What are the long-term implications of COVID-19 on the future of work and HR function?
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.
“It’s critical for business leaders to understand that large-scale shifts are changing how people work and how business gets done” Brian Kropp, Gartner
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 of work 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. We focus on the first four trends. The other 5 will follow next week.
Gartner showed that 48% of employees will likely work remotely at least part of the time after COVID-19 versus 30% before the pandemic.
Identify new skills that enable effective remote work, including greater digital dexterity
Adapt management styles to fit remote team needs
Create new employee experience strategies for the remote world
Ask whether and how employee evaluation and goals need to change for remote setups.
Seek new skills, potentially in new locations, and meet applicants’ expectations for remote work option
2) Top-tier employer brands
Prior to COVID-19, organizations were already facing increased employee demands for transparency. Employees and prospective candidates will judge organizations by the way in which they treated employees during the pandemic. Balance the decisions made today to resolve immediate concerns with the long-term impact on the employment brand.
Partner with other organizations to redeploy employees displaced from their jobs by COVID-19
Prepare to articulate the “why and how” of your organization’s decisions in response to the pandemic
Urge your organization to balance immediate financial concerns with the long-term impact on employer brand. Communicate to employees how you are supporting them despite cost-saving measures
Help your CEO and board understand the lasting impact of workforce decisions
3) Humanizing work
Some organizations have prioritized the well-being of employees as people over employees as workers. Others have pushed employees to work in conditions that are high risk with little support, treating them as workers first and people second. Be deliberate in which approach you take. Be mindful of the effects on employee experience, which will be long-lasting.
Ensure that leaders develop emotional intelligence and other soft skills. Help employees navigate expectations as you balance empathy and performance requirements
Fortify your culture of inclusiveness. Engage workers assigned to tasks or projects in the team culture
Take a holistic view of employee experience, supported by cross-organization partnerships
Make benefits highly relevant to employees. A market focus or “one-size fits all” approach may no longer work
“HR leaders need strategies and solutions for all 9 key emerging trends”.
4) Organizational resilience
A 2019 Gartner organization design survey found that 55% of organizational redesigns were focused on streamlining roles, supply chains and workflows to increase efficiency. While this approach captured efficiencies, it also created fragilities, as systems have no flexibility to respond to disruptions. Resilient organizations were better able to respond quickly with change.
Evolve modeling of skill needs to quickly course correct as conditions change
Incorporate diversity & inclusion into role design; create flexible work systems to ensure you consider employees of all backgrounds and needs
Design roles, structures and processes around outcomes rather than tasks to increase responsiveness and flexibility
Collect data to support resourcing decisions and define the minimum critical inputs for deciding when to change or flex a process
Provide employees with more varied, adaptive, flexible careers so they acquire valuable cross-functional knowledge and training
(Part two to be followed next week)
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!