As the dust settles on the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, clarity on the future of work is emerging. In the HR world, hot new trends are being tested against the ‘new normal’ and the road to recovery looks promising with a net estimate of 100 million jobs to be created in 2021 and an additional 80 million in 2022.
Let us look at the top employment trends that are going to shape the HR World post-pandemic.
1-Hybrid Work Culture
With brands like Google, Microsoft, Ford, and Twitter paving the way, the hybrid model of work is here to stay. Even in India, the central government has made a move to facilitate permanent work from home for the IT sector.
The hybrid model not only helps in establishing an employee-friendly brand but is also being connected strongly to improved productivity. As many as 63% of high-growth companies have already adopted the hybrid model, as per an Accenture report.
2-Growth of the Gig Economy
The gig economy will create up to 90 million jobs in India post-pandemic, a Boston Consulting Group, and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation report. Moreover, 80% of the gig workers are equally or more likely to take up gig work as compared to before lockdown despite COVID-led hardships.
As remote culture picks up pace, employees will look for small yet meaningful gigs with brands that display flexibility and empathy.
3-Employee as a Customer
More than 40% respondents in 31 countries are considering leaving their employer this year as per Microsoft’s Work Trend Index Survey. This data verifies that the war for talent is only going to get more intense.
The need of the hour is building digital hiring, onboarding, and retention strategies that cater to employee needs at each phase of their journey with an organisation.
End-to-end automation of the HR function has paramount importance in the age of remote work. By automating tedious, and paper-intensive tasks like document collection and uploading, manual verification, etc., organisations will empower their HR function to take up more qualitative work and build a better employee connection.
Redesigning legacy systems and ensuring strategic integration of new digital systems will go a long way in driving efficiency up and costs down.
5-Investment in HR Tech
Introducing AI and ML to basic HR processes like hiring, verification, onboarding, and retention will help HR teams bring intelligence to the function by giving valuable people analytic insights on hiring trends, leadership scores, attrition data, etc.
Improved data literacy and evidence-based, real-time decision-making will lead HR to reach decisions faster and curate personal employee experiences during each stage of the employee journey, impressing and attracting real talent.
The use of AI will also help companies build and position their brand as tech-led and innovation-friendly.
6-Race to Reskill
Way before COVID-19, the World Economic Forum forecasted that half of India’s workforce will need reskilling by 2022. This gap has widened manifold with the pandemic-led job losses that have pushed millions of workers out of the workforce.
As the fight to attract the best talent intensifies, organisations looking at cost-effectiveness and employee loyalty will have to look inside to build new capabilities.
A gamified learning and development program, with levels and rewards for crossing each level, is a strategy that has worked well for many modern organisations.
7-Ethical HR as the New HR
With all that the world has collectively gone through due to the pandemic, empathy at work is no longer optional. The growing need for work-life balance, flexibility, and meaningful work has for the first time brought Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Y together as Perennials, all of whom want their employers to support both their life and career goals.
In fact, 68% of the Indian workers ranked opportunities to develop skills ahead of salary increment in Microsoft’s Work Trend Index Survey.
Employee engagement post-pandemic is no longer just a ‘human resource issue’ but an agenda that needs to be driven right from the top. ‘Supportive management’, ‘trust in leadership’ and the ‘coaching approach’ have been identified in a Deloitte article as best methods to move forward.
Frequent check-ins and a transparent communication channel with employees can boost meaningful employee engagement along with enabling learning and development opportunities, hybrid work models, and perks like childcare facilities, parental leave, and mental health days.
HR as a Strategic Future Partner
In a McKinsey survey, about 350 HR leaders said that in the next two years they wanted to prioritise initiatives that strengthen their organisation’s ability to drive change in leadership, culture, and employee experience.
The future needs HR teams that can build their companies into purpose-driven, anti-fragile organisations. For this, the HR goals must align with the organisational goals at a granular level, and HR teams must combine business acumen, digital and data literacy, and a keen understanding of employee aspirations and behaviour to be relevant in a world where disruption will be the norm.
The pandemic has brought HR teams to the forefront; by shaping agile, dynamic, and future-ready organisations, the HR function can change its trajectory from here.
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