We are now in the year 2022, and a lot has changed in the previous year. Where the new year set in with doubts of going back to the offline mode with the third wave of the pandemic, for HR professionals, this created barriers for engaging the personnel working remotely where employees have been impacted on a larger scale than ever before as in many cases this required dedicating more time to manage home. In this context, HR must reconsider engagement and experience tactics in the VUCA (V-Volatility, U-Uncertainty, C-Complexity, and A-Ambiguity) world. VUCA is a term that was coined in the 1990s to characterise changes in the geopolitical landscape. It now aptly portrays the environment that businesses are facing in the fight against the worldwide pandemic. The “New Normal” is a term used to describe VUCA. Businesses nowadays must be able to comprehend and navigate the VUCA environment. Businesses’ agility and adaptation are critical to their survival in this cut-throat competition.
Challenges faced by HR
HR faces tremendous hurdles as they traverse the uncharted waters of the Covid world, including volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. As organisations throughout the world face economic disruption, a New VUCA Model – Vision, Understanding, Communication, and Agility – is required.
- Vision: Leaders can rethink their strategy to meet their vision and focus on employee well-being in addition to meeting corporate objectives.
- Understanding: It is critical that leaders recognise the effects of the changes on people and their lives, as well as develop a sympathetic leadership style that goes beyond organisational KPIs and spreadsheets.
- Communication: There is a plethora of information as well as misinformation out there. Leaders must act quickly to address this issue and maintain clear and transparent communication with employees by providing them with information and direction.
- Agility: There is no escape from the changes that the pandemic has brought about, thus agility is essential. As soon as we get out of this together, training and upskilling personnel with appropriate training modules will serve to keep the firm afloat.
Today, businesses are looking for ways to enable flexibility while also increasing motivation in the workplace. As we navigate these times, here are a few policies that HR professionals from all types of firms can implement.[ii]
Flexible Working Schedules
Flexible work hours can help organisations save money, retain staff, boost productivity, and boost creativity while also concentrating on employee well-being. Employees with flexible working hours have the freedom to start and stop work whenever they want.
Emphasis on Employee Health and Wellness
This stage encourages business leaders to place a greater emphasis on their employees’ experiences at work and outside of work. In the long run, investing in medical insurance, immunizations, workplace hygiene, and providing generous sick leave will result in improved lifecycle management. There’s also a demand for holistic benefits that address employees’ physical, mental, and economic well-being.
Employers can offer a single benefit package for everyone, to provide benefits based on what employees need. Many businesses are turning to digital solutions and platforms for their employees, which they may use as needed and at their leisure.
While these are useful strategies that any organization can apply, they do not guarantee to work for every organization. Different enterprises have different needs. A collaborative approach to Experience Strategies and Employee Benefits will help meet both short- and long-term goals. A shift toward a more human-centric approach in HR regulations and a caring leadership style will continue driving people management. In today’s business world, HR serves as a strategic function, guiding the firm’s destiny in a changing competitive environment. Firms have realised that competitive edge is based on the availability of funds and technology as well as on the availability of a skilled staff capable of translating visions into lucrative ventures.
It’s no surprise that recent occurrences have made reimagining the workplace a top priority for corporations. We’ve reached a tipping point in terms of talent and people services. Fail to act and they’ll be lost in the world of price restructuring and diminishing employee satisfaction. Adjust to the trends that are reshaping the workplace and generate new chances to provide long-term human worth to the company. HR reimagination can take place on a variety of levels to empower people and the business as a whole, as well as to lay the foundation for a new organisational culture.
Some of these steps are mentioned below:
Extended Enterprise – Employees are no more a homogeneous group of people. Contractors, vendors, consultants, partners, customers, and rivals are all collaborating to get the job done. As a result, organisations that support communities made up of this extended enterprise, stand to gain in a variety of ways, including increased agility, diversity of thought, and innovative skills, as well as a higher degree of trust among various stakeholders.
ESNs (Enterprise Social Networks) – Companies are becoming more dispersed, varied, and digital. Today’s workers expect to be allowed to work from any location, at any time, on any device. ESNs, which were once considered a “good-to-have,” have evolved into “must-haves” to keep this dispersed workforce linked, and to facilitate discussions across parts of the globe, business units, and domains.
Communities of Practice – Today’s organisations collaborate across domains and expertise areas. An individual or a small group of people can no longer find solutions to the complex problems, exceptions, and hurdles that businesses face today. Practitioners gather in these networks to discuss the most up-to-date information, develop novel solutions, and contribute to the domain’s progress.
The VUCA world is something that enterprises will have to deal with in the not-too-distant future. The rapid developments in the business sector will combine forces that will have a significant impact on industry and businesses. The Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity that churns these developments will have an impact on the nature of the business. This will have a cascade impact throughout industries, creating a competitive environment for businesses looking to acquire a competitive advantage. Firms that can recognise possibilities in a VUCA environment and make proactive strategy moves to capitalise on them by taking calculated risks will outlast the competition onslaught.
HR plays a critical role since the people function decides how equipped employees are to face the difficulties of the VUCA world. Job design, human resource planning, recruitment and selection, competency mapping, training and development, performance appraisal, compensation and rewards management, and other HR operational responsibilities must all be aligned with the firm’s business strategy. New-era companies like Tesla, Google, and Amazon have exhibited that we can only be better prepared for the future by acting proactively and adapting to the VUCA norms, and these companies continue to rewrite the present and future.