, it is time for Corporates and the HRM profession to take note of the importance of Values. Moreover, this is the time to Put People over Profits in a Value Driven Approach.
Rebuilding the Bridges
Last, as the saying goes, Tough Times Dont Last, Only Tough People Do. So, the way out of the present situation to adopt Management by Values and by being more Empathic and Humane.
Not paying salaries on time or firing employees without notice as well as making them do the work of two people are absolute no-nos.
In addition, being rude and demeaning is something that must be avoided as well.
This is the time to Rebuild Bridges and hence, what matters is being personal and approachable by anyone seeking help. To conclude, we need more values in HRM approaches.
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