Note: Firstly, we want to thank our attendees and readers who have been a part of the webinars over the past weeks in our SME HR Series as it finally comes to an end. It has been a fun-filled roller-coaster ride for having to host industry experts and stalwarts on our platform and help nurture the HR community. We have exciting events lined up for you, which will be announced soon, and we hope you find them as compelling and insightful as our previous ones.


Whether it is optimizing the workforce, upskilling and reskilling talent, redeploying talent, performance assessments and rewards, managing the remote working paradigm, every aspect of business revolves around people. With such a massive shift in the way companies are operating today and will probably do so in the future, organizations will look up to the CHRO to provide the right guidance and direction. The need for organizations and business leaders to make informed and correct decisions on various aspects of Human Capital is hinging on the capability of the CHRO.


To discuss and learn the dynamics in the domain of CHRO, we had Komal Agarwal (CHRO at Sresta Natural Bioproducts Pvt Ltd) share her viewpoint in our most recent webinar. The conversations between her and the hosts Anjali Bhole Desai and Sanjay Devudu have oozed vital insights. We have summarized the key takeaways from the session below and you can also watch the whole video at the end.


Talking about the changes she observed in the HR domain, Komal said that HR leaders and CHROs had played less of an HR role and more of business leader role in the last few months. “Any individual stepping out of the home will think of safety at any point in time because such is the impact of Covid-19 on mankind. It has impacted the most critical aspect of Human Resources, which is taking care of people ” said Komal.


Komal has further stated three critical roles in HR that took shape amid COVID-19.


Bringing Harmony: The pandemic has induced chaos among employees such as anxiety, fear of unemployment, and tumbling down of the global market. HR has taken up the responsibility of addressing the concerns of employees, supporting and standing by them.


Cultivating Awareness: There has been a colossal inflow of information such as health advisory through various channels around, making it harder to differentiate from the authentic ones. Bringing awareness to employees by gathering the right information and communicate the same with them has been another crucial role of HR.


Building Resilience: In these changing times, HR also ensured business continuity with right and timely decisions for their organizations.


“We have used many innovative ways to turn around the situation and overcome the challenges” said Komal when asked how they ensured business continuity. Adding more to her statements, Komal said, “It took a lot of motivation, quick decisions, and handling emotions. We ensured our employees cope with emotions and balance their home and work life, which demanded a lot of learning and unlearning. The role has transformed into being a guardian of people, ensuring compliance, corroborating employees’ safety, motivation, and wellness.”


There has been an uprise of emotional trauma amid the pandemic, and explaining how their business navigated through this challenge, Komal said, “Talking about business and emotions with employees during the meetings should go hand in hand.  It is the balance we need to strive between handling the emotions and ensuring business outcomes from them”.


She also mentioned that it was a mutual way both from them and employees that ensured business continuity – “It is so amazing to know that our employees reflected back with so much positivity, energy, and enthusiasm.  A lot of employees have scaled up, which we would not have imagined in a normal situation. Everyone had crossed their barriers, and that’s what makes the organizations move forward”.


“A strong culture will always support and enable organizations and its employees to move ahead while handling the crisis positively”- Komal Agarwal.

Top Question – Q&A Session

How can the performance appraisal be done during these COVID time?” – Supreetha (Attendee)

Komal’s Answer:

Performance appraisal has many dimensions and outcomes for the appraisal process. It’s not just about salary increment but goal alignment, review of the previous quarter, training needs identification, and many aspects. It is difficult to cover all the aspects, but some of the significant processes of appraisals should still be executed even during the COVID times. In some organizations, the roles itself have got changed. It’s not about the end result, but the KRA establishment is also a part. Many organizations have realized the significance of training needs identification and have been organizing online sessions for their employees, which bring the picture of appraisal here. There is more relevance of appraisal in COVID time as well.