Back to the Future
In today’s workplace, it feels like the future of work has become the now of work. Many of the changes which started during the pandemic were accelerated and have become permanent aspects of our working lives. Both employers and employees have had to adjust to a myriad of workplace operations and practices that have often been disruptive and stressful to managers and workers. How can we all adapt to what appears to be the new normal?
The New Roadmap
Recently Forbes addressed this issue with the following recommendations to help HR navigate through this new workplace.
Employee well-being is a human imperative. Experiencing stress at work impacts the individual worker and the worker’s relationships with friends, family, and co-workers. Companies need to focus on employee mental health with counseling, wellness, and financial aid programs.
Skills-based hiring is on the rise as companies recruit for potential rather than degrees. In addition to broadening the talent pool for employees, skills-based hiring helps to remove career and salary barriers for over two-thirds of adults in the United States who do not have a bachelor’s degree. For employers, skills-based hiring broadens the talent pool, increases the speed to hire, and adds greater diversity of thought in the workforce.
The future of work is flexibility for all employees. Flexibility is the ability to choose one’s work schedule and it no longer means just working remotely. It can mean working four or even three days a week while working longer hours each day. Work flexibility is clearly something desired by all segments of workers. This is not just a benefit in a tight labor market. We need to ask ourselves what new work rhythms can we create that will allow flexibility for all workers.
Hybrid learning will force companies to re-invent their brick-and-mortar corporate academies. Executive Networks research found that many learning leaders believe the growth of hybrid working and learning will lead to a future where learners engage where they are, whether that is in person at a corporate headquarters, in a satellite office, a pop-up space, or online.
ESG reporting will expand beyond compliance to attract talent. The importance of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) reporting is increasing due to new regulatory requirements and pressure from investors, boards of directors, and a range of stakeholders from current and prospective employees to consumers.
Human skills are the new hard skills for the future of work. While technical skills remain highly valued, the top five most sought-after skills that employers are seeking today are the human skills of communication, customer service, leadership, attention to detail, and collaboration.
Hybrid working is here to stay and success starts with defining it. Before an employee starts to work in a hybrid model, managers and workers need to agree on guidelines to ensure inclusivity by defining the workspaces where work will happen, the technology tools needed, the team norms, core collaboration hours, and rituals for success.
HR burnout is a crisis that needs to be addressed. The HR burnout crisis is more than a casualty of the pandemic. It points to how much the role of HR has evolved to be more complex, strategic, and cross-functional. Leaders must understand the magnitude of the changes impacting HR and provide them with enhanced training, access to coaching, and recognition and appreciation of their enhanced role in the success of the organization.
Recognizing Your Employees Today
You’re going to need a recognition program that can totally adapt to today’s workplace of now. Adaptability and flexibility are our watchwords. We can help you successfully adjust to your new normal.
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