The New Normal: What HR Needs to Know Now for Years to Come

The “FUTURE OF WORK” that the business world has talked about for so long has suddenly become reality. The COVID-19 crisis very suddenly confronted many companies with a scenario they had long avoided: employees working from home and collaborating via digital technologies. A perfect remote work setup – provided that the right digital processes have been established, like SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite and SAP Qualtrics.

HR as a Strategic Partner

In recent months, HR managers have come to play very special roles for employees: from first responders and trusted advisors to coaches and motivators. BUT THEY ALSO ACT AS STRATEGIC PARTNERS FOR EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT. After all, how can businesses be expected to keep going if their most important resource – employees – aren’t able to work properly? If processes haven’t been digitalized or people go stir crazy working from home?

Throughout the past months, HR had to adapt to changing environments within companies. They need to find new approaches to working efficiently and set new priorities. At the same time, the focus has shifted towards strategic issues such as EMPLOYEE HEALTH, digitalized processes, and sustainable talent management. And all of these aspects are more than just a brief chapter for a company – they mark the beginning of an entirely new era. That’s why it is important for HR to get ready for the “new normal” now.

And AKT is here to help organizations across what we see as the 6 Cornerstones of the New Normal.

6 Cornerstones of the New Normal

1) Working Remotely

One thing that is clear is that working remotely will become a fixture in everyday corporate life. HR managers need to not only find ways to keep supporting flexible approaches to work in the future, but also to ensure transparent communications and to facilitate virtual collaboration. Issues such as DIGITAL RECRUITING and REMOTE ONBOARDING will also become more and more important in the process. As well as, employees’ physical and MENTAL HEALTH will continue to be highly important for HR departments. An important issue to be addressed in the future will be online fatigue, i.e. people being fed up with sitting in front of a screen.

2) Employee Experience