how can hr win the war of
As economic conditions deteriorate, businesses are feeling the impact on their bottom line, and it’s only natural that many of them are searching for ways to cut costs.
Their HR departments will, for better or worse, be concerned that their budget may be the first to be cut. Recent study reveals that half (52%) of HR managers say that their department frequently suffers the most when budgets are cut, and another 55% have either experienced or anticipate budget reductions in the future months.
This is a grave error; the people’s function should now be a higher priority, not a lower one. In order to maintain their budgets, HR teams must be able to demonstrate their position as important productivity and resiliency drivers.
Inability to do so puts firms in jeopardy of degrading their performance and eroding their competitive advantage precisely when they need them the most.
We know from prior recessions and more recent crises, such as the pandemic, that successful firms are those who consider their people and culture as vital to critical business operations – recognizing the value that they provide to the company in both good and difficult times.
As the rug was pulled out from under everyone in March 2020, HR played a crucial role, stepping up to assist businesses with difficult strategic decisions – such as furloughs, layoffs, and new ways of working – and supporting the well-being of their workforce.
Then, when the ‘Great Resignation’ or ‘Great Evaluation’ ensued, firms once again sought to HR departments for guidance on recruiting and retention methods. Clearly, prioritizing employee satisfaction throughout the current epidemic has paid dividends. Recent study reveals that 69% of employees believe they have a healthy work-life balance, and 73% believe their business culture is positive.
In light of these achievements, it’s disheartening that HR funds are under pressure. Reducing HR spending might considerably hinder the performance and resilience of British firms. Despite this, according to our study, 50% of UK HR managers believe that their senior leadership team does not prioritize its people, and 56% believe that the business does not place sufficient emphasis on the HR department.
The last thing businesses should do after investing so substantially in employee experience and culture is to harm organizational competitiveness, employee morale, and productivity — particularly when enterprises need them the most.
As a result, HR departments will be required to make a convincing argument to defend their budgets and explain the value they contribute in an environment where managers are searching for ways to increase efficiency.
Yet the function may not feel prepared for the approaching obstacles. Perhaps as a result of such a demanding era for HR, just under a quarter (24%) of HR managers in the United Kingdom believe they are extremely equipped to assist their organization in surviving an economic slump.
First and first, HR should contextualize cutbacks to people and HR. 61% of HR managers are concerned that budget cuts would significantly impact employee engagement and productivity, according to our research.
Logic dictates that if an employee no longer feels cared for by their employer, they will no longer care about their employer in return, becoming disengaged and uninspired. Even if resignations become less of a problem as economic conditions deteriorate, organizations may still be plagued by a plague of low productivity.
Here, HR executives may make the case for why people’s experience and strategy are essential for boosting morale and productivity and bolstering the resilience of firms. After businesses have spent so substantially in their teams and employees, discarding all of this will send the clearest message to the workforce. Their employees will realize that it was never about making their lives better or making their firm a terrific place to work – it was only a cynical attempt to retain them during a time when so many were re-evaluating the role of work in their lives.
People will see through the deception, resulting in diminished trust and participation.
By leveraging data, analytics, and automation, HR can also improve internal efficiencies and provide the board of directors with crucial people metrics that complement corporate data to illustrate the influence of the employee experience on overall productivity.
HR must grasp the opportunity to demonstrate its value to the business; he struggle for its future has begun.