HR – Top Talent Priorities & Trends for 2021 amidst Shifting Business Land-scape
While the technological changes were playing themselves out in the Industry 4.0 context, pandemic has created a unique challenge that is unpredictable and highly complex accelerating pace of digital shift and taking it to a new stratosphere. Day by day massive strides are being made and we are getting ruled by fast-changing technologies, driven by AI, Internet of Things (IoT), ChatBots, Machine Learning (ML), Robotics, etc.
“There will be hyper-personalisation with regards to compensation structures, employee engagement, motivation, growth & earning strategies.”
It is imperative for HR Leaders to think and help Global CEOs deal with the Human Capital Challenges amidst disruptions caused by pandemic by visualising the shape of the future workforce and its dynamics, shifting operating models in the business unusual scenario where human will co-exists with bots and robots, developing a diverse and accountable leadership pool, managing business interruption, Re-invention of Work From Home strategies, Redesign jobs to suit the need of the present environment, management of New age performance management system, New Career models, and a new model of leadership, keeping a step ahead of a paradigm shift in engagement practices for the 21st-century workforce while aligning the business demand to the ever-evolving workforce needs and striking a balance in a manner that they manage to retain knowledge and contribution which requires agility & constant revisiting of HR strategy & its impact.
In a scenario where conventional thinking and best practices have lost their significance and there is a new normal that is being shaped by pandemic putting worldwide economies & various sectors such as aviation, tourism, hospitality in acute crisis.
I see the emergence of the following 5 Human Resources Talent Priorities & Trends for 2021.
Organisational Climate Mechanisms
“Starbucks was founded around the experience and the environment of its stores. Starbucks was about a space with comfortable chairs, lots of power outlets, tables, and desks at which we could work, and the option to spend as much time in their stores as we wanted without any pressure to buy. The coffee was incidental”— Simon Sinek
At the root of any organization climate is a set of core characteristics that encompass its structure, reward mechanisms, risk elements, etc. Post pandemic, large numbers of organisations are discussing not only the need for “psychological safety” of people at the workplace but also other topics like ‘Resilience’ and ‘Effective Engagement’. Thus giving absolute weightage to Organisational climate that carries great significance in this changed scenario for maximising utilization of human relations and resources at all levels to drive enhanced productivity and profitability.
Management of Polarities
For the uninitiated, Polarity is all about Managing 2 opposite spectrum i.e. at one end you want your LEADER to be FUTURISTIC & VISIONARY and at the other spectrum you want him to deliver on quarterly expectations, similarly Human Touch Vs Managing Layoffs, Building Trust amidst Technological Surveillance, drive collaboration Vs Remote working amongst others will keep CHRO’s on their toes.
Shifting Workplace & Workforce Dynamics
For companies across the world and across industries, conventional workplace norms are undergoing through a mammoth disruption. The way we work is undergoing a fundamental change. Working remotely is no longer a luxury but an unavoidable necessity where employers will need to ensure they provide requisite tools to employees to be productive in a safe and secure environment. Some of the questions with regard to workplaces that are echoing include – Will organisations redesign their office space? Forget re-designing, would they need offices? As the future of workplace and work practices undergo a major shift, this also offers the industry an excellent opportunity to leverage the untapped potential of employees and also optimise costs and enhance productivity.
Re-invention of Employee Engagement & Reward Strategies
Replicating the physical element into virtual for driving collaboration and engagement will test HR leadership mettle who will need to come up with strategies and work practices that were hitherto had no precedence as workplace boundaries will blur. Helping employees successfully navigate the complexities of new normal, building new ways of communication, ensuring boundaries, discipline, coaching and mentoring mechanisms, feedback channels etc while keeping the workforce engaged and motivated will be a key challenge. There will be hyper-personalisation with regards to compensation structures, employee engagement, motivation, growth & earning strategies.
Mainstreaming of Gig Workers
Alongside the traditional economy of full-time workers who more often than not focus on a life-time career with an organisation, mainstreaming of the gig working mechanism will also come to center-stage which will present the working population an opportunity to choose and deliver projects around the world as a result of de-coupling of job & location. The adoption of Gig would get fast tracked as it brings unique value proposition both for organisation as well as employee. While for Gig workers, work-life balance will improve significantly, the cost for employer will also decrease as they will pay for the project and no longer need to hire an employee on their payroll.
Views expressed are personal