the new trends in HR

Future of work: 9 post-covid trends (part two)

The coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting impact on the future of work and HR function in nine key ways. The imperative for HR leaders is to evaluate the impact on their organization and make selected changes in their pre-covid HR strategy. We addressed the first four in an article published last week. Today we will focus on the next five.

“As the pandemic has reshuffled the cards of how we live and work, HR leaders need to rethink their priorities. Those who respond effectively can ensure their organizations stand out from competitors.”

Gartner surveyed 700+ HR and finance leaders and 4,000+ employees and HR executives. The objective was to identify the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the future of work and the implications HR leaders should anticipate. Of the nine future trends, some represent accelerations of existing shifts. Others are new impacts not previously discussed. And in some cases, COVID-19 has forced the pendulum of a long-observed pattern to one extreme.

Source: This content has been freely extracted and adapted from Gartner’s ebook on the same subject.

Employee data


Gartner analysis shows that 16% of employers are using technologies more frequently to monitor their employees through methods such as virtual clocking in and out, tracking work computer usage, and monitoring employee emails or internal communications/chat. While some companies track productivity, others monitor employee engagement and well-being to better understand employee experience.



HR action?


-> Improve data storage, management, analysis. Accelerate policy formulation over ethical and legal data use by organization and third parties.

-> Determine influence of data in evaluating productivity and performance evaluations, ratings, rewards.

-> Leverage continuous sentiment tracking to monitor culture/ engagement across an increasingly dispersed workforce. Drive ethical data collection/use by the organization

Contingent workers


Employers use contingent workers to reduce costs and augment staff. “Our research finds that 32% of organizations are replacing full-time employees with contingent workers as a cost-saving measure,” says Kropp. Gartner analysis shows that organizations will continue to expand their use of contingent workers to maintain more flexibility in workforce management post-COVID-19, and will consider introducing other job models they have seen during the pandemic, such as talent sharing and 80% pay for 80% work.


HR action?


-> Create gig work development plans to onboard and upskill contingent workers.

-> Formalize HR processes and management for nontraditional employment models. Design systems to evaluate gig workers and include them in team processes.

-> Determine whether contingent workers will be eligible for the same benefits as full-time peers. Stay alert to a possible culture of “haves” and “have-nots.

Employer role as social safety net


The pandemic has increased the trend of employers playing an expanded role in their employees’ financial, physical and mental well-being. Support includes enhanced sick leave, financial assistance, adjusted hours of operation and child care provisions.

The current economic crisis has also pushed the bounds of how employers view the employee experience. Personal factors rather than external factors take precedence over what matters for organizations and employees alike.


HR action?


-> Expand the bounds of employee experience, especially to account for personal factors, such as family responsibilities.

-> Consider having a chief well-being officer/chief mental health officer or other C-suite role to advocate for the pandemic-changed needs of employees.

-> Tackle new compensation challenges, e.g., maintaining compensation for employees unable to work remotely. Advocate for physical and mental wellbeing benefits

Separation of critical skills and roles


Before COVID-19, critical roles were viewed as roles with critical skills, or the capabilities an organization needed to meet its strategic goals. Now, employers are realizing that there is another category of critical roles — roles that are critical to the success of essential workflows.

To build the workforce you’ll need post-pandemic, focus less on roles — which group unrelated skills — than on the skills needed to drive the organization’s competitive advantage and the workflows that fuel that advantage.


HR action?


-> Motivate employees to develop critical skills that multiply their options; don’t just prepare them for a specific next role.

-> Reevaluate which roles need succession plans and bolster the development paths for potential successors.

-> Reengineer workforce planning to focus on critical skills versus critical roles.

-> Provide greater career development support to employees in critical roles who lack critical skills.

Organizational complexity


The crisis may prompt bailouts, and global M&As will likely increase as the pandemic subsides. Companies will focus on expanding their geographic diversification and investment in secondary markets to mitigate and manage risk in times of disruption.

This rise in complexity of size and organizational management will create challenges for leaders as operating models evolve.




HR action?


-> Shift to agile operating models and flexibly deploy assets to solve problems. Dismantle bureaucracy and move to a minimum viable product mindset.

-> Let regional/BU HR leaders lead integration efforts for talent and other processes.

-> Customize performance management for regional/BU business needs.

-> Support reskilling and career development. Develop resources and build out platforms to provide visibility into internal positions.

-> Harmonize total rewards plans as organizations engage in M&A activity.

Next steps to differentiate your company from competitors in the pandemic era

> Stay on top of these trends and how they evolve

> Understand the potential ramifications for your organization

> Make selected changes in strategy to incorporate the predictions in accordance with your values

> … and last but not least, rethink the way you approach employer branding!

Grab a coffee, call us and let’s discuss! We’d love to hear from you! Betuned is your innovative recruitment & employer branding partner!