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How to Drive Professional Growth During a Crisis

This blog is part of a series describing the HR Hierarchy of Needs, a framework that describes how an organization should approach both its business and employees during a time of need. Read more about the overview here.

As we’ve seen in previous blog posts in this series, businesses will navigate a crisis the same way individuals do. The fundamentals of survival must be unequivocally in place before a business can think about the future. Thinking about growth and future opportunities while employees feel unsafe,  insecure about their role or unsafe will be ineffective and may be tone deaf, doing more harm than good.  Every company must survive before it can thrive.

Once the business has found its sea legs and all the members feel comfortable in their new roles and operating environment, it’s time to think about how to prosper in the new world. While it’s important to look to the past to gain insights, learn lessons, and make predictions about the future, a steady focus on what has already transpired can be detrimental. Instead, businesses should be inspired by the goal of reaching a new horizon. With the fundamentals taken care of, businesses can safely focus on growth, agility, and building resilience into their new operating models.

HR Has Changed Forever: Learn How to Adapt

Resilience is perhaps the key to any business’s growth. The ability to learn quickly from mistakes and capitalize on opportunity will separate those who thrive in the post-pandemic economy from those who will merely survive. Few companies navigating the new world will pivot correctly the first time; most will need to continually reshape their vision, strategy, and tactics to meet evolving conditions. But these adjustments should not be considered setbacks; rather, they are opportunities to grow.

HR can help make these adjustments more efficient by ensuring the business has the right resources to harness opportunity when it arises. Some questions HR might consider include:

  • Do we have the right people with the right skills to support our new direction?
  • Are our people empowered to make decisions quickly?
  • Do teams have the support they need to communicate effectively and work together efficiently?

HR can help guide the business by arming employees with the same resilience the business needs to change course as needed, plan effectively, to innovate quickly, and to make informed decisions as new data becomes available.

Professional growth is still attainable amidst a crisis, as long as you're addressing the right needs.

Perhaps the best time to think about new opportunities is in the liminal space between endings and new beginnings. The newfound strength and confidence that can arise from overcoming adversity can empower leadership and employees alike to think in novel ways and tackle new challenges. To be successful, HR must ensure that the workforce has the required tools and strategies to grow into their roles, potential roles and help the business meet its objectives.

As companies find their footing and begin to plan future growth, some questions HR might want to consider include:

  • Do employees have the tools and learning opportunities they need to be successful?
  • Are employees motivated to do their best work?
  • Do employees have avenues to express and champion new ideas, especially as operating models shift and innovative ways of doing business may be a real boon?

HR can help businesses make the switch from surviving to thriving with the help of technology. Tools such as Oracle’s Pulse Survey Check-Ins allow employees to communicate how they’re feeling, if they have what they need, and articulate their overall satisfaction. They can readily give feedback to HR and management, and leadership can keep abreast of what’s working and how people are feeling, as well as get a heads up if challenges are brewing. 

Is Technology the Center Of Your HR Challenges? Let's Overcome Them! 

Similarly, Oracle Connections helps employees stay connected to each other even when they are not co-located. The best ideas seem to come from people working together, and Connections can help take businesses to the next level by enabling a network of like-minded peers ready to tackle new challenges.

Tools like Oracle Strategic Workforce Planning and Oracle Learning help ensure the workforce has the skills to take the business into the future or possibly in a new direction and quickly execute on those plans. Understanding the skills that already exist within the workforce can help managers see who may need additional training or where new hires may be required. Learning helps individuals and teams expand their skill sets and grow their career opportunities as the business continues to evolve.

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