Dear HR Bravehearts,

Congratulations on having battled one of the toughest times in workplace history. While a lot has been put into practice for streamlining and actualizing digital transformation, your work has just begun.

As we settle further into 2021, employees and leaders alike will look up to you for humanizing the new world of work we have embarked upon. As you find innovative solutions for workforce skilling and capability development, you will have to develop a new skillset too. As you clock in more ROI, more productivity and more savings, you will have to deal with challenges of employee engagement, culture realignment and change management. You will have to #DisruptTheNEW, and do it now!

Dear HR Bravehearts, buckle up, you are now in the driver’s seat

Owing to the pandemic and remote work, the adoption of digital learning has seen an exponential rise. It is not just how the learning is delivered but there has been a paradigm shift in ‘what’ learning needs to be delivered to the employees. As businesses realign their goals to stay relevant and agile in these unprecedented times, developing multi-functional skills, fostering inter-team collaboration, nurturing high-potential leaders are being prioritized. Honing leadership skills such as emotional intelligence and empathy is also given importance as organizations require leaders to navigate their workforce through these trying times and beyond. The onus is on you to make these happen at a pace that is rapid and relevance that is on point.

Dear HR Bravehearts, make technology your BFF

While technology becomes a necessity in the virtual world of work, don’t let it cripple you. Use it only as an enabler to achieve your end goals and objectives. Remember, people need people, not tech disguised as the shiny new thing. So find ways to humanize processes and tools.

Leverage technology to make the task of recruitment, payroll, employee training, performance evaluation, rewards & recognition, employee engagement more manageable. While it may be tempting to choose the highest-rated or least-expensive solution, it’s important to do your research and find the tool that’s right for your business’s needs.

Dear HR Bravehearts, make learning the new working

The only way businesses could survive and thrive in the uncertain times was by upskilling their workforce to adapt faster and better.

2021 will be the year when Digital Learning Platforms with capabilities for Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT), Integration with third party tools, Offline Mobile Learning, Social Learning, and Artificial Intelligence will make inroads into organizations of all shapes and types.

It will also be a year when buy-versus-build content calculus will shift in favor of Ready-to-use off-the-shelf content as the need to be agile and relevant dials up.

In all, employee capability development will become tablestake for all companies.

Dear HR Bravehearts, overhaul the employee experience

With our homes becoming our makeshift or even permanent workplace, you will have to go beyond managing just a finite 9-5 employee experience to a 365x24x7 life experience of the employee as employees no longer work from home, but work for home too. Elements like work-life balance, wellbeing, connection, and collaboration will be crucial both for employee satisfaction and the optimization of business outcomes. So as you build these programs into the fabric of your company culture, lead with empathy and compassion. Your people will need a pillar to lean on in tough times and a leader that puts them first in all situations.

Dear HR Bravehearts, fail fast and fail forward

For you, success will have a new meaning. It will encompass navigating through a complex and rapidly changing environment.  It will no longer only be a case of “what got us to here, won’t get us there”, but “what worked last week, won’t work this week”.  To deal successfully with rapid change, you will need rapid experimentation. And with rapid experimentation, comes failure and learning, which is an essential part of growth and forward movement. So develop curiosity and willingness to learn. Oftentimes from failing fast – a strategy of trying something, getting fast feedback, and then rapidly inspecting and adapting.

Dear HR Bravehearts, don’t leave your own skilling behind

In today’s world, technological skills are no longer a bonus, but a necessity for every HR professional. With technology evolving at breakneck speed, you need to be more agile now than ever before. Be it finding the right talent on social media or virtual onboarding or handling employee grievances in a non-physical/ phygital setting, digital skilling is a must-have in your arsenal.

Not just tech skills, take time to develop future skills too. Findings from BPP’s report Skills for the future: Asia Pacific identifies the below skill set for the HR of the future.

HR-Future-skills

As my letter comes to a close, I, once again, congratulate you on everything you have accomplished, and wish you the very best for the months to come. If you think I can add to your journey in any way, connect with me on LinkedIn/ drop me an email. In any case, I will be rooting for you all the way to the finish line. Lead on!

Best wishes,
Your learning partner & well wisher

Author