The COVID19 Pandemic has profoundly impacted humans’ collective minds and will leave a lasting imprint on personal and professional lifestyles. A lot has changed, and a lot will keep changing at an accelerated pace.
The viruses and their mutated strains are here to stay. While there will always be medicinal remedies, economies and business value chains would also have changed forever. Social and organizational behaviors would even now have to adapt to this ever-evolving new world order. Welcome to the challenging VUCA-World dynamics of the 21st Century. People have always been a critical resource and shall remain to be. Some will be obsolete while others will suit the Post-COVID19 normal and the resulting new world order. It is now all about the demonstrated wisdom of adapting through new behaviors. Pre-pandemic behaviors and habits may show the survival of individuals and organizations at deficient probability levels.
So what has the COVID19 pandemic resulted? For sure, it has reinvented business models and accelerated innovations to support emerging business models and value chains. The technology was being used to suit the human resource dynamics, but now human resources will be selected to serve the new business models and technological innovations. Perpetual Innovations will continuously disrupt the organization’s behavior. Neo-Classical Organizations and work from home systems will usher the era of a unique working style, which will be consistently reinvented as organizations pursue their newfound quest to redefine productivity levels. Organizations in the new world order increasingly realize the amount of flab they have accumulated over the years. The pandemic put pressure on every enterprise’s economic resources and led the Leaders to rethink ways to cut costs with prudence. Leaders have suddenly realized work from home and technology is boosting productivity, which is the leading indicator for good times to come. Administration, establishment costs, and operations expenses are suddenly down. Real estate is suddenly being seen as an unproductive investment eroding profitability and restricting cash flows.
The environment and economies change their behaviors while some pockets flourish; others are sinking or have already lost in the game of new world order. Though the world will remain a technological & business global village, nationalistic sentiments will rule the roost. Simultaneously, viruses mutate, and the global economies and world order will face the pressure of accelerated change, and thus human behavioral competencies will see a sea change. Organization work designs, competency frameworks, and skill matrices demand a serious relook now. The recruitment process must now be more sensitive to the human behavioral dimension than ever before.
The use of technology shrinks teams and thus always results in surplus human resources. Gone are the days when organizations will be charitable to accommodate the bench alternatively. Residential apartments will have a room that shall operate as personal home offices permanently. Pressure on human resources to remain relevant shall be a continual challenge. Businesses have genuinely tasted the blood of peaking productivity and rapid innovations, and I doubt if they will let go of this momentum. Increasingly contract jobs will become relevant to individuals’ time-sharing with different organizations under Non-Disclosure Agreements and Confidentiality arrangements. Collaborative partnerships shall be the new norm as demand for specialized competencies grows. Let us assess the premises in which people will operate.
1. Viruses are here to stay; thus, fitness is the key because immunity is natural; medicines and remedies follow time.
2. The global dynamics will shift in terms of the Triad of USA-Europe-Japan as international markets. The emergence of the Quad of India, the USA, Japan & Australia will create unprecedented cooperation with Japan and the USA as the shared economies between the Triad and the Quad. Supply chains will reconfigure themselves and not remain one-country-centric.
3. Economies and businesses will mitigate the risk of pandemics as COVID19 has undoubtedly jolted the global economies. Mitigation of Business risk of epidemic shall be a fundamental premise in all decision making.
4. Work from home will result in stresses in societal, family, and professional life.
5. Technology will reconfigure the way we live and work.
6. Global political leadership will formulate plans which will be Nationalistic and protectionist to ensure survival with the ambition to rule global markets.
7. The state of chaos will be the new normal if, at all, Biological, Economic, and Cyberwarfare become the new norm of global conflicts. Having said this, what should organizations do to remain relevant? Let us first look at the recruitment process, which will be contactless and on technology. For sure, when people operate from homes, the dynamics of overseeing work and reviews will be an extra overhead. Control processes cannot be made complicated or stringent as they will affect human relations. Virtual teams which are ubiquitous and remote with technology taking the front seat will demand new competencies, as suggested earlier, which are as under:
1. A strong sense of purpose at work and thought leadership
2. Integrity and conscientiousness
3. Critical thinking for managing ambiguity
4. Agile Innovation
5. Solutions approach
6. Technological savviness
7. Focus on Personal Mastery and Self-development
8. Emotional intelligence
9. Perpetual optimism and high resilience
10. High result orientation
11. An extreme degree of adaptability to manage change
12. A High Sense of Ownership & Accountability
The recruitment process will need to investigate candidates’ behaviors through psychometric assessments & interpretations concerning detailed work designs. Hunches and personal experience will be relevant only to do contra-assessments through valid and reliable assessment tools. Referencing and Industry network-based hiring will see increasing trends. Informed hiring decisions will now be the essential factor as people work from home; otherwise, monitoring performance will be very high. This cost is always an undesirable overhead. We cannot discount the psychological stresses arising in teams due to the lack of accountability demonstrated in individual pockets of interdependent remote virtual work from home teams. Toxic behaviors will severely constrain individual and collective performance. Behavioral Event Interviews based on Psychometric Assessments is the new way of hiring. Since people will have to deliver through demonstrated high result orientation, ownership & accountability shall be critical as one cannot just “float” in the Universe of business anymore and be a compliant contributor. So what is needed to build this ownership and accountability at work?
1. Defining clear expectations
2. Defining clear measurement factors of performance
3. Developing precise capabilities to deliver the goals and expectations
4. Leadership Conversations and Feedback
5. Defining precise outcomes of success and failures at the individual, team, and organization level
Learning and development shall see a renewed focus, and investments as capabilities will be critical to business sustenance more than ever. MOOCs, PodCasts, Virtual Training, Virtual Instructor Lead Training, Knowledge Portals, and Virtual Coaching will be essential development tools. Knowledge will be eternal power in the 21st Century. Learning retention and engagements will rise as technologies evolve in this space. Tech-Education is the next frontier of human resource development, with critical success behavioral drivers in developmental processes.
Performance Management will be real-time driven through analytics and peer reviews. Engagement level measures will be available on team collaboration technologies and learning portals. Interestingly, this will eliminate human biases and relationship noises that frequently occur in performance appraisals. Instead, people analytics will determine human resource decisions. The sustenance of organizations will now depend upon Authentic Leaders, capable human resources, and technological prowess. These shall prove to be a competitive advantage to drive brands and enterprises. Have you thought about your Post-Pandemic people’s strategies and determinants of human resource success? You must; there is no choice but to reinvent your people strategies to remain in the game. As regards professionals; as the job market shrinks owing to technologies, thought leadership is the only way to go.