Did the Pandemic Change Talent Management?

We are heading into Q4 2021, and the pandemic is still restricting, refining, or reinventing our businesses. Despite the challenges, I think the pandemic offers an excellent opportunity for companies to reset their strategy and approach to human resources.

Over the last several decades, countries and companies have made incremental changes to improve and redefine work, workers, and the workplace. For example, we have broadened options for leave – paid and unpaid. We have implemented continuous learning and shifted the perspective of paying for employees’ learning and development from an expense to an investment.

The pandemic forced us all, employers and employees, to stop, pause, reflect, and ask ourselves, do we have to continue to do the things we’ve done in the past the same way going forward?

Just think if we had asked our clients pre-pandemic if they could shut down their offices overnight yet continue to operate profitably. They would have said “no.” They may have said they needed to hire a group of consultants to lay out a multi-year plan to make it happen. They’d have to develop communications and strategy plans to proceed, and then maybe in a few years, they could possibly transition to a remote workforce.

But, guess what. We made the overnight transition work for our clients, and others did too. The entire construct that we have used to get work done has been challenged. COVID created the opportunity to stop and question how our businesses may operate differently. And the door is open for business leaders to reset their strategies.

We’ve asked our CEO clients, along with their executive teams, “Who do you want to be? What kind of employees do you want to attract and retain? What’s your employer brand? What do you aspire for it to be?” When you make those decisions, we enable the policies and practices to flow for your natural adoption.

Companies are experimenting with their visions of the future workplace. Employees are also making decisions about how they want to show up to work and what it even means to show up to work. The social contract is being renegotiated right before our eyes.

Many people want to go to an office every day. Maybe they don’t have the discipline or a suitable home environment for working from home. You may want to hire people who want to come into an office for standard business hours, and that’s okay. We may see workers changing to companies with a better cultural fit, and that is also okay. Employees have a right to find the place where they will work and feel most fulfilled.

Soteria HR can help you determine the best in-office, remote or hybrid configuration needed to optimize the success of your business.

James Harwood