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The COVID-19 pandemic started a completely new chapter for companies to create and implement winning strategies. The ones that help not only to survive in turbulent times but also to thrive and move forward. High volatility and uncertainty of operating conditions will stay with us for longer. This, in turn, means a huge increase in the importance of the human factor in business, especially of how employees function daily. What changes should leaders of companies and HR departments adjust to this year?
As a result of the pandemic, companies worldwide had to start working and operating differently from before to respond to a sudden and unexpected crisis. Its variable nature also makes it difficult to anticipate events and plan effectively. Companies, naturally, focused primarily on survival. This, however, is related to the trap of a reactive approach to business and doing mainly what is necessary at a given moment. Any disruptions are seen as point crises that must be resolved to get back into business as usual.
From reactivity to proactivity
Meanwhile, such an approach no longer fits neither with the present reality nor with the one that business will deal with soon. In the world in which he will now operate, frequent and sudden changes, permanent disturbances become the new norm. The old strategies of reaching goals, planned for years, turn out to be too static. They must be replaced by very dynamic strategies and activities, requiring a proactive, not reactive, attitude and creativity. Constant changes and disturbances must be accepted with the benefit of inventory and creatively, smoothly "managed." Use them to win markets and competitive advantages. Only in this way can businesses today move from a survival strategy to mindset to growth.
Increase in the importance of the human factor
To be proactive and creative in a way that leads to success in a dynamic environment, you need resistance to turbulence and constant change, courage, a clear vision, and flexibility. And these features are inherent in the human factor. With how they work, how they behave, and how motivated employees of a given enterprise are. This, in turn, largely depends on the organizational culture and mutual relations prevailing in it, whether the well-being of employees, the well-being of employees is included in the company's processes and procedures, and whether it is supported by the physical and digital environment in which people function. The point is that the attitude towards success requires a change in the way of thinking and acting and the way of being. Each challenge, problem, and a decision must first be screened from this angle.
The company's employees and associates play a unique role in creating and implementing strategies oriented towards development in a world of permanent change. Hence the need for a new opening, not only in terms of leadership but also the functions of the HR department.
5 key trends
In the above-mentioned study, we analyze those elements related to human capital management, thanks to which companies can strongly increase their chances for development in a given year. No wonder then that in the 2021 edition of the survey on trends, we decided to focus primarily on the phenomena and strategies that are key in supporting enterprises in transforming their current, conservative approach. That is, in the transition to development in the era of the new reality.
Key trends for business prosperity in talent management (employees and associates) in 2021.
1. Workers' well-being: the end of the work-life balance era
2. More than retraining: unlocking employees' potential
3. Super-teams: the driving force behind an organization
4. Talent management strategies: setting new directions in the field of work and employees
5. Message to HR: Accelerating the redesign of the work model
How the pandemic changed the attitude of management
However, before we discuss this year's trends in more detail, it is worth looking at the extent to which the pandemic surprised companies and how it changed their management approach to the business - including human capital.
1. Employee well-being viewed holistically
The end of the work-life balance era means that, according to employees, there is no longer a clear distinction between these spheres. This phenomenon could have been observed earlier, before the pandemic. However, the repercussions of the latter (including the transition to remote work performed at home) recalled him with full force or sometimes only made managers aware of its great importance.
To give their best, especially in the world of permanent change, they must be internally motivated to do so. Therefore, the task of leaders is to design their work in such a way that they experience positive emotions about it, resulting from the overall improvement of their quality of life.
It is necessary to properly combine the employee's well-being (when the needs and values that are important to him are met) and the transformation of work. Enterprises often forget to integrate these two things within the employee experience at the individual, team, and company levels. They will stop on separate programs, such as benefit systems.
2. Talent management strategies
Existing talent management strategies fail in the event of major disruptions. And they are certainly not useful when the company focuses on development in a dynamic environment and has to face constant changes.
Along with the effects of restrictions on the spread of COVID-19, new needs have arisen, requiring us as employees new skills. It turned out that leaders and HR departments must be well aware of the actual potential of available talents in real-time, i.e., very quickly, and then efficiently use this potential. You need, among others, to ask questions and look for answers to them (we have included a list of such key questions in our report) or enable the people mentioned above to prove themselves in areas that may not have been strictly within the scope of their duties so far.
Collecting such data is used not only to diagnose the potential of employees related to various competencies and abilities (e.g., adaptation) and to identify new types of leaders.
3. Accelerating the process of redesigning the work model
The new hand for HR people means, first of all, that their credibility and position in enterprises have increased as they engaged in anti-crisis measures. It's good news. However, the second step that HR departments should take if the business is to grow is much more important. It is about abandoning talent management in favor of redesigning the work model to support the well-being of human capital in the company, enabling it to release its potential, create effective super teams, or smoothly deliver data on employee capabilities.
This involves a new approach to teams, work, goal setting (KPI), performance management, human resource planning, organizational culture, or the workplace itself (hybrid, remote or remote), designing a remote culture, etc.
Previously, many human capital issues were dealt with through the introduction of separate programs and initiatives. However, when organizations shift from "survival" to "development" mode, dynamic solutions are needed to support further employees' strengths, which will ensure the development of the entire organization.