Navigating HR post COVID-19 - Transforming for the future of work-leading with head, hands, and heart

The future of work has arrived sooner than anticipated.  How can HR departments shape their resource strategies, talent, development, and use of technology to ensure the best outcomes?

COVID-19 is undoubtedly the greatest challenge Human Resources departments have seen in recent times.  As many companies unexpectedly entered unfamiliar territories, HR became one of the single most important functions for organizations.  From keeping employees safe to ensuring business continuity with reconfigured workflows, making sure employees stayed motivated, or achieving maximum productivity, HR teams needed to rise to the occasion and help businesses weather the storm.  

Today, as we transition to the new normal, we need to ramp up efforts and prepare for a post-COVID-19 era – an era that will change the way we work for good. HR teams alongside businesses must steer through workplace transformations, changes in practices, and refined policies, among many others.  Now, as we develop new and improved workforce strategies to support employees in real-time, it is clear that the future of work has arrived sooner than anticipated.

As countries around the world begin to revive their economies, business leaders must acknowledge that large-scale shifts have changed the way people work.  The question many of us have is: “What will the future of work look like?”

Dynamic workforce models and resource strategy

The focus should not be on building a talent pipeline that only leaves business leaders with black-and-white choices for staffing.  Instead, organizations must innovate and redesign their existing approaches to workforce management. We must assess how work is getting done in today’s environment and explore dynamic plans that let us pivot as things change.

An alternative to explore under a dynamic workforce model is just-in-time talent approach – a pull based strategy that provides managers with candidates that match their needs for a set duration. Apart from that, considering flexible work hours that allow employees to start and finish work at different times each day could benefit both organizations and employees – fuelling productivity and helping employees achieve better work-life balance. Having a clear plan on what type of resource is needed, the duration that it is needed, and the most efficient approach will help organizations ensure they have the best talent in place to increase the chances of an optimum outcome.

Leading with the head, hands and heart

Despite every tendency to focus on the economic side of the business, bringing compassion and empathy to day-to-day work and decision making is crucial.

With employees at the center of every organization’s success, business leaders must consider adopting a thoughtful leadership style – one that enables them to lead with their head, hands and heart.  The aim is not for leaders to change but rather to embrace their strengths, tighten the gaps they see in their leadership ways, and adapt to different styles that allow them to be more effective when leading.  Especially in trying times such as these, conventional methods of leadership will take a back seat, and we will see all layers of teams working together to make decisions quicker and more effectively.

In addition, to giving teams the tools, they need to continue being productive, ensuring support, and keeping up a teams’ spirit, leading with empathy is key to making sure that the backbone of our organization’s culture stays undistorted, regardless of the way of working.  It holds true that a company is only as good as its people and while there is no compromise to accountability and delivery, our people management strategy moving forward places an increased focus on ensuring the company culture continues to be experienced virtually.

Paradigm shift in talent development

As the future of work unfolds rapidly, individual learning has become part of the powerful current of the daily workflow.  At edotco, we regularly communicate to our employees that upskilling is key to staying relevant. As an organization we have made it easier for our employees to access learning and development throughout their careers – be it in the form of self learning, online classes, or coaching and mentoring sessions. It is safe to say that we no longer learn to work, but rather, work to learn.

Holistic approach to workplace wellness

Traditional wellness programs have proven to be beneficial for employees. However, as our day-today living and work environment changes, businesses need to think of wellness more holistically. Corporate wellness programs should start looking at well-being in terms of whole person care, which includes mental health and efforts that positively contribute to an employee’s work experience. The Mental Wellbeing Counselling Program at edotco provides emotional support for our employees. Rolled out during Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO) period, the program provided an avenue for employees to speak to certified professionals if they were experiencing stress or just needed someone to talk to as they observed stay at home orders and extended periods of social isolation.  We acknowledge the benefits of speaking to a professional contributes to both individual and organization, and intend to make this a permanent benefit, normalizing speaking to professionals for mental wellness.

Building a 21st-century organization

To begin with, a 21st-century organization is one that fosters human-machine collaboration, promotes an intelligent and dynamic environment unbounded by time or physical space, and enables new skills and workers experiences. At edotco, while navigating through the recent changes, the events that unfolded have fast-tracked the company’s transition to a 21st-century organization. The rapid changes that we experienced have accelerated our efforts around real-time efficient operations, advanced analytics, predictive capabilities, and future proofing the company.

As businesses lay the groundwork for the future of work, one of the key aspects organizations need to invest in is data. Data and artificial intelligence (AI) learning is the future and the lifeblood of a true bionic organization. It can feed us with information that is critical to business outcomes, improve human decision-making, and help organizations better manage resources.

Apart from that, the usage of virtual reality (VR) technology in the workplace will soon become a viable solution for the future of work. Ranging from VR conferencing to development and testing of solutions, virtual training, the adoption of VR by businesses will bring about significant change to a company’s overall flow of work. By identifying the technologies that complement an organization’s business, leaders will be able to structure their work transformation strategies and scope future of work initiative essential to the modern workplace.

In addition to accelerated efforts to ensure HR teams have an evolving strategy in place, we must build on the lessons and practices we have executed during the recent crisis and continue to lead with empathy and resilience. The future of work is not just about embracing technological and structural changes that will foster a dynamic workforce experience but also about ensuring our workforce is upskilled and well taken care of.

Ramon A. Chelva is the Chief People Officer of edotco Group, an integrated telecommunications infrastructure services company in Asia

View source version:
https://issuu.com/people-matters/docs/november_20issue_202020?fr=sOGFkMjEwNDYyMzA

For media enquiries, please contact:

Annushia Balavijendran
edotco Group Corporate Communications
Tel: +603 2268 6014
E-mail: annushia@edotcogroup.com

Navigating HR post COVID-19 - Transforming for the future of work-leading with head, hands, and heart

The future of work has arrived sooner than anticipated.  How can HR departments shape their resource strategies, talent, development, and use of technology to ensure the best outcomes?

