Innovative crisis-response through best human resources practices during COVID-19
Keywords:Covid-19, Innovative HR, Crisis theory, HR practices, Pandemics, Work, Workforce, Workplace
During COVID-19, Human Resources evolved as a pivotal organisational function, able to ensure continuity of the business by balancing demands of employees and business. Concurrently, it ensured operational vitality by navigating the crisis through implementing innovative human resources practices. Human Resources practitioners responded swiftly to the operational, administrative, and strategic challenges posed by the dynamics of external and internal changes. This qualitative and informative research explores the innovative practices implemented by human resources practitioners as a response to past health pandemics and the Covid-19 crisis. A mix of inductive, deductive, and indicative-deductive thematic analysis was applied to present the findings from the literature review on Human Resources practices during health-pandemics before Covid-19 and during Covid-19 (published in 2020-2021). This study found Human Resources practitioners amongst the first responders to a health-related crisis. During a crisis, the HR role skews towards becoming a responsive change agent sustaining empathy and productivity whilst implementing new policies and practices, redefining the work, workforce, and the workplace in response to the changing external environment. The innovative HR practices implemented during the Covid-19 crisis will offer insights to the Management and HR practitioners, and will further guide the re-invention and championing of creative people management strategies for achieving human capital and organisational resilience. Decision-makers will understand the value of responsive practices at the time of global crisis.
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