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Changing HR Dynamics In Post Pandemic World

HR professionals from different spaces and sectors shed light on how the rules of the game have changed in the aftermath of the pandemic, in a recently organised HR Conclave.

There was something alluring about the digits in ‘2020’ that made most of us think that it would be the year of change, growth and transformation. In an unparalleled way, 2020 proved to be a year of change and transformation for everyone across the globe and the effects spilled over to 2021 as well. We are now a few days old in 2022 and still do not have a clear picture of the road ahead. We have however been able to progress through the fog and taken some steps forward in the journey, so to say.

One of the positive discoveries made by the corporate world in the aftermath of the global pandemic is the fact that ‘work from home’ is not a veiled attempt at slacking off work but a productive solution to the woes of social distancing norms. Another positive outcome was the upsurge seen in individual employees opting for upskilling through online certifications courses. In a recent HR conclave organised by the students of the OBHR Committee of Bhavan’s SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), one of the panelists, Purvi Sheth, Managing Director, Shilputsi Consultancy advocated the ‘need for a dynamic curriculum in our management institutions’ when asked about the importance of continuous learning in the VUCA world. She advised students pursuing an MBA degree to emphasize on both the breadth and depth of skills rather than just relying upon imbibing a wide variety of superficial knowledge. Finally, she underlined the need of upskilling in modern times based upon personal interests and job-market opportunities to rise through the ranks in an organisation.  

The context of the conclave was set comprehensively by the keynote address by Dr Swatee Sarangi, Global Head – Learning, Leadership & Organisation Development, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, covering the significance of employee wellbeing, the ways in which digital transformation can act as a force multiplier and how learning would be the currency of the future. A notable point that Dr Swatee brought out was how essential culture was in acting like a mesh in unifying employees across the company. Elaborating further, Dr Swatee talked about the need for managers to understand what learning and cultural rituals can help the organisation feel like a family. To this end, Dr Swatee stressed the need to use the Environment Sustainability Governance (ESG) framework to understand the effect of the decisions being taken.

A question about the impact of performance tracking technology that can enable employer intrusiveness, was directed to Ajay Venkatesh, Market Partner - Global Employee Experience Transformation CoE, Accenture. In response, Venkatesh suggested that while technology is not inherently evil, there are times we just need to replace [it] or get a better one. He also cautioned that such technology needs to be understood in terms of how it was designed and used. While performance assessment is a crucial part of the role of HR management, organisations need to consider the impact that intrusiveness can have on mental health and ultimately productivity. He stressed on the relevance of organisations moving away from rating-based models to focusing on priority-based models for performance management.

Representing the entrepreneurial space was Nabomita Mazumdar, Founder, nabomita.com. When questioned upon the role of women in the workforce, she emphasised the need of addressing structural issues for an equal participation of women in the Indian workforce particularly in entrepreneurial ventures. She pointed out lack of infrastructure, limited government initiatives and presence of social stigma against working women as the chief reasons behind the above-stated issue. As a remedy, she called for grassroot level-changes right from the equal representation in our academic institutions across various streams to the need of family support which could really help to make a difference in this mission.

The conclave was an attempt to amalgamate views of HR professionals in different spaces and sectors on how the rules of the game have changed in the aftermath of the pandemic. With an additional variable of hybrid working and its own fair share of challenges, the panelists provided well-reasoned arguments about the need for having a systemic and strategic approach of human resource management in the organisations.  


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HR Dynamics post pandemic world HR conclave

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