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5 future of work trends post COVID-19 for HR department

The emergence of COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the world in a way that we could not have imagined, it actually changed the way we live and work.

Countries across the globe start reopening their economies to determine ‘new normal’. Though, we know that back to work will not same as we left off. Social distancing, rotating shifts, infection control, cleaning, and many others are transmission risk mitigation measures that are part of our ‘New Normal’.

The HR department, particularly facing the most challenges ever since the outbreak of the pandemic. So, it is crucial for HR to get ready to deal with great challenges in this situation. The HR department will need balancing the continuous changes and competing priorities: to do what is best for both company and employees; to manage daily tasks along with short-term and long terms goals and strategies and to prepare for a return to new normal business operations while preparing for a possible future crisis.

The long-term trends that are expected to influence HR leaders post-COVID-19 include:

Employee Wellness is the main concern

Employees’ wellness becomes a focal point during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health concerns are top of mind for most people.

Additionally, due to social changes induced by the pandemic, many people have experienced increased stress and anxiety that in turn has increased interest in wellness, mental health, and employee assistance programs (EAP).

As businesses move into a post-COVID-19 world, interest in employer-provided resources for employee wellness will grow.

New top-tier employers

Employees and potential candidates will now judge organizations by the way they treat employees during the pandemic. Decisions made to resolve immediate concerns during the COVID-19 will have a long-term impact on the employment brand.

For instance, look for opportunities to arrange talent-sharing partnerships with other organizations to relocate employees displaced from their jobs by the pandemic.

Increase in Organizational Complexity

One recent study shows that remote workers could be up to 35% more productive than in-office employees. The work from home or a distributed office model will increase organizational complexity. Organizations that acknowledge the ongoing need for remote workers, and plan a strategy that supports telecommuting, will have the best chance for success in the post-COVID-19 workplace.

Strategy includes:

  • Training leaders for managing a distributed workforce
  • Revising the policy of telecommuting
  • Redefining performance management and performance expectations
  • Providing remote access to HR resources
  • Implementing applications to support remote work
  • Change in recruiting processes to support remote interviews, onboarding, etc.

Separation of critical skills and roles

Before Pandemic, critical roles were viewed as roles with critical skills that are needed by the organization to meet its strategic goals. Now, companies are realizing that there is another category of critical roles — positions that are critical to the success of essential workflows.

To build the workforce, focus less on roles and more on the skills, that are needed to drive the organization’s competitive advantage and the workflows that fuel that advantage. Motivate your employees to develop critical skills that will open up multiple opportunities for their career development. Don’t prepare them for a specific next role.

Dependency on Technology

Technology has become even more significant during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling enterprises to provide business continuity and manage employees, customers, products, and services remotely. This will affect human resources leaders in two ways: managing human resources and staffing via technology to support organizational technology.

The use of technology in HR has been evolving as more and more companies are adopting human resources information systems (HRIS) to augment various HR-related functions such as applicant tracking, Joining, attendance, payroll, benefits, performance management, and much more. In the post-COVID-19 workplace, HRIS will become even more critical. This will become even more important under a remote/distributed workforce model.

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