Ep. 45 The Human Challenge of 2020

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David Rice

There is and will continue to be a human cost to a year like 2020. How it will be remembered and what the long term effects of a tumultuous year like this are remain to be seen.

That cost played out in a lot of different ways and it required organizations to adapt their practices and policies to make being human within them easier. Whether it was in the form of offering flexible work hours or increasing access to mental health, 2020 has been a year that has required HR to focus on how they can help humans continue to thrive while keeping the business moving forward. 

On this edition of the podcast, HR Exchange Network Editor David Rice sits down with Rhonda Hall, Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development at University Federal Credit Union, based in Austin, Texas. They discuss the human challenges of 2020 and what aspects of it simply can't back to normal when the pandemic is over. 

Some of the challenges that Hall highlighted in this episode include things that were common across the HR spectrum. Battling burnout and instilling a sense of flexibility was key to success as Hall and her team repeatedly asked themselves "how do we get to yes?" when it came to accommodating employee requests for flexible work hours and new services. 

“We asked what people needed and they responded,” Hall said. “What a lot of people said they needed was to shift their hours a bit. Whether that was working split shifts or working some hours on a Saturday or Sunday, it was just about asking and listening and finding scenarios that would work for the individual.”

Going forward, there will be continued challenges in 2021 centered on helping people once again adjust to whatever comes next. 

“I think what’s going to have the biggest impact on HR in 2021 is going to be helping people adjust and conducting that change management to the next normal,” Hall said. “It was a big change for people to go home and it will be a big change for people coming back because of what coming back looks like. It’s going to be a big challenge to work in yet another hybrid model.”

Watch the full interview below. 

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