International HR Day is here, and we’re excited to join companies around the world in recognizing the people professionals for all of their dedication and support. HR is the department running things behind the scenes, making sure employees have everything they need to do great work. International HR day is our opportunity to bring these professionals into the spotlight, celebrating them for their tireless efforts to improve the organizations they lead and for always putting people first.
As we look ahead to the future of work, let’s also reflect on the remarkable job done by HR teams everywhere who have been at the forefront of employers’ response to an extremely challenging year. From caring for employee wellbeing and ensuring employees and businesses could adapt to the changes all around us to making extremely tough decisions and communicating those decisions with thought and care during times of crisis. From guiding strategies to bring employees back to the office to building communication channels where employees can be seen and heard, HR rarely gets a day off. International HR Day is our opportunity to recognize all the hardworking HR and people professionals worldwide and say thank you.
Shaping a future that’s inclusive, flexible, and empowering
We asked Nirit Peled Muntz, CPO at Hibob, and Alyx Gilham, Hibob’s People and Culture Partner, about HR’s role in shaping the new future. They started by showering a little praise on the HR profession—their skills and commitment proved instrumental in helping companies and employees succeed over the last year. Looking ahead, they said the core tenets of the profession will always remain—empowering employees, building trust, providing opportunities for growth and development, and creating supportive, inclusive work cultures where employees are happy, healthy, and free to come as they are.
They both touched on the human side of HR. As a people-facing profession, HR will always think about the employee experience and how to continue to give people the resources they need to work at their best. “People are people, and their needs don’t change. They want to grow and develop. They want to feel connected to their work and for their work to have an impact,” said Nirit.
The challenge for growing, global companies is in maintaining a close culture where everyone feels like part of the family. The goal is for remote employees logging on from their home offices and people coming into HQ five days a week to feel just as connected to the company’s mission and to their peers. “Our responsibility is to create the structure and processes for employees to feel welcome, to have the opportunities to meet and celebrate together,” said Nirit.
HR’s goal, after all, is to empower employees. “There are so many things that shape the employee experience,” said Alyx. “HR is always thinking about how to make that experience as seamless and human as possible. We put a lot of thought into setting up that framework and providing employees and managers with the tools and resources they need.”
HR professionals don’t shy away from moments to lead
During uncertain times, while dealing with the harder aspects of the job, such as furloughs and redundancies, HR acts as a lifeline for employees to turn to for guidance and support. Alyx spoke of how the challenges of 2020 emphasized the people skills of the job, as HR checked in on people and acted as an outlet for any concerns, questions, and employee anxieties. “You need to have empathy in this role, and show compassion for everyone’s situation,” said Alyx.
Nirit and Alyx both spoke about the importance of communication. “HR is expected to provide clarity and confidence, but sometimes because of things outside of our control, we can’t provide those answers,” said Nirit. “Still, we understood that we had to communicate all the time. For HR this is very clear—communication is the most important thing.”
They regularly send out surveys to hear from people, see how they’re feeling and find out if there is anything employees need. They created the space and the communication channels for people to open up and speak about things. They listen to employees and set a tone of understanding and trust.
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Creating the best workplace for employees
The workplace might be changing, but the human aspect of HR will always remain. “People want to be a part of building something great. They don’t want to just come to work and do a job and go home. They want to feel part of something,” said Alyx. HR will continue to play its vital role in keeping employees engaged, motivated and happy.
Take some time today to thank the HR team at your company for all of their amazing work.