Into the post-pandemic world of work
The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted and reinvented the world of work as we knew it, increasing the need for seamless communication, trust, and empathy between companies and employees.
For many of us, working from home became a new reality, whereas others had no option but to embrace immediately digital transformation and develop new processes to keep their business afloat.
All these recent changes came too quickly, giving little time for companies to respond and to cope with the economic impact of this disruption while keeping the well-being of its employees.
Nonetheless, as we enter new normality, other questions pop up such as how’s going to be the return to the world of work and what will be companies’ greatest challenges?
While a lot of companies worldwide were already carrying out successful onboarding and offboarding programs, even remotely, now every company should focus its efforts to design reboarding processes, as part of a lifelong onboarding journey. However, companies won’t be able to readapt to the new future of work and stay in the game without applying to their business what COVID-19 has unveiled.
Learning lessons from a recent past
- Focus on people first and only then on economics. How? By better understanding employees to strengthen their feeling of belonging, and boost performance. Ultimately, people expect their jobs to give meaning to their lives, want to contribute to organizations, and have a positive impact on society.
- Promote the development of fast response teams and employee well-being. How? Promoting positivism despite the feelings of uncertainty and change, embracing an open communication culture as well as dialogue practices within the company are the first steps to ensure and develop employee well-being, collaboration, and effective joint work. This will imply redesigning work towards outputs and not activities.
- Analyze data. How? By analyzing data companies can identify employees’ strengths, needs, and characteristics to personalize their onboarding programs as well as launching internal policies to optimize employee performance and ensure employees’ health isn’t at stake. Besides, organizations can also forecast what jobs will disappear within the company to start training the people in those roles to assume new positions fast and effectively. Nonetheless, data is striking and consistent: only 10% of companies claim to be ready to carry out reskilling training internally over the next 12 to 18 months, while 38% reports that identifying workforce development needs and priorities is their main barrier to employee development, and 53% acknowledges that between half and all of its workforce will need reskilling training in the next 3 years.
- Integrate technology with humans. How? By leveraging technology and training employees continuously. Technology will not replace humans; however, organizations need to integrate humans and technology to provide value for their businesses and employees.
- Foster knowledge. How? Knowledge is the root of all progress: AI is powerful when it comes to building a company culture based on the creation and sharing of knowledge to strengthen relationships within the company and people’s resilience to alike disruptive situations. 75% of all companies surveyed reported that creating and preserving knowledge across evolving workforces is important or very important for their success over the next 12 to 18 months, however, only 9% said they are very ready to address this issue.
- Educate, train, and empower employees. How? By creating specific programs that allow employees to grow both professionally and personally and adapt themselves to new challenging situations that may arise in the future, based this time not exclusively on their skills and knowledge, but also on their potential.
- Create rewards strategies. How? By doing so as well as by providing transparency, purpose, fairness, collaboration, and growth companies will be able to improve employee performance and motivation.
- Use real-time data. How? The future of work is dated-oriented through technology: real-time data is a powerful source of knowledge. How? By allowing companies to identify problems at the moment they are occurring or simply to know more about employees’ progress, skills, as well as their physical and mental well-being, organizations can tackle real problems, ask employees the right questions at the right time and then use the leaning to boost business growth.). Currently, only 11% of organizations produce real-time information, whilst 43% produce it either ad hoc or not at all.
- Acknowledge ethical issues. How? Ethical issues are here to stay. Since business decisions can have a significant impact on employees’ lives, organizations should anticipate potential ethical impacts that may arise. (e.g. companies that use a different type of workforce such as the gig economy).
- Allocate management authority to HR professionals. How? By encouraging HR to lead business alongside management. Whereas the 2008-2009 financial crisis ended up emphasizing roles such as the CFO and finance professionals, the CODIV-19 crisis is moving CHROs and HR departments to the front line: from recruiting and hiring to onboarding and integrating new employees to the company, monitoring employee sentiment and engagement, developing strong relationships between managers and upper superiors, employees and departments, ensuring everyone’s well-being, reimagining work (e.g. how, where, and what tasks employees need to carry out), and so forth.
Welcome to a new HR era
Even though we have gone through so many challenges recently, one thing seems certain: from now on, HR departments will play an important role in all business activities leading change to help organizations and respective workforces adapt to all they have already gone through as well as the changes that lie ahead.
Still, to be able to thrive, organizations should first start by asking themselves if HR has currently enough knowledge to influence all business areas in need and help companies thrive in the short term. That is, good intentions will not suffice, these new times require a truly meaningful change, in which purpose, potential, and direct impact are no longer values that can be postponed.
There is only one possible future of work: a human, kinder, and more collaborative and sustainable version of the world in which we used to live in and companies who simply aren’t able to get this fast paradigm shift and miss the train reboarding employees into a new world of work shaped by the current work/social revolution, will end up losing out.
Would you like to have our help to reboard your workforce? Click here to reach us and find out how we can help you and your HR department save time and money on your onboarding programs.