02.08.2021. / 16:40
BANJA LUKA – In the last year and a half, we may have heard too many times that we are in a “historic moment”, but for a whole generation of human resources experts, the situation that the corona virus pandemic brought to the labor market was truly historic. in their working life they testify perhaps once or not at all. Fear of losing a job, according to numerous studies, is the second biggest life stress, immediately after the loss of a family member, and last March there were few who did not ask themselves, at least for a moment, how the new situation would affect their employment.
How the “new normality” has already affected the preservation of motivation among employees in moments of general global uncertainty, how much it has changed employment processes, work and social dynamics, whether it has brought some new organizational trends, given birth to new occupations and work culture, but also is a recipe for the success of those who managed to remain the most desirable employer in the changed circumstances, we spoke with the human resources expert at the company Filip Moris, Dragana Radovanović.
CAPITAL: How much has the activities covered by one human resources expert changed since the outbreak of the pandemic? How challenging was it to adapt to new circumstances, motivate employees, maintain team spirit, but also business continuity in conditions of limited movement, social distance and work from home?
RADOVANOVIC: Anyone who says that the change was not felt, that it did not carry a lot of stress and anxiety, is not honest. Now after more than a year it is much simpler, and after so much time “new normal” has become the usual way of working. The situation that befell us last March inevitably brought about change, which, although spontaneous, required a systemic and organized response. Specifically for us at Philip Morris, the focus and priority was to adapt the work process to the new circumstances as quickly as possible, primarily in the areas that have the greatest impact on our business; while in my human resources sector, the most important thing was to maintain and preserve the satisfaction of colleagues despite the general state of uncertainty in which we found ourselves as a society. Personally, the biggest challenge for me was that in the middle of the pandemic, I changed my position and started working with people I had not met before. It is very difficult to understand team dynamics and specifics only through online communication, until before the COVID19 period I would say that it is impossible, but now I understand that anything is possible.
So when I look at the spring of last year from this, so to speak, safe distance, I am very proud of the flexibility of the whole system to change and adjust almost instantly, the motivation of each employee to achieve their maximum performance despite the global crisis, but mostly team spirit and the strength of support that we may not have been aware of until then and how much it can contribute to a major global crisis almost being “rejected” by us.
Did the “new normal” require special, additional technical skills that you had to apply in your work?
RADOVANOVIC: Honestly, in the era of digitalization in which we live, this kind of change in the way we work has not been overly challenging. From my experience, it was more necessary to put emphasis on emotional intelligence skills, such as empathy. As much as we are used to working from home today, and as much as it was present in many business systems to some extent before the pandemic, we have never before had the situation that we all have to switch to “remote” mode at the same time.
It was necessary to develop and work on emotional and social skills in order to compensate for the fact that physical contact was limited to forbidden, and in order for employees to feel the closeness, trust and support of their superiors, their team and our human colleagues. resources for which this has always been one of the basic tasks, but in this period it was almost on the historical test. Nevertheless, I believe that both local and international awards, as well as the growth of employee satisfaction that we recorded in BiH in that period, show that we passed it with the highest marks!
And during the pandemic, your company worked on the selection and recruitment processes. What does the process of hiring new staff look like now? Have you completely switched to virtual tools, selections and job interviews? Do you believe this is a practice that will survive even when the pandemic is over?
RADOVANOVIC: The selection and recruitment process since the pandemic began is being conducted entirely online, primarily because we do not want to put our candidates or our employees at additional risk. We continue to organize video interviews, so the experience of candidates and opportunities for assessment have not changed dramatically compared to the period before the pandemic.
However, when the pandemic is over, I believe that we will return to the standard “face to face” interviews, especially in the final steps of the selection process, because honestly we all wanted it.
In the end, what do you lack in the work from the time before the pandemic, and what is the good thing that this “new normality” has taught us?
RADOVANOVIC: I miss people a lot, to spend time together in the office, to drink the first morning coffee, the murmur and the crowds we had in the rooms where we work before the pandemic.
The new normalcy has confirmed to us that our flexibility knows no bounds when we combine professionalism, dedication and a desire to realize something.
Source: Capital.ba – Informacija je capital by www.capital.ba.
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