OMRON: Unique HR strategies in a pandemic

What are the important lessons for HR amidst the ongoing pandemic? In the third of our four-part series, Virendra Shelar points out the strategies that OMRON Asia Pacific has utilised to overcome some of the Covid-19-related setbacks in its workplace.

COS Asia: How has the Covid-19 pandemic transformed the HR arena for you? What are some of the key learnings that you’ve experienced over the last two years?

Shelar: The pandemic has made the business environment uncertain and dynamic. It has also led to an enhanced focus on well-being, empathy, trust, and inclusion in the workplace.

There is a change in the attitude and preferences of employees, too. They have reached a loyalty infection point, where remuneration is not the only prime motivating factor to join or stay with an organisation. They are strongly inclined to work with organisations that care for employees’ well-being led by resilient values and principles.

A psychologically-safe work environment has also come to the fore as HR managers realise that it is a key to higher performance and long-term association. Progressive organisations are transforming and adapting to a remote or hybrid workstyle, which has significantly accelerated the adoption of digital solutions that support business growth, including HR processes.

The pandemic has also paved the way for the upskilling of the learning and development teams. Investment in developing employee skills and capabilities will determine organisational success in managing future crises. It’s easier said than done, and HR teams will have to continue striving to build a future-ready organisation.

COS Asia: What have been some of your key HR strategies throughout the current pandemic crisis?

Shelar: Another insight this pandemic has underlined is the importance of robust succession planning. OMRON strongly believes in placing the right talent with the right capability, in the right position, and at the right time. This has been one of our key HR strategies. We’ll continue to concentrate our efforts on it to emerge better and stronger.

COS Asia: Any last piece of advice for HR leaders struggling with the current uncertain environment?

Shelar: In the end, I would like to state that the HR management world is not linear, and there is no rule book to control the changing dynamics. Situations like this pandemic might resurface, impacting diverse economies and business environments. Only agile and truly open-minded organisations would survive such dynamic turbulence. HR will play a significant role in overcoming the challenges and in preparing a future-ready organisation.

This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's exclusive interview with Virendra Shelar, president – OMRON Management Centre Asia Pacific, and general manager -- Global Human Resources Strategy, OMRON Corporation. For further coverage please see any of the below links:

The engineer behind OMRON’s HR success (feature)

Virendra Shelar: Innovating in diversity (feature)

OMRON: Unique HR strategies in a pandemic (feature)

Getting to know: Virendra Shelar (Q&A) January 26, 2022

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