Despite a severe impact on revenue and cash inflows, display of compassion and community outreach produced a spontaneous level of commitment and loyalty from employees and that the job cuts and salary adjustments were not as widespread as originally apprehended, an industry body study said on Sunday.
The CII study entitiled 'Reimagining the Organization for the New Normal: Role of HR' conducted in partnership with Talentonic has revealed interesting facts about employer behaviour during the pandemic.
As against what was widely perceived, reducing the headcount has been given 7th priority out of 13 when it came to actions taken to deal with the crises while reducing or postponing salary or other payouts was given the 9th priority.
The CII study was released on Sunday at the 10th CII National HR Conclave that brought together hundreds of CHROs and business leaders at a time when the ongoing pandemic has created humanitarian crises, bringing about major disruptions in lives of many.
Releasing the report, Sanjay Behl, Chairman of CII National Committee on Leadership and HR, said that the CII conducted the study to understand these changes and the role of HR in this context.
SY Siddiqui, Chairman of the Core Group conducting the study, observed that the insights and case studies captured here would provide a working direction to decision- makers in short and medium terms.
Apart from the humanitarian aspect of providing livelihood support to employees in the current difficult period, the study revealed that the pandemic took a number of organisation to a more permanent reset wherein more permanent design changes are being made and entities are getting restructured.
As per the study, empowerment has mushroomed as organisations struggled to find the agility and flexibility to deal with the crises. Moreover, work from home has solved many problems, albeit creating some concerns about fragmentation of cultures.
In the whole period of the pandemic-induced disruptions, digitisation has been a huge tailwind but legacy issues remain, the study said, adding that it is also leading to the birth of a new leadership.
The study has also distinctly identified a wide range of roles for the HR functions in what is now called the Year of the CHRO. These include keeping the balance between compassion and outcome, curating a new workplace culture, building flexibility in policy and process and structuring organisations to produce outcome.
Deepak Dhawan, Founder-CEO of Talentonic, said: "The way the HR community in India has dealt with the crises has been truly remarkable. They have been on Ground Zero of the great reset and the role of HR and future challenges have clearly emerged."
The study combined survey responses from a wide range of CII members, spanning several sectors, and in-depth interviews with industry leaders across sectors and secondary research from published sources.