The evolving role of the CHRO in the post-pandemic era
The pandemic has significantly altered the relationship between workers and employers. Many employees are rethinking their relationship with work, resulting in trends such as the Great Reshuffle, and Quiet Quitting. As a result, companies are facing significant ramifications.
Employees are now prioritising flexibility, work-life balance, hybrid and remote working arrangements, and employee well-being, and companies are forced to re-examine their workforce models and policies to ensure they can attract and retain the right talent.
In the current uncertain economic climate, organiszations are also urgently evaluating their HR needs. However, the fundamental role of Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) remains unchanged: to identify, attract, and retain the best talent. To achieve this goal, CHROs must focus on the following core principles:
Focusing on engagement
- Making employee wellness a priority
- Innovating and reimagining HR processes using data analytics and predictive solutions
- Practising Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in hiring
- The cost of disengaged employees
One thing the Great Resignation laid bare is the critical need for employee engagement. The highest quit rate has been among not engaged and actively disengaged workers, a Gallup study has found. Another poll by Gallup showed that engaged workers drive 23% higher profits, while employees who are not engaged cost the world US$7.8 trillion in lost productivity, equal to 11% of global GDP.
More than ever, employee engagement is a strategic business objective as engaged employees lead to long-term employee retention, higher employee performance, improved quality of work and organisational success. Conversely, poor employee engagement results in a high attrition rate, leading to hiring managers having to re-hire and train employees. This not only costs organisations time and effort but has a negative impact on productivity.
To make engagement work, organisations should focus on continuous conversations and encourage open dialogues between employees and managers to improve working relationships. Rather than having a quarterly or half-yearly performance review, they should exercise on-spot feedback and practice engagement from day one. For example, organisations can conduct weekly pulse surveys to listen to employees and to allow them to give feedback on the work environment.
The regular cadence of such surveys aims to create a continuous feedback loop that proactively identifies and addresses common problems before they snowball into a more complex issue.
The future of work is employee wellbeing
Gone are those days when only employers set high expectations for employees and their work outcomes. Physical, financial and mental well-being have increasingly been key contributing factors to employee wellness. Today, with employee expectations being higher than ever, it is important to look at employee experience holistically. This means both employers and employees have a role in designing a work culture that prioritises the individual’s wellbeing while meeting the organisation’s objectives.
One thing that has changed is that employees now expect to have a life outside of work and they want their employers to contribute positively to their physical and mental health and well-being. While there are initiatives that an organisation can implement to promote well-being among employees, workplace flexibility is still the key factor.
Providing this flexibility makes an organisation a more desirable place to work, and also more attractive to potential hires. As long as the results and desired productivity are achieved, companies should be prepared to be flexible in their workforce models; some are even going so far as to implement a four-day workweek.
Innovating with data analytics and digital tools
A major landscape shift for CHROs is the advent of HR technologies that can be used as hiring as well as learning and development tools. By collecting and analysing critical HR data, companies can derive actionable insights to improve workforce, people, and talent management performance.
Case in point, TDCX’s proprietary Flash Hire recruitment platform enables hiring managers to gauge a candidate’s competency and alignment with the job requirements more quickly through its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. In addition to the ability to customise questions, the platform analyses the candidate’s attitude, personality and behavioural traits based on the job requirements. Through Flash Hire, TDCX has reduced hiring time by up to 62%.
Actionable insights can be combined with digital tools to boost employee productivity and encourage workers to further their career trajectories through learning and coaching for better outcomes. Additionally, digital tools can help organisations reach out and engage talent globally.
While companies innovate their HR strategies by leveraging data analytics and digital tools, such efforts should also be balanced with a human touch. Many companies are already using technology such as robotic process automation and AI to improve hiring, boost employee productivity and encourage learning and career growth, and such instances will only continue to increase. However, even as they digitalise, it is important that companies consciously ensure that they keep a human touch in interacting with their employees. This is particularly important given the employee experience also determines how positive the customer experience will be.
Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Matters
DEI is essential in recognising the value of diverse voices. It emphasises inclusivity and employee wellbeing as central facets of success, but in order to bring these values to life, HR must implement programmes and initiatives that actively make the office more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
A DEI strategy is not only vital to creating and maintaining a successful workplace, but it also contributes to business success. By bringing together people of various backgrounds, organisations gain from new and creative ideas that spur innovation. With the adoption of remote working and collaboration technologies, HR can now include talent from diverse backgrounds. For instance, remote working has proven as an accessible option for people with disabilities and has helped them find and maintain employment. This has also increased diversity in the workforce and expanded the talent pool. A recent study found that 73% of caregivers use the time they save from working from home to care for their children, and 70% use it to spend more time with their partner or spouse.
Ultimately, to be successful in winning and retaining talent, organisations need to pay attention to these key fundamentals. Doing so would help them to differentiate themselves in terms of the employee experience and help their organisations drive success.