HR Webinar: Reframing the Role of HR in the New Real With Ruhie Pande

If there was ever a moment for HROs in the corporate world, it’s now, because whether we like it or not, everything has changed and HR has really got the center stage. While the world is still coming to terms with the full implications of COVID-19, workplaces are still evolving and quite frankly, no one was prepared for this, from large companies to startups. The truth is that both employees and organizations are behaving very differently, because, well, everyone is under so much pressure. Hence, our HR webinar with Ruhie Pande, Chief Human Resources Officer at Godrej Housing Finance & Godrej Fund Management was all the more insightful and the need of the hour.

Companies need to ubersize their workforce and embrace hybrid teams of freelancers and consultants

A seasoned HR professional with two decades of experience, Ruhie is passionate about coaching, leading HR transformation strategy, and diversity. She has also won many awards for her work including 100 most influential HR leaders in India by CHRO Asia, 25 most talented HR professionals in Retail by Asia Retail Congress, and Leading woman in HR by IIGBI in the 4th Women Leaders awards in India. Reiterating the fact that employees have a different set of challenges now than prior to the pandemic, like an increased amount of home responsibilities and a lack of social structure, everything on a normal day has simply gone awry. Truth be told, work from home is here to stay, however, not all workplaces have the infrastructure for it, like the lack of monitoring tools. To address this, companies must embrace the uberization of jobs so people can decide which hours to work. Work from home has also translated to the fact that now people can work from anywhere, which means that teams need to become hybrid, consisting of freelancers and consultants, along with regular employees.

HR professionals need to find creative ways to use technology to reskill, coach, engage and motivate people

Revealing that companies must tap into the gig work pool, Ruhie added that it is vital that the culture surrounding it must change. Companies must reward this demographic better and also provide them with the infrastructure they need to do the work. Moreover, this is the time when both employees and potential employees are really looking at companies and how they have dealt with and dealing with this crisis. Therefore, companies need to watch their branding because any negativity can tarnish their image. Also, HR professionals need to find creative ways to use technology to reskill, coach, engage and motivate people during such a time. On the other hand, HR must take note of the safety of employees even as they work from home since sexual harassment cases are on the rise. Issues like gender bias and inclusion must be addressed.

Finally, Ruhie divulged that the ideal HRO loves people, but also loves data and numbers, and hence, professionals must be tech-savvy or get ready to become obsolete. HR professionals must be equipped with empathy and “communicate, communicate, communicate” at all times, and get feedback, talk to employees, and get them involved in the decision-making process. Above all, say what you’re going to do and do what you say and try to be a leader than an “HR leader”.

Image credit: Ruhie Pande

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