Talent Challenges in Hybrid Workplace
The year 2020 disrupted the world of work in a way like never before. Organizations and employees overnight switched to a virtual model. Organizations that had no belief in work from home were forced to change and embrace this new way of work. However, now it seems there is an equally big disruption on the horizon.
In the last few months, corporates have driven vaccinations for their employees, a large section of the employees are now vaccinated, the return to hybrid work is now on the horizon.
This will mean that employees who have now been working from home for over a year now will have to start adjusting to the fact that they will need to go to work on some days if not all. For employers, there will be opportunities as well as challenges as the talent market transforms in the new reality.
More and more employers will have to start thinking about how to reframe their talent strategy in this emerging landscape of the future of work.
Priorities Have Shifted
As people lived through the 1.5 years of lockdown, many have realized that their priorities have changed. It is not to say that people don’t want to work, but they definitely want to have greater choice about where they work from, when they work and how much they work.
Many employees will want to lead lives more balanced between their work, family, and interests. The norm and the belief that one needs to work long hours and be constantly “on” to have a flourishing career is up for being questioned. As employees reprioritize through lessons learnt in this pandemic corporates will have to walk a tight rope in balancing the needs of the employees as well the requirements of the business.
Corporations will increasingly have to come to term with the reality that “flexibility” is no longer an option but a way of life. Organizations can win in the talent market by recognizing the individual needs of their employees and creating flexibility as a core part of their employer value proposition
Lead With EQ
If anything, the need for managers who lead with high EQ has never been felt more. As employees juggled between balancing work and family needs, there were additional challenges of mental health, and anxiety around the uncertainty of raging pandemic. This, alongside the fact that so many organizations went through sweeping changes in terms of business models, created a situation like never before.
Never before, have managers been asked to lead so many of their team members through personal loss and grief while at the same time keeping the lights on at workplace. As we emerge on the other side of pandemic employees will increasingly make choices of who they work with; the job of a manager has become even more demanding from an employee well-being standpoint even as they continue to take care of their own personal challenges and wellbeing.
Shorter Stint and Assignment-Based Approach
More and more employees are likely to move to an assignment model with organization, looking for 1-2 year meaningful stints with the organizations, rather than seeking a career with a single organization.
Organizations will have to work proactively towards making sure that they give a line of sight and meaningful work with competitive growth opportunities to keep their best talent engaged and retained. One size fits all will not work, it is a day and age of personalization.
Shift in Hiring Competencies
Organizations are going to see a shift in the competencies they hire for. The ability to collaborate without boundaries, influence without authority, and being a self-starter are increasingly going to be valued more and more by organizations when they scout for talent.
At the same time, interpersonal sensitivity and EQ are going to be important criteria for hiring in people management roles. While many organizations have been transforming digitally but the onset of pandemics has accelerated the digital roadmaps of organizations multifold. Increasingly organizations are paying a premium for digital skills and this is here to stay.
The end of pandemic is sometime away, even as employees and organizations alike try to make meaning out of the changed reality some things are set to change. Employees will evaluate the changed relationship with work, family, and other interests. Organizations will also evaluate what will create the balance for attracting and retaining the best. The only way to win in this market is to
- Listen deeply your talent with an intent to connect with employees.
- Be open-minded and flexible with the approach around talent.
- Be willing to experiment and learn.
- Above all be humane.