As ominous 2020 comes to an end, one thing is clear- COVID-19 is here to stay, and the future depends on a lot of unknowns. The pandemic has changed our world and our world of work permanently. From its crippling effect on world economies to the massive shift it has brought in the world of work as far acceleration of remote working and flexibility in workforce management to integration of work and life is concerned, the year has taught us much.
What’s also clear is that it’s time to embark on a journey that is meaningful, purpose-driven, and people-centric. As we move into the year 2021, it’s time to reset work norms that are more human, more productive, and more inclusive. What are these key issues that HR leaders need to reweigh and plan for the year 2021?
In an exclusive interaction with us, Rhiannon Staples, CMO, Hibob, sheds more light on the opportunities ahead and how companies must realize the world of work as we know it has changed forever.
What are some leadership lessons taught by COVID-19?
Perhaps most notably, the COVID pandemic has called leaders to sharpen soft skills and EQ. Empathy is a critical leadership quality stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Managers and leadership must find ways to balance care for the needs of the employee with the needs of the business. Adaptability is also crucial. Leaders must be creative in identifying solutions on the fly and seeking out new approaches to streamline operations rapidly and without a blueprint.
Lastly, rather than focusing on tasks or activities, leaders must understand how critical it is to set clear objectives and outcomes for their employees to ultimately drive success.
With the coronavirus pandemic altering the way we work, it also offered the possibility for HR and talent leaders to accelerate to digital and enable their workers to stay productive amid this chaos. What are some of the trends you have seen across organizations?
The same work challenges exist as before but now are impacted by the realities of hiring, onboarding, engagement, and retention in a remote situation. Right now, organizational success is dependent upon rethinking how to drive these realities in this new environment. Businesses and HR teams are also beginning to reimagine the role technology plays in this transition and exactly how they must equip leaders and employees to enable an operational remote workplace.
For instance, our platform ‘bob’ is a great way for companies to build remote cultures, Slack drives collaboration, and communication, products like Monday.com allow for seamless project management, and the list goes on. Implementing technological change that seamlessly facilitates engagement, communication, and collaboration will ultimately set companies up for success, and this will be a trend we will continually see in the current world of work - even with hybrid models.
How do you think investments in HR Tech have grown this year and what do you think is going to be the trend in the coming year?
Effective HR technology is mission-critical in helping businesses operate efficiently. It also provides the necessary agility to adapt rapidly to changing business circumstances.
Over the next few months, HR leaders will increasingly be looking for technology that allows them to keep their people engaged.
That’s why we’ll see more investment focused on technology that drives engagement, employee development, and HR analytics - so organizations can ensure they are optimizing their most valuable asset - people.
What do you think the future holds for HR in a data-driven world post the pandemic? What is going to be HR’s new role?
HRIS has taken a front seat in many organizations and is seen as a strategic driver of business success. Overnight, HR teams had to lead their organizations to transition to a work from home status. Now more than ever, HR leaders are expected to leverage technology to drive change and to utilize data-driven insights to understand what programs and investments are moving the needle. For modern companies, the value is their people. That’s why it’s so vital to understand how to effectively manage, develop, and empower people - it ties directly to both the top and bottom lines.
What do you think are going to be overarching trends in 2021 as far as HR and the world of work is concerned?
2020 was about establishing the baseline for remote and hybrid work. 2021 will, in turn, be about the optimization of a hybrid workforce. HR teams recognize that employers will undoubtedly require skills to effectively build and manage remote and dispersed teams.
Companies must realize the world of work as we know it has changed forever.
Tackling the remote work challenge should be a premier priority for businesses and successfully doing so ensures the greatest level of employee productivity, success, and satisfaction which very directly affect both the top and the bottom line of a business.