Work as we knew it before COVID-19 has changed abruptly with a future that is largely unknown. As with many industries, Human Resource conferences were scheduled and ready to share the latest trends by experts in the field this summer, but we know what happened.
The reason we go to conferences is to hear and learn about changes affecting the workplace. Now, even these trends are uncertain. However, you can still prepare for what lies ahead by considering how you can reduce risk, improve performance and ensure that your workforce can quickly adapt to your organization’s needs.
Before the Pandemic
Even before the novel coronavirus that would dramatically change how we work, disruptive forces were already in motion making it important for enterprises to rapidly adapt, according to the article, “Why Your Organization’s Future Demands a New Kind of HR,” shared by Deloitte in Harvard Business Review, February 2019. These fundamental changes meant that HR departments would be encountering new business models, technologies and workforce expectations. HR professionals would be faced with managing existing legacy organizations while planning for future needs.
It was already becoming apparent that HR could be at the forefront of reshaping organizational behavior to compete and succeed. These changes were requiring HR to address these key futures: the enterprise, the workforce and processes for getting work done.
For example, enterprises were encountering huge increases in the amount of available data. Consumers were beginning to trust businesses even more than their governments. Companies recognized that they should consider expanding their social connections and partnerships and even strategically collaborate with competitors.
Significant workforce changes were also occurring. The average career length was expanding to as much as 50 years with the need to refresh employee skillsets at least every 2-5 years. The concept of an open talent economy was beginning to create competitive opportunities for companies to quickly adapt to market requirements by transforming teamwork and improving productivity.
The most significant trend dealt with how work would be performed. Instead of applying the same legacy procedures to create products and services, it was becoming obvious that digitalization and automation were fundamentally going to change performance with significant improvements at a fraction of the cost.
We do not know how long it will take for this pandemic to be over and how companies will react to the improving economy. But as with any other major disaster, anticipated trends will be modified and new trends will emerge. All we can do is assess the expectations, goals, and objectives of workers and the companies needing their skills.
It might be worthwhile to heed the comments of a recent survey of experts at Harvard Business School about how the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to change business practices. These were some of the predictions:
- Remote work will become strategic with better tools and digital connections
- Leaders will need to break out of silos and improve workplace culture by thinking outside of traditional structures
- Supply chain managers will need to track more deeply into the chain
- Physical structure will need to be a healthier environment
- In-person meetings will be less prevalent and more productive
- Employees will expect greater flexibility and the ability to manage their own work schedules and personal responsibilities
Getting from Here to There
Staying healthy and surviving the downturn in the economy are both important. How you achieve these will depend on your own ability to adapt to the changing landscape and work with experts who can help. This may require implementing a good plan and continuously measuring and adjusting for improved results.
Manual operations using printed documents impede success when facing changes to business models, technologies, and workforce needs. By utilizing digital content and automated processes, you can improve outcome predictability, communicate more efficiently and quickly respond to changing workforce needs.
NEdocs offers solutions that help. We provide secure facilities, on-premise document management (Papervision), and cloud-based document management (ImageSilo). These resources offer greater flexibility and better time management for HR professionals. You can maintain document confidentiality and ensure regulatory compliance as well as manage digital file storage, search and retrieval. This applies to managing your legal documents and procedures as well.
To plan for the future, give us a call today at (603) 625-1171 to discuss how NEdocs can help your organization through change.