Why there's never been a more important time for HR

Clive Liggett
Clive Liggett

Clive Liggett, 07 May 2020

How we live our lives, our relationships and our freedom to do even the simple things we’ve typically taken for granted have changed, almost overnight, in a way most of us never really thought possible in our generation. 

As individuals, we may be struggling to come to terms with our new situations. For many of us this means fresh air and exercise (once a day), personal contact limited to those we live with (24 hours a day), social interaction with friends and families facilitated by the power of ‘Zoom’, and then there’s work (in your kitchen, lounge, bedroom) – and yet, let’s not forget, while we are healthy, we are the lucky ones.

The changes we’ve experienced from the coronavirus outbreak have made us all appreciate the vulnerability of humanity, but its also brought out the best in many of us, particularly those who are at the front line of getting us through this crisis. As HR professionals, most of us are not saving lives, but we are in a pivotal position to help our colleagues get through this crisis. We can reduce the negative impact as much as possible, having hope and coming out the other side in a position of mental strength. Never in our careers has there been a time when economic and business success have been so closely linked with wellbeing, mental health, financial stability and the need for agile workplaces, innovation and a willingness to do things differently.

Now more than ever is the time for HR and people professionals to come together, share our experiences, grow our knowledge and prepare for what is to come. We need this not only so that we can support our colleagues and businesses, but so that we can support each other too. I know I have never experienced a tougher time in the profession than that of the last few weeks, but we need to be honest with ourselves, this is just the beginning of what for many will be difficult and unchartered times ahead. To know we are not alone, be reminded that we’ve also achieved great things in these circumstances and that we have within our control the opportunity to limit the impact of this crisis on our businesses and our people, reminds us why we took up this profession in the first instance.

Carve out a day to reflect and be inspired at the HR and People Development Conference and Exhibition, which will be chaired by Clive. This conference will be held virtually on Thursday 21 May – find out more about booking your places.