Future of work puts HR in the driving seat

A first-look at the challenges in store for HR professionals

Future of work puts HR in the driving seat

After a challenging 12 months for the HR industry, minds are beginning to shift to what the next year will have in store.

The global pandemic has sparked accelerations in the workplace like no other period in recent history, causing businesses to rethink how they operate in a remote world.

As we head into the final weeks of a year the history books won’t forget, big questions are circulating at to what the future of work will look like.

The upcoming Achievers webinar will discuss just that, bringing together three industry leaders to share their insights on the issues HR professionals can expect next year.

The webinar titled 2020: HR at the crossroads? How does this critical function respond in 2021 will address key themes such as the role of recognition in creating a culture of trust, the impact of technology on workplace connection and how leaders can empower their employees after a year of unprecedented change.

Read more: Deloitte Australia’s head of talent insight talks reward and recognition in a remote world

Speaker Diane Brokenshire, global HR head, all business lines at Standard Chartered Bank, said employee empowerment is a key factor for organisations looking to drive success from within.

"2020 was undoubtedly one that broke all norms and truly drove a workplace model where individuals were forced outside of office processes and structures," she told HRD.

"Companies who weathered and were successful in navigating the world in 2020 would have to acknowledge their employees’ ability to adjust and take initiative within an environment that required a tremendous amount more of self-starting and self-motivation. 

"This realisation that we need to empower our employees more and more in an everchanging world will become the measuring stick of those firms that will ultimately be successful."

While the pandemic sparked a time of great uncertainty and required employees to be highly adaptable, next year will bring its own unique challenges – and HR will be at the forefront of overcoming those hurdles.

But as Brokenshire points out, those challenges also offers businesses the opportunity to create a workplace that is more robust and effective in the long run.

“The main challenge will be to proactively determine what the future of work will look like and then prepare the workforce through new skills and reskilling,” she said.

“COVID-19 has given the platform to reimagine how we work.  How do we personalise the workplace, taking into account the nature of the work, the personality of the worker and the home situation of the worker?”

Read more: Domain's head of employee experience on helping staff through COVID-19

Brokenshire believes diversity and inclusion will continue to be a focus next year as companies drive towards recovery, as well as the increased importance of employee wellbeing.

“Wellness really came into the spotlight in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.  In 2021, HR will need to continue to implement creative solutions to take care of employee wellbeing,” she said.

Brokenshire will join Richard Tyler, senior insights & total rewards consultant at Western Power, and Beverly Stacey, country HR manager at ABB Australia to discuss how they are preparing for next year’s challenges.

To hear more about what the next twelve months has in store for HR professionals, sign up to the Achievers webinar 2020: HR at the crossroads? How does this critical function respond in 2021

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