Almost every aspect of life has been affected somehow by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, especially work. The shift to remote work for many companies wasn't a smooth one, while other industries such as healthcare and food service weren't always given the luxury of allowing remote work. However, after an adjustment period and learning along the way, — Ron Cardenas, Vice President of Human Resources in Omaha, Nebraska, believes many businesses have come to value how our definition of work has evolved and are taking advantage of new opportunities.
One department in many companies that had to adapt the most is Human Resources (HR). Whether it was suddenly conducting interviews online or determining how to utilize online platforms for daily tasks, human resources employees led the charge of making the pandemic work to their benefit.
For instance, one of the most significant aspects of a human resources position, recruitment, can now be conducted virtually. Individuals from all over the country can easily apply to jobs and schedule interviews online with companies they previously wouldn't have considered viable. Plus, HR managers can conduct certain aspects of onboarding digitally as well. Completing these processes online can save time and expenses while fostering communication and engagement skills among employees. Though, as a human resources expert with more than 30 years of experience, Ron Cardenas still believes there's no substitute for in-person collaboration and career development.
Another way HR has evolved due to the pandemic is through managing remote teams. With many employees transitioning to online work overnight, HR had to find ways to keep people engaged while also ensuring they continued their responsibilities from home. The learning curve of available software and programs to promote remote teams may have been challenging. Still, many groups have come out the other side better informed and with more tools in their tool belts to be productive and communicate openly.
Speaking of communication, another vital aspect of the human resources realm, switching to strictly online contact forced many people to reassess how they interact with others. HR departments capitalized on this by utilizing surveys, feedback loops, and check-ins as ways to ensure employees were managing their professional and, in some cases, personal lives. These feedback opportunities have created a greater sense of flexibility and understanding among workers, which wasn't necessarily possible in pre-pandemic times.
While it wasn't without its hurdles and roadblocks in the workplace, the pandemic forced many human resources managers to reassess their methods and find new ways to make their responsibilities work for them and their employees. Let's hope as time goes on, the lessons learned will continue to influence and inspire HR leaders to adapt and evolve in ways that promote growth and understanding.
About Ron Cardenas of Omaha, Nebraska
Ron Cardenas is a human resources expert in Omaha, Nebraska with over three decades of professional experience. His specialties include employee relations, compensation, compliance, and talent management. For the past 11 years, Mr. Cardenas has worked at an agriculture holdings company in Omaha, progressing from Director to Senior Director to Vice President of Human Resources. His track record includes creating and launching talent strategies for global organizations in varied industries.
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