Industry talking to customers What's this? Meeting the challenges of the new normal through HR technology Published: July 21st, 2020 By: Glenn Weir Almost one-third of Canadian businesses with 500 or more employees, and almost double the percentage of smaller businesses, recorded at least a 20 per cent drop in revenue during the opening months of the pandemic.That the lockdown has negatively impacted companies across Canada and around the world is beyond dispute. But the challenges businesses are facing in this “new normal” are not only around dollars and cents — they’re also around people, specifically ensuring employees are well adjusted and have everything they need to be productive regardless of where they are working.The “new normal” of workforce management Before the pandemic, workforce management messaging was almost entirely about helping employees work productively and achieve both their personal and team goals. It was also about ensuring work-life balance and the long-term retention of staff. These elements are still key, but other elements are now also in play.“For obvious reasons, there’s a bigger focus now on workplace safety,” said Kronos Canada VP & GM Spiros Paleologos. “And just as critical now, especially in light of the damage the lockdown has done to businesses, is continuity.”“While companies have always accepted a degree of volatility in the modern economy, very few could have predicted so much change so rapidly. Suddenly the workforce is much smaller and more fragmented, swinging the pendulum of power back in favor of employers. The criticality of a modern workforce management and human capital management (HCM) solution is being realized as is the need for a wholistic view of the workforce, its unique schedules, locations, and the skills needed for decision making.”Opportunity knocks In the new reality, working from home has gone from something done or permitted in special circumstances to a widely common practice — a new normal inside the larger new normal.“Pre-COVID, companies focused on digitizing their relationship with their customers,” said Paleologos. “But we’ve jumped lightyears ahead in just a few months. Now we’re seeing the rapid digitization of the relationship between the employer and the employee with the advent of emerging technologies such as AI and machine learning. Some organizations may see this as a challenge – and digital transformation is no small feat of course, however, the truly smart organizations will see this as an opportunity to strengthen this relationship and provide the user-friendly experience that the modern worker expects.”From “for now” to “future” In times of crisis, people tend to default to “for now” thinking, and work hard to ensure employees are protected and the business continues to run smoothly. This is not wrong, but to come back from a pandemic, organizations’ HR teams must think on a higher level, toward the practicality and long-term sustainability of their crisis response.“The question, really, is how to cover not only those workforce management elements you’ve always covered, but also deal with the new challenges.,” said Paleologos. “Companies that already had a workforce management solution in place before the crisis arose will be able to hit the ground running.”“The ideal scenario is to have a modern HCM solution in place that allows for easy customization and adaptation. We at Kronos offer a complete HR playbook that, with the right management solution in place, helps companies around the world not just survive the crisis, and hang on in the hopes of brighter days ahead, but actually thrive in a full embrace of the realities of the so-called new normal.”The Complete Playbook for HR Technology During Times of Crisis explores the steps you can take in your Human Capital Management system to keep frontline employees safe on site, help remote employees stay connected and productive, and support both your business processes and the entire HR team. Included in this popular offering:Keeping frontline employees safe on site – from workplace and psychological safety to productivity and engagementThe importance of mobile devices with HCM solutionsMaintaining company morale using an HCM solution that efficiently manages all internal financial tasks such as payroll and investmentsHelping newly remote employees stay connected and positiveBy using HCM technology to meet the people challenges of a new era, your organization puts its digital transformation on a faster track. Now’s the perfect time to streamline any business continuity processes you have in place and to automate manual tasks. Your first step is to download The Complete Playbook for HR Technology During Times of Crisis.Learn how Kronos HR solutions for the modern workforce empower your team to tackle human resources challenges.