92% of managers feel unprepared for future of work – here's how HR can help

The pandemic may have catalysed technology, but that doesn’t mean teams are feeling any more confident in 2023

92% of managers feel unprepared for future of work – here's how HR can help

While the pandemic was as disruptive as it was chaotic, there’s no denying that COVID acted as a catalyst for the HR function in Canada – especially where technology is concerned.

Back in 2017, “remote work” and “flexi-hours” were a mere pipedream for employees – something to aspire to but not a realistic option. When the pandemic forced organizations to pivot to WFH models, employers had to switch to overnight digitization – taking long-formed, in-person practices and move them to a remote sphere. It was a task easier said than done for most HR departments.

Organizations simply had “no choice” when it came to the new world order, says Yvonne Tellis, manager, HR systems at North York General Hospital, speaking in HRD’s recent Innovative HR Teams research.

“It started with online meetings, digital signatures, calendar apps, and virtual assistants,” she says. “Every people process is now ripe for evolution. What we see in consumer trends inevitably spills over to HR tech and we see that happening more now. We’ve used chatbots to book appointments with our dentist or hairdresser for some time.

“Now, HR is embracing chatbots for all sorts of people interactions: to answer questions, screen candidates, follow up on tasks, and maintain connections with employees and candidates. With greater technology embedded in our processes, we also have access to more data than ever. Intentionally investing time to gather insights will only drive further innovation in HR.”

And while the pandemic may have supercharged tech, that doesn’t necessarily mean that leaders and their teams are fully aware for what the future holds. In fact, a recent report from Gartner found that 80% of employees and 92% of managers feel “unprepared” for the future of work – prompting 60% of CEOs to cite upskilling as a main priority this year.

And it seems this self-development will continue to be a defining feature of 2023 workplaces.

“There’s a need to facilitate further employee development,” Iman Masud, executive human resources relationship manager at ADP Canada, tells HRD. “Now, many staff members want to continue their journey by adding new skills and certifications to help broaden their horizons.

“While this makes employees more valuable, businesses can only reap the benefits if they provide ongoing opportunities for skills development and career growth.”

How will you be future-proofing innovation in 2023? Tell us in the comments.

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