Future Of Work Remains Top HR Priority

The year 2020 will be remembered in history not only as the year of the pandemic but also as the year of change and innovation. There is no denying the fact that the pandemic has affected every individual, every nation, and every business in one way or the other. However, it has also made all these entities, especially businesses to come with newer and more viable ways to survive and move ahead. So the future of work doesn’t seem all gloomy.

The workforce recovery process is underway and most, if not all, businesses have already started preparing themselves in accordance with the future of work trends. It is certain that the world of work is going to change dramatically in the next few years. So it is imperative for businesses to keep pace with this new age of work if they don’t want to be left far behind their competitors and everyone else.

Everything has to change now. The way businesses used to do things, the way they approached work, and the way they planned for the future – everything will have to be reconsidered. Reimagining the future of work right will be the key differentiator that will separate success from failure in the times to come.

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The adoption of digital transformation has already witnessed a significant rise. Businesses know that they need to use the available digital means for business continuation and collaboration. This is where human resources will have a very important role to play. They will be required to work closely with the leadership and find out ways of shaping the future of work depending on the trends. 

The world is already seeing changes in working conditions and leadership styles. Remote working is here to stay and is expected to get even bigger as we move ahead. The responsibilities or duties that were associated with a job a few months are also going to change. Whether it is employment contracts or mode of employment or anything else, everything is set to undergo transformation.

Businesses that take the future of work initiative or in other terms, willingly make necessary changes based on the trends, are not only going to survive but perform really well in the post-COVID world. HRs will have new priorities to focus and work in a completely different future employment and skills landscape. The ultimate objective will be employee wellbeing, ensuring employees and leaders meet more often without leaving their place of comfort and safety, and to provide employees with everything that they need to perform well whether they are working from home or office. Some of the biggest priorities that HR leaders will have to focus on to be ready to face the post-pandemic world are as follows:

Redefining the future of work

Future of work, coming to terms with the requirements, and ensuring that the adoption or change happens seamlessly will remain one of the biggest priorities for HR professionals in the coming times. HRs along with leaders will have to be aware of all the new trends and ensure that they have plans ready to implement those trends in their organization. This will help organizations to not let changes impact their operations or productivity too much. And it is very important for organizations to not plan too far ahead. Predictions on the future of work or how it will impact an organization can’t be expected to be 100% accurate. So instead of planning for years in advance, organizations should plan for the short-term – half yearly or quarterly.

One of the most important aspects that businesses need to understand and be ready for in the post-pandemic era is the change in permanent workplaces. How will redeployment of human capital look like and entail? HR managers will need to come out with different ways to overcome these challenges. 

Innovative upskilling

It is important for HR managers and business leaders to realize that the post-pandemic world will be a lot different to what it was a few months ago. To survive and do well in that world, employees will be required to be trained in new skills. This trend has already started. Several organizations across the world have already started looking for e-learning programs that can help their employees to gain necessary skills. 

It is important for HR leaders to first assess the skill development needs of the organizations before choosing any programs to fulfil those needs. They need to look for business processes or areas that are expected to undergo most changes in the future and then upskill those that will be a part of those areas or processes. They can also ask the employees about the organizations skills that they lack and would like to be trained in. To make the learning process easy, HR leaders can ask for volunteers amongst the employees who are willing to upskill themselves first and then pass on that learning to others in their team. This will save businesses a lot of money and will result in better collaboration between employees. 

Employee experience

There has been a complete change to what employee experience meant before the pandemic. Originally, it included focus areas for the HR to make the journey of every employee, right from the first interaction to the final exit, as worthwhile as possible. But now it has changed to keeping the distributed workforce productive and engaged. 

HR leaders need to address a few very important issues that employees are facing and will continue to face. It is important to ensure that employees trust the organizations and its leaders. If they are not convinced that the organization is concerned about their safety and wellbeing, they will either be least concerned themselves about the organization or leave as soon as they get an opportunity. HR leaders need to also create an environment of collaboration and learning amongst employees to keep them motivated. Finally, employees need to be trained in skills that they need to navigate the disruption.

HR priorities will completely change in the post-pandemic world. But the preparations done now will help organizations to be ready to face any challenge that comes their way.

Reference: “Future of Work Tops HR Priorities for 2020-21” | Mary Baker | 6 July 2020

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