'Must-have' HR skills to manage a hybrid workplace

Do you have the skills to tackle the constantly changing world of work?

'Must-have' HR skills to manage a hybrid workplace

Uncertainty and disruptions have become part of our lives and HR leaders across the Asia Pacific region understand that the top skills they’d need to manage the constant changes are centred around big data and analytics. In BPP’s Future Skills report, leaders in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia ranked the following capabilities as the top must-haves for HR:

  1. Big data and analytics fundamentals (23%)
  2. Building HR capability (22%)
  3. Contributing to business change (21%)
  4. Future skills and organisation capability analysis (20%)
  5. Data analytics: People analytics (19%)

The focus on data analytics aligns with findings about the quest to make sense of the massive amount of people-related data in today’s organisations. BPP’s research finds that businesses collect data throughout an employee’s journey with the company – from recruitment to performance appraisals and regular pulse surveys.

Despite this, the study highlights that present training initiatives for HR remain focused on building HR capability, consultancy skills, personal development, managing business change, and general advisory skills. While crucial, those capabilities are geared towards meeting the short-term needs of the business and fall short of preparing the organisation for a highly disruptive future work environment.

Read more: Post-pandemic: What skills will you need to thrive?

Demystifying data skills for HR

But what data and analytics skills will help HR manage the changing workplace? Through conversations with clients who attend their long and short courses, BPP finds that data fundamentals can differ greatly, depending on the company and industry they’re in. The bottom line, however, is that the skills needed by HR need not be complicated or unfamiliar.

For instance, in BPP’s recent webinar on the data organisation of the future, the panel discussed the merits of having structured training on Excel skills. “Like a lot of organisations, there are a lot of people who use Excel day to day, but most of them are self-taught,” says Daniel Clark, head of technology, professional development at BPP. “They have learnt by doing stuff over the years, picking stuff up and learning things that are relevant to their jobs.” This shows that professionals have been managing and analysing data in some way or another, be it with the use of Excel or another program.

Regardless, during the early stages of a training program, Clark believes it’s vital to contextualise why data-related skills are essential in a participant’s job and sector. Then, leaders should collaborate with the training provider to ensure that the fundamentals learned in the course can be applied to their job roles and help them navigate the changing business environment. This provides clarity on the purpose of the training and enable better learner engagement.

Read more: How can HR enable business recovery?

Furthermore, while professionals may agree on the importance of certain skills in their line of work, they’d still want to know the tangible and practical impact of their training on the business. This is why before diving into a training program, leaders and training providers must determine the intended business outcomes of the initiative. Clark is certain that you can measure the impact of the knowledge as well as application of the course content by conducting questionnaires before and after the program. This way leaders can determine whether their HR team members have acquired the ‘must-have’ skills and can apply them to meet the present and future needs of the business. To find out more about how to the adapt the latest HR skills, click here.

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