Much in the world of work has changed over the last decade, but never has the change been as rapid as in the past six months.
Technology’s gradual creep into the workspace has become a sprint, continuing faster than many of us would have believed possible.
We have seen rapid mobilisation of home-based workforces, many in sectors where presenteeism and traditional working patterns looked like impossible hurdles to clear. But at what cost? Will corporate cultures be eroded? Will cities become ghost towns? The workplace has changed forever, but is it for the better?
The Frazer Jones Global HR Spotlight report has been compiled with data and commentary from HR professionals from around the world. We have brought together interviews and observations from a variety of pressing issues in the HR arena including the future of the workforce, employee retention, remote working and the multi-generational workforce plus global recruitment market commentary from each of our regions.
Where the focus is
Culture, leadership, performance, future operating models are all topics on the lips of the most progressive executive boards.
Chris Nicholls, managing director of organisation effectiveness at Palladium, told Frazer Jones that employees were no longer just leaving managers, as the old dictum goes, but organisations that no longer met the diverse needs in the new employment economy.
He says this means moving culturally from managing attrition to retaining talent.
“This means a much more proactive approach from leaders, managers and the HR team in addressing issues before they occur,” Nicholls says.
“We use a predictive, retention-risk tool, which uses many different factors including time in role, pay history, training feedback and performance. We are continually looking to expand this and get smarter with the algorithm based on feedback.”
The flexibility to work remotely has been much feted as a game-changer for those workforces that have kept their momentum during the pandemic, but many respondents said flexibility in roles and functions has unearthed huge value.
Annette Bergknut Talboom, Group CHRO at Diversey, said: “Where it worked really well over the last couple of months is where we let go of our traditional roles with the traditional capabilities and responsibilities so we became much more entrepreneurial and people put task forces together to grab opportunities in the markets.”
“In the end we had somebody from IT leading a massive global demand program and some of my HR people are stepping into PMO roles to put demand and supply of our manufacturing more together.
“Moving forward, (the talent we’ll be looking for) is going to be much more entrepreneurial and be on the right skill base rather than pure roles and capabilities.”
Has HR ever seen a better time to drive the people agenda? When the heavy lifting of restructuring and the painful process of businesses having to downsize has slowed, there is an opportunity for HR to sit more comfortably with its seat at the table.
In this period of significant change, both politically and socially, HR has its biggest opportunity to make a difference – adding real commercial value.
This is an edited excerpt from the ‘Frazer Jones Global HR Spotlight’ report.