SilkRoad Technology, in partnership with Human Capital Media Research Group, has shared the findings of a survey that it conducted of nearly 500 HR professionals from various industries and locations globally.
Even though organizations are speaking about the success of quickly moving to remote work when the situation demanded, this is not a reflection of their strategic approach. Companies were completely or majorly unprepared for the disruption caused by the pandemic. They did not prepare for the transformation that was needed for their workers to rapidly adapt to this new world order.
The pandemic crisis and ensuring economic recession shows how companies were more reactive rather than proactive. The strategic roadmap to anticipate disruptions and plan for them is conspicuous by its absence. Digital models to continue operations were mainly short-term. There is no dedicated learning plan to increase the resilience of the workforce.
Absence of Workforce Transformation Strategy
As per the researchOpens a new window , 10% of the respondents didn’t even believe that they would face any disruption at all. However, over 60% of the organizations believed that disruption was coming due to technology related or marketplace changes. As per the responses, cultural resistance and lack of a clear strategy were preventing workforce transformation, and that less than half (48%) of the organizations felt that HR was prepared to manage this transformation.
Serious concerns are surfacing due to the above responses â€“ the lack of trust in the ability of HR to manage such a huge change as well as lack of leadership foresight. Apart from that, the absence of cultural sensitization that can make the employees more open to changes is also clear.
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The Looming Crisis
With such a troubling situation, the crisis that is looming ahead is worrying. Businesses have to start becoming aware of it.
Whether it is a technology related change or a shift in the marketplace, people are at the core of these. Without a strong HR team that has the ability to tide them over this change, workers are likely to flounder and remain confused about their goals. Before focusing on reskilling employees, organizations need to re-train and upskill their HR teams to develop the right capabilities in crisis management. Their competencies have to be mapped to the new future of work. That is the only way they can surge ahead and support the rest of the workers.
When leaders are defining their business goals for the next few years or decades, factoring in unforeseen and even unexpected crises is important. Without a roadmap that contains such contingencies and defines a calendar for the change it will trigger, there is no way for the transformation to become successful. This could include activities for learning and development, employee engagement, or simply communication about the crisis and how it is unfolding. The data from the research how hardly any organization that was surveyed had a plan of action for the transformation that is being triggered and escalated by the current pandemic.
Employees as well as leaders are struggling to adapt to a big shift towards remote work. This is not a shift only in the way organizations work. It indicates a need for change in every HR activity that forms a part of the employee lifecycle â€“ talent acquisition to performance management to rewards and even exit. There is likely to be cultural resistance to such rapid change especially since a large part of it is digitalization based and adapting to newer technology is time-consuming. But regular communication and emphasis on the business need for this change can allow for a smoother acceptance.
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The time to become proactive in how work is done and talent is managed, has come. Reactive measures can support organizations in the short-term but they will not make them sustainable entities.