COVID-19 is undoubtedly the greatest challenge Human Resources departments have seen in recent times.  As many companies unexpectedly entered unfamiliar territories, HR became one of the single most important functions for organizations.  From keeping employees safe to ensuring business continuity with reconfigured workflows, making sure employees stayed motivated, or achieving maximum productivity, HR teams needed to rise to the occasion and help businesses weather the storm.  

Today, as we transition to the new normal, we need to ramp up efforts and prepare for a post-COVID-19 era – an era that will change the way we work for good. HR teams alongside businesses must steer through workplace transformations, changes in practices, and refined policies, among many others.  Now, as we develop new and improved workforce strategies to support employees in real-time, it is clear that the future of work has arrived sooner than anticipated.

As countries around the world begin to revive their economies, business leaders must acknowledge that large-scale shifts have changed the way people work.  The question many of us have is: “What will the future of work look like?”

Dynamic workforce models and resource strategy

The focus should not be on building a talent pipeline that only leaves business leaders with black-and-white choices for staffing.  Instead, organizations must innovate and redesign their existing approaches to workforce management. We must assess how work is getting done in today’s environment and explore dynamic plans that let us pivot as things change.

An alternative to explore under a dynamic workforce model is just-in-time talent approach – a pull based strategy that provides managers with candidates that match their needs for a set duration. Apart from that, considering flexible work hours that allow employees to start and finish work at different times each day could benefit both organizations and employees – fuelling productivity and helping employees achieve better work-life balance. Having a clear plan on what type of resource is needed, the duration that it is needed, and the most efficient approach will help organizations ensure they have the best talent in place to increase the chances of an optimum outcome.

Leading with the head, hands and heart

Despite every tendency to focus on the economic side of the business, bringing compassion and empathy to day-to-day work and decision making is crucial.

With employees at the center of every organization’s success, business leaders must consider adopting a thoughtful leadership style – one that enables them to lead with their head, hands and heart.  The aim is not for leaders to change but rather to embrace their strengths, tighten the gaps they see in their leadership ways, and adapt to different styles that allow them to be more effective when leading.  Especially in trying times such as these, conventional methods of leadership will take a back seat, and we will see all layers of teams working together to make decisions quicker and more effectively.

In addition, to giving teams the tools, they need to continue being productive, ensuring support, and keeping up a teams’ spirit, leading with empathy is key to making sure that the backbone of our organization’s culture stays undistorted, regardless of the way of working.  It holds true that a company is only as good as its people and while there is no compromise to accountability and delivery, our people management strategy moving forward places an increased focus on ensuring the company culture continues to be experienced virtually.

Paradigm shift in talent development

As the future of work unfolds rapidly, individual learning has become part of the powerful current of the daily workflow.  At edotco, we regularly communicate to our employees that upskilling is key to staying relevant. As an organization we have made it easier for our employees to access learning and development throughout their careers – be it in the form of self learning, online classes, or coaching and mentoring sessions. It is safe to say that we no longer learn to work, but rather, work to learn.

Holistic approach to workplace wellness

Traditional wellness programs have proven to be beneficial for employees. However, as our day-today living and work environment changes, businesses need to think of wellness more holistically. Corporate wellness programs should start looking at well-being in terms of whole person care, which includes mental health and efforts that positively contribute to an employee’s work experience. The Mental Wellbeing Counselling Program at edotco provides emotional support for our employees. Rolled out during Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO) period, the program provided an avenue for employees to speak to certified professionals if they were experiencing stress or just needed someone to talk to as they observed stay at home orders and extended periods of social isolation.  We acknowledge the benefits of speaking to a professional contributes to both individual and organization, and intend to make this a permanent benefit, normalizing speaking to professionals for mental wellness.

Building a 21st-century organization

To begin with, a 21st-century organization is one that fosters human-machine collaboration, promotes an intelligent and dynamic environment unbounded by time or physical space, and enables new skills and workers experiences. At edotco, while navigating through the recent changes, the events that unfolded have fast-tracked the company’s transition to a 21st-century organization. The rapid changes that we experienced have accelerated our efforts around real-time efficient operations, advanced analytics, predictive capabilities, and future proofing the company.

As businesses lay the groundwork for the future of work, one of the key aspects organizations need to invest in is data. Data and artificial intelligence (AI) learning is the future and the lifeblood of a true bionic organization. It can feed us with information that is critical to business outcomes, improve human decision-making, and help organizations better manage resources.

Apart from that, the usage of virtual reality (VR) technology in the workplace will soon become a viable solution for the future of work. Ranging from VR conferencing to development and testing of solutions, virtual training, the adoption of VR by businesses will bring about significant change to a company’s overall flow of work. By identifying the technologies that complement an organization’s business, leaders will be able to structure their work transformation strategies and scope future of work initiative essential to the modern workplace.

In addition to accelerated efforts to ensure HR teams have an evolving strategy in place, we must build on the lessons and practices we have executed during the recent crisis and continue to lead with empathy and resilience. The future of work is not just about embracing technological and structural changes that will foster a dynamic workforce experience but also about ensuring our workforce is upskilled and well taken care of.

Ramon A. Chelva is the Chief People Officer of edotco Group, an integrated telecommunications infrastructure services company in Asia

View source version:
https://issuu.com/people-matters/docs/november_20issue_202020?fr=sOGFkMjEwNDYyMzA

For media enquiries, please contact:

Annushia Balavijendran
edotco Group Corporate Communications
Tel: +603 2268 6014
E-mail: annushia@edotcogroup.com