by Margaret Ndung'u, Human Resource Solutions Lead at Grant Thornton
The methods used to conduct business and the skills required by organizations to succeed have radically transformed as a result of new technologies, demographic shifts, the mix of generations in the workplace, and most recently, the impact of Covid-19.
Like disruptive technologies, Covid-19 has swept away the habitual practices and systems in the workplace and increased reliance on Technology and Artificial Intelligence.
The most affected facet of the business is Human Capital. The need for change and adaptation necessitates upskilling and reskilling of employees on both Technical Skills (use of the new systems and applications) and Soft Skills (change management, teamwork, and time management).
Human Resource Management approaches call for businesses to review their strategic plans to include post-pandemic policies that will integrate resilience in the processes. Some policies such as monitoring working hours as well as employee engagement are starting points.
The leadership and culture of the organization have been affected by the introduction of the hybrid model which is the new normal – a mix of working from home and the office. Leaders need to incorporate measures that will transition the organization into their preferred model and normalize the organizational culture that is now at the mercy of effective communication and collaboration via online platforms.
Productivity is at an all-time high due to the flexibility of the employees in maximizing their prime working time. Ont the other hand, what are the organizations doing about the interpersonal skills and team building for the employees?
Talent Acquisition and Retention has been greatly affected. Gone are the days we would print interview packs and book reservations for interviews. The candidate calls asking for directions and apologizing for slight delays are a thing of the past. Interviews have become more efficient as resources such as time and money are saved. Online interviews are the new normal.
The opportunity cost is the loss of the human touch in the session. The online sessions may also not allow one to detect the body language as effectively as the physical interviews. However, the geographical limitations are no longer there. Candidates are logging in for interviews from all over the world.
Candidate placement is effective as they are not necessarily required to make drastic relocation decisions as some organizations have transitioned to a full-time work from home policy based on their industry. For instance, an ICT support technician can manage regional offices without stepping into a specific location.
This is the Future of Work.