Article: Shaping employee careers and performance for a hybrid world of work

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Shaping employee careers and performance for a hybrid world of work

With the future being more hybrid, one of the major areas that have come into focus is managing performance and careers in a hybrid world of work.
Shaping employee careers and performance for a hybrid world of work

It’s a truism that we tend to overestimate change in the short-term and underestimate it long-term. But COVID-19 is challenging that as a turbo-charging accelerant for what was already on the horizon: a hybrid workplace. What we know going forward is that employees will all be more “hybrid” – changing place, changing state, changing mode more constantly. For those who can work independently of their workplace, work will not be binary – either entirely at the office or entirely remote – but hybrid across the office, the home, third spaces, and more.

However, with the future being more hybrid, one of the major areas that have come into focus is managing performance and careers in a hybrid world of work.

Traditional annual review processes or legacy systems will no longer work for the new world of work and organizations are looking forward to more agile and digital methods with an aim to increase the overall business growth.

In a recent webcast by People Matters and KPISOFT, we will address how organizations can rethink performance, productivity, and careers for a hybrid world of work. The webcast focused on how organizations can take the leap and transform their performance management systems by integrating intelligent technologies. Further, it will share some ideas on how organizations can help their workforce acquire new and in-demand skills, and prepare for changing roles for today and tomorrow.

Setting the context, David Ng, Chief Revenue Officer of KPISOFT shares that 2020 has certainly been a devastating year for many countries, governments, and companies. “But yet it also has been an amazing year for opportunities, especially in context to digital transformation. It is so true that the COVID-19 has really forced all the organizations to look at new norms to facilitate digitization, transformation, and employee engagement,” shares David.

Highlighting the key theme of discussion which is “Hybrid World of Work,” David put forward some key challenges for the experts joining us for the panel:

  • How do we continue to engage with our people working in a hybrid model of the workplace?
  • How do we continue to measure productivity that has an end-effect on how we then drive employee and corporate performance?
  • How we digitize and automate career and succession planning?
  • With all the technologies available from AI to Data Science and to People Analytics, how do we create a superior employee experience for our people?

Here are some excerpts from the fireside chat between David and our panelists: Jeffrey Chiam, Global Head of HR, Bank of Singapore, Ongmu Gombu, VP - HR, APAC, GSK, Drew Fernandez, Global Chief People Officer, The Coca-Cola Company.

Jeffery Chiam on workplace transformation during COVID-19

We have the pandemic in 2020 but if we think that technology is a solution to fix the challenges posed by the pandemic then it is a very short-term perspective. 

Giving you an example of how the Bank of Singapore looks at the workplace transformation even before the pandemic hit– it was an ongoing journey that we decided to take and because we felt that it is very important, however, the pandemic came along and accelerated the urgency and the need for change. 

Digitization and transformation is critical for success but there are few more things that we need to reconsider.The challenges in front of us as a private bank and as a financial institution is really to look at reskilling and upskilling our employees in order to take on new roles or expand their abilities or take up evolved roles because automation, AI, digital will take up some of the jobs. 

So with that we started the journey, we started a steering committee. Our CEO is directly involved with their steering committee and the committee consists of stakeholders from all the departments. In there we looked at different things like- how is digital and automation affecting us, how do we build data analytics abilities, what all roles would be created and get disrupted and where do we need to reskill, how do we create more job and development opportunities.

When the pandemic happened and accelerated the needs, we started to look at other issues like remote working, continuing sustainable clients, and employee experience. We saw our employees as technology enablers and we made sure they are equipped with right tech infrastructure and they are educated to use technology better and leverage technology to engage our clients, peers and workforce.

Ongmu Gombu on transforming careers in a hybrid world

In GSK we were on our journey of what we call being future-ready. We were transforming into two different organizations–A consumer healthcare organization and a biopharma organization. Along with this, our global support function is also really looking at the way we operate. Very similar to the Bank of Singapore, we were on our journey of transformation but with COVID-19, the journey got accelerated. The situation has accentuated us internally to be more agile, and we need to think about how we are transforming, how our customers are transforming. For example how are we evolving in our supply chain during COVID. 

Employees within the organization were aware of these changes and how they needed to change. When I look at careers, our employees are talking a little bit more on mobility and flexibility.  There are more career options because mobility constraints have been reduced. At the same time employees would continue to challenge us on locations why we need to be HQ and as an organization we need to be very clear on the roles which need to be HQ based and what roles cannot be location agnostic. Upskilling is going to be very critical and train aur talent to pick up skills very quickly. I do believe  we would have talent gaps and needs but with talent mobility, the ability to grow local talent would be all more critical.

Having said this, we would have to train our people on talent ambiguity. Traditional roles, structure, careers may not exist. How do we train our employees to deal with that ambiguity. Organizational structure, hierarchies will get blended. More employees will have a voice now as people who were more introverted were able to communicate better with all the technologies available. 

With all these changes, leadership and managers would need to be more mature, they need to be more empathetic, they need to keep watchout on employee wellbeing and the employee experience.

Drew on reimagining performance

People sometimes do oversimplify work on reimagining performance management by either buying the latest tool or tech  or by latching on a trend that is going on in an industry for example removing performance rating.  But what organizations don't understand is that by just implementing a tool or latching on to a trend you are actually further  complicating the performance management or you are not necessarily helping the growth ambitions of the business and people or limiting the workforce to evolve.

According to me, we first and foremost need the first design principle that we have embraced which is simplicity. We are in the times when everything is very confusing and there is so much information out there you need to really cut through the noise and really understand and simplify everything.

Performance management is at the heart of our operations and I think it is one of the first few things that we need to rethink as we evolve how we do our business, we engage our people and how we define successful performance. And at the back of reimagining performance management there is a full process review and reengineering. If you are able to do well, if you have absolute simplicity, as your number one design principle. The ability to simplify processes is a critical skillset. If you'd like to learn how to do this and rethink careers in a hybrid world of work, book a demo with KPISOFT!


Employee engagement taking business priority in 2020 comes as no surprise. High employee engagement can contribute to the company’s growth and profit per employee, making it a critical consideration for today’s businesses. Boosting employee engagement, however, can be a challenging undertaking as every company has its own culture and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to achieving engagement. Technology can play a critical role here, enabling organizations to easily set up modern appraisal processes that are in-line with their business needs and engagement goals. However, focusing on evolving roles, career journeys, and growth plans would be able to help you lead the agenda of future-ready organization.

Watch the entire video session here

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Topics: Performance Management, #HybridWorkplace

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