Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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The pandemic compelled business enterprises globally to adopt new ways of working in a matter of days. The HR department of every organization was put under tremendous pressure to ensure consistent employee performance and productivity, while maintaining high morale.

Currently, the role of CHROs has become more crucial in reimagining personnel practices to make their companies more resilient and drive value. According to a McKinsey article, the following five pre-existing talent-management practices are gaining importance progressively and can help businesses to better navigate the new ways of working in the post pandemic scenario.

Hiring the right people

New hiring is expected to take a hit, as companies struggle with accelerated tech adoption and drastic change in consumption patterns. A McKinsey survey conducted in May 2020 found that 67% businesses are likely to spend less on permanent hiring in the coming 12 months. Efficient and effective hiring has thus become more important now, especially in areas like data and IT where the talent is scarce, and the demand is high.

With the Covid-19 threat lurking around, campus hiring drives need to be shifted online. Virtual interviews and assessment methods for finding and hiring new people is also expected to surge. A large number of new organizations are likely to enter the pre-hire ecosystem with innovations that can better connect people and job roles based on a deeper understanding of skills. CHROs must keep an eye out to avail such services and review their digital choices (platform and tools) to ensure they make use of the best options to spot the best talent and hire the ideal people.

Learning and growing

During an economic downturn, organizations are expected to be conflicted in spending on training the workforce. CHROs, however, must consider the importance of reskilling in closing talent-gaps. Learning and development in the present context should surpass mere reskilling to include three types of cost-effective training.

  • Essential digital skills: Since most employees are now working remotely – a setup they were not used to earlier, many organizations are providing remote training on a broad range of topics like leading remote teams effectively, enhancing executional abilities, building personal resilience, and the likes.
  • Focused upskilling for changing work: The pandemic changed ways of working in many areas. In sales, for instance, physical interaction has been replaced by phone calls or online chats. People employed in such roles must be upskilled to master practices that drive success in the remote sales setup.
  • Leadership development: To cope with the crisis, in most companies slow bureaucratic processes made way for clear goals and quick decision making powered by focused teams. CHROs must ensure this acquired organizational agility is retained through apt leadership trainings.

Rewards and performance management

The pandemic has compelled organizations to stray from their plans drastically. Company goals changed and so did the performance plans, and most people started working remotely. The usual ways of performance tracking cannot accurately measure the employee contributions in the present scenario. CHROs must link employee goals to business priorities transparently while maintaining an element of flexibility.

Simultaneously managers and team leaders should be encouraged to learn coaching skills so that they can help the team players to learn new skills as needed. Along with highest and lowest performance, middle range performances should also be tracked and acknowledged. A talent strategy should be implemented to appreciate the best performers and boost the people who are lagging.

Modifying the employee experience

In a hybrid work environment, special efforts must be taken to understand the needs of every employee in the current context and provide a befitting employee experience that is comforting. Tailoring the approach to individuals or employee segments by establishing new norms of work to foster engagement and inclusion can be an option. But an organization would need to have multiple such models to fit the requirement of different employee sections.

Workforce planning and strategy optimization

In the next one-year HR spending on workforce planning and strategy is expected to increase. During such drives, companies must reassess the jobs deemed as critical, considering the shift in their value agenda. These are key leadership positions that might not be relevant in the current recovery phase. Companies should also reassess the talent supply they possess by going beyond titles and traditional roles to identify the skill-pools. This will enable them to eliminate job-skill mismatch more creatively and easily. CHROs need to employ advanced technology to deploy the best workforce planning and strategy for the company.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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