We tend to underestimate the speed of change, but after a year like 2020, we’re all aware of our vulnerability and just what living in a VUCA world means. It’s been an eye-opening experience for HR professionals who have historically been slow to adapt. COVID has shined light on some key changes in hiring and the workplace. Here are some of the ways HR has changed in the past year.
The Shifting Nature of Employer-Employee Dynamics
Every company wants to bring on the best and brightest employees to develop and retain. Employers use the term “human capital” to convey the value that employees add to their companies. But what if instead of organizations seeing employees as their greatest asset, they started thinking of how your organization could be the greatest asset to employees?
Employees want to enjoy their organization and know that they are contributing in a meaningful way. They are becoming more selective about where they work. So if you want to attract great talent in these evolving times, you need to start rethinking how you can benefit hires and help them become more adaptable even in these uncertain times.
Workplace Challenges During and After COVID-19
In the pandemic, every employer has experienced the meaning of exponential change. One way of explaining this change is VUCA, an acronym used by militaries, governments, and big businesses to describe volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity. Since March 13, 2020, workplaces, schools, and people of all ages have been in a constant state of VUCA.
Contrary to what some people might think, larger organizations actually had greater obstacles when trying to adjust to the changes that came with the pandemic. Although smaller and medium-sized businesses may have fewer resources, larger organizations had to move more people and operations remote. Just like it’s harder to turn a large ship around than a small, it was especially challenging for these large organizations to adapt seemingly overnight.
How Work Environments are Evolving
The pandemic accelerated what experts have been predicting for years: the mass automation skills in the workplace. Past predictions were that two-thirds of jobs would be at least one-third automated by 2030. We’ve arrived at this benchmark nearly a decade sooner than expected.
When employees were forced to work from home, employers who had been hesitant of the idea of remote work in the past began to see how productive it can be. In fact, many remote employees work harder and longer in a remote environment than they would in the office. After the pandemic, the demand for workers to be more digitally savvy will be greater than ever before.
5 Skills Essential for Success After COVID-19
COVID has also illuminated what skills matter the most in today’s workforce. These five skills will benefit employees of all industries long after the pandemic is over.
- Grit—This is the determination to keep going no matter what. Even when challenges like the pandemic hit, workers with grit have the perseverance necessary to adjust and thrive.
- Resilience—This is a survival skill, like grit. It’s the ability to not only adapt to current obstacles but to be fluid and grow as things continue to change.
- Growth Mindset—You may have heard of this idea popularized by Carol Dweck. It’s the idea of accepting mistakes rather than automatically seeing them as failures. They are just part of the journey!
- Mental Flexibility—This is the ability to deal with paradox. It allows workers to think clearly and objectively even when they are getting opinions from many opposing viewpoints.
- Unlearning—Learning is a lifelong process that should never stop. But simply learning new information isn’t productive. You must unlearn old behaviors that no longer serve you.
Although we can hope we won’t deal with another pandemic anytime soon, there will always be uncertainty. But when your company emphasizes the importance of adaptability, you can get through anything!