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5 Thoughts About HR Functions During the War: The Experience of Parimatch Tech’s Chief Talent Officer

3 min to read

The full-scale war has changed the world for us in Parimatch Tech, and its devastating impact on business cannot be overestimated. It was the first time the HR function had to take the brunt of a crash of this scale. Tatiana Davydova, Chief Talent Officer at Parimatch Tech, shares her thoughts on the transformation of HR in the face of war and uncertainty.

During the war, the HR function works in the "back to basics" mode, and this is OK

Meeting basic needs becomes a priority because of a high level of uncertainty. Therefore, we need to ensure that everything is stable at work: the company operates, employees have both current tasks and tasks for the future, regular communication and feedback, and payments are made on time, despite all the difficulties related to banking. It is vital to ensure that the underlying processes are clear, transparent and work accurately and in coordination. So, when you go back to the basics, you have three main tasks:

  • make sure the basics are working;
  • communicate with clear messages. And do it daily because every day brings many changes;
  • constantly analyse the current situation and plan for future actions.

The most important thing for HR is to keep making decisions

Making any decision is extremely difficult in times of continuous force of circumstances and when you are in shock. At some point, you realise that the key is to keep making right and wrong decisions. 

A wrong decision is already a good thing because you know for sure that it is bad, and you do not feel paralysed, wasting your energy trying to decide whether to make this decision or not. After all, the critical thing is to act. Do not wait, do not sit tight in anticipation that something will change. If you have enough information and some hypotheses — make decisions and act.

Corporate values are your engine

As a company that promotes caring for the employees at every step, we did not need to explain to people that caring for each other in hard times is the most important thing. We just have to provide people with the opportunity to implement what is needed at the moment. Such an approach resulted in many significant volunteer initiatives and projects being launched by Parimatch Tech in a short time. We not only helped Ukraine, but also created internal streams of support for our employees and their beloved ones.

Optimism can be harmful sometimes

Our optimism in work processes has always been our strength, but it has become our weakness under new circumstances. We had plans prepared for various events, but such a scenario was unexpected for each of us, so we had to build from scratch all internal processes aimed at helping the employees and their families.

The main task of HR is not to show pity but to give a boost 

I recently heard an interesting story: the centres providing help to refugees prohibited volunteers from showing pity, hugging or reassuring someone. Because such actions worsened the inner state of people, they began to complain, feel sorry for themselves, and, as a result, burned out. 

Instead, volunteers were asked to provide people with activities, some simple ones at least—decompose some things, for example. Such functional activities kept the hands and minds of those who were occupied by minor thoughts. I liked this approach. 

After all, the purpose of HR is to give a boost and inspire so that people get themselves together and start doing something. That's it! It is crucial to do everything possible for people to get back to normal and begin to restore their lives as far as possible.

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