Covid-19 Has Repurposed HR’s Role And Renewed Focus On Employees -Vodafone HR Director

The 2021 HR Practitioner of the Year, Hannah Ashiokai Akrong, said the role of Human Resource practitioners are to focus more on employees because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 
According to her, HR management deployed a complex set of competencies to deal with the change in work patterns within a specific time and space.
She made this known at a forum organised by the HR Certification Centre to commemorate the International HR Day.
Annually, 20th May is International HR Day, an occasion to recognise all the hardworking HR and people professionals around the world.
Speaking as a panel member on the topic, “HR: Shaping the new future organisation”, Vodafone Ghana’s Director of Human Resources said the pandemic has reshaped the pattern of industrial development.

“Covid-19 has accelerated so much and because of the change that organisations are going through, HR Management has become pivotal to everything that is going on within the workspace, particularly regarding talent management.

We witnessed a debt of talents arising from massive resignations in some organisations. However, for Vodafone Ghana, we came up with a mapping strategy. We identified fourteen skills that are pivotal to our firm and that has really helped,” she said.

Commenting on performance evaluation, she said, “We have moved away from yearly performance evaluation to weekly and monthly conversations where we immediately identify and address administrative challenges. Measuring employees’ performance annually wasn’t helping, so we adopted a monthly strategy”.

“Also, 98% of our staff work remotely and we saw increased productivity within this period. This was achievable through the training we provided to employees on how to work effectively, remotely.”

Asked if HR Practitioners are given the needed recognition, the 2021 HR Practitioner of the Year said, “It depends on the organisation you work for. The functions of the HR practitioner must be central. This must be structured properly to create an avenue for HR to report directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Because of its strategic position, if it is not recognised, the practitioner will find it difficult to implement a lot of things.”

She further tasked practitioners to make a conscious effort to understand the business, finances, and strategies within their respective companies.