• Mark Shaw

The New HR Normal

The Queensland Chief Health Officer is quoted as warning that we may never beat Covid-19 and the only thing we can do is manage it.

What does this mean for HR Practitioners and people-management generally?

We have already seen changes in processes to achieve the same outcome with different processes. Working from Home and Video Conferencing being the most obvious. People are still working and communicating, only in different ways.

And while compliance to legislation and rules will continue to apply, I see many other opportunities for HR Practitioners to help employees, managers and businesses implement the new normal.

Take HR policies, procedures, forms and checklists. They are designed to set rules (policies) and capture data (forms and checklists) so decisions can be made by managers and if necessary, defended by lawyers, e.g. unfair dismissal claims. How can we respond to the new normal and still achieve the same outcome?

Or consider the level of employee engagement. While the jury is still out, working from home for some people seems to increase dis-engagement. They can do their job, but they are struggling to maintain the necessary level of engagement. We know the old normal was to use Performance Improvement Plans to manager dis-engaged employees. That will not work in the new normal. The Australian Human Resources Institute has reported an increase in unfair dismissal claims due to ‘nervous employees’. How can we best re-engage such individuals?

There are solutions to the above. There is a new normal we can implement; one that achieves the same outcomes in different ways.

Imagine an App that incorporates the policy and data-capture on your smart phone in a way that automatically guides the management decision through a fully transparent and defendable process. How beneficial would that be to everyone in the new normal?

Imagine a new conversation aimed at genuine re-engagement while ensuring any unfair dismissal claim that is lodged can be successfully defended. How beneficial would that be to everyone in the new normal?

The world has changed. We cannot go back to the old normal. We can only look for new ways to achieve the same outcomes.

What can you do to implement the new normal?


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Mark Shaw

HR Business and Systems Improvement


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©2019 by Mark Shaw.