Article: Dive into the new normal

HR Technology

Dive into the new normal

What organizations need to consider as they operate after the ‘Great Reset’.
Dive into the new normal

The future that all the organizations were preparing for has changed its course and the world of work is undergoing the biggest disruption ever. The change in the external environment pushed organizations across the globe to face unparalleled challenges. Organizations did rise up to the occasion and rapidly responded by adapting to the changing environment. However, what started as a temporary adjustment to the way of working has mutated into a permanent change in the nature of the workforce and workplace. The world of work is looking at a #newnormal. As the #newnormal is unveiling itself, the work, worker, and workplace are getting belted up for the next phase of adaptation, transformation, and eventually growth. According to Fortune 500 CEO Survey1, 26 percent of fortune 500 CEOs say that 90 percent of their workforce will NEVER return to their usual workplace. Hence, there is a lot of ambiguity around what is this new normal and how it will impact the world of work. 

While every organization function right from marketing to CSR, is witnessing new demands at work, HR is taking one of the most central roles in these ‘’return to work’’ conversations. Talent and culture are at the forefront in this process of recalibration. Return to the workplace will be slow, staggered, and deliberate and before the enterprises ‘Dive-off’ into the new normal, they will need to reset the workplace for the returning workforce. Organizations irrespective of their size and sector must look at the following 4 imperatives for a successful DIVE:

Digital resilience

Intelligence ecosystem

Values driven business

Empathy

Digital resilience

Irrespective of industry, function, or geography, digital has become the default mode of delivering experience for almost everything today. Even the most human of tasks like teaching, counseling, and even celebrations are now being delivered digitally. Under #newnormal, organizations must assess where they are on the Resilience Readiness Maturity from a digital perspective and then take a call to invest in the right digital strategy. And digitalization is not just about automating processes or enabling work from home; it is about leveraging the digital ecosystem to transform the culture of the organization, in a phased manner, to become a truly ‘’resilient organization’’. Leaders, therefore, must decide on a digital strategy that will enable them to create the culture of responsiveness, agility, empathy, and compassion in the #newnormal.

UST Global, a multinational provider of Digital technology and transformation, IT services and solutions, managed to get their workforce remotely in less than 24 hours, as they had digital infrastructure in place. They opted for incident management solution that works in sync with their existing HCM Cloud and provides a robust and easy platform for tracking, managing, and preventing the spread of the disease across the employee base. UST Global is looking at deploying new solutions in the areas of cyber security which will allow employees to work in a safe environment, even from their homes. UST Global is investing heavily to create an infrastructure to support remote working for a longer time.2

While every organization function right from marketing to CSR is witnessing new demands at work, HR is taking one of the most central roles in these ‘return to work’ conversations.

Intelligence ecosystem

As the workplace keeps on evolving, more and more employee interactions will happen in the virtual world. Navigating the nuances of such a hybrid workplace will require new paradigms of intelligence. From a talent perspective, businesses will now need people who have high degrees of both cognitive and emotional intelligence. The ability to utilize both acumens together and understanding the art of switching between them will be the single biggest asset that humans will bring to the table. Artificial intelligence will need to be deployed wherever possible to ensure that systems are extracting relevant insights proactively to ensure that leaders are focusing on where it matters the most. Lastly, cultural intelligence will need to be developed in leaders as more and more aspects of diversity will be visible in the new world of flexi-working. In order to augment human, emotional, and cultural intelligence under #newnormal, the leaders would need to put state of the art AI in place.2

Uflex, a leader in the packaging industry, is using intelligence right from the factory floor into their enterprise applications.  They are working on more projects to expand the digital purview beyond the shop floor. They are in the process of implementing human capital management or HCM solutions.

Value-driven business

From embracing diversity to boycotting irresponsible products and companies, the #newnormal is bringing values to the forefront of decision making. Organizations must operate from core fundamental values that are rooted in ecological sustainability and social inclusion. Value-driven business will be the preferred choice for customers and employees alike. HR will need to be the torchbearer and a constant guide to business leaders on the following three dimensions of value-based business:

  • What is socially and ethically important
  • What is economically viable, and
  • What is environmentally conducive

Save the Children is a 100-year-old NGO whose primary mission is to reach out to marginalized children and their families in India. One key factor that goes unnoticed with such institutions is that they are evolving themselves unceasingly, without altering their basic values. Be it technology innovation; or innovation in their operations; or how they manage their resources such as their people; or how they keep track of children they enrolled in schools after being saved from labor; or how they use data analytics to cull out commonalities and trends for them to develop new programs.  

Making a positive difference to the lives of people is the fundamental deliverable of true leadership. And this has never been more difficult than in the current times.

Empathy

Making a positive difference to the lives of people is the fundamental deliverable of true leadership; and this has never been more difficult than in the current times. Faced with the roller-coaster emotional turbulence in both personal and professional lives, employees today, are sub-consciously seeking compassion and empathy more than ever. Empathy from the organization and leadership is highly required in these times since “the goal is to refocus individuals away from trauma and towards a better future for themselves and the business as well” (Mckinsey). According to a study conducted by TCS3, “Attending to the physical and emotional well-being of the workforce has become essential to running a financially healthy business”. 

RBL, one of India’s fastest growing private sector banks and with nearly 6,000 workers, was finding it difficult to care for the well-being of such a large number of employees under current circumstances. The bank opted for an extra module4 in addition to the Cloud HCM5, that they were using. The module gives the bank the ability to track and manage health and safety matters within its organization. Employees can quickly report health-related incidents or concerns from their mobile or desktop devices and administrators can communicate follow-up steps. 

Although seemingly dangerous, diving is actually a relatively safe sport when conducted sensibly. And as organizations ‘’DIVE’’ into the new normal, ensuring the right Digital Resilience, Intelligence ecosystem, Vales and Empathy will ensure that they come out safe and stronger in what will possibly go down in history as the ‘’great reset’’. 

Notes:

  1. Fortune 500 CEO survey: How are America’s biggest companies dealing with the coronavirus pandemic?
  2. How UST Global is tracking the health of employees: ET CIO.com
  3. The New Normal That the Pandemic Will Unleash on Business: TCS
  4. Oracle Workforce Health and Safety
  5. Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM)
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Topics: HR Technology, #GuestArticle, #TheNewNormal, #TechHRIn

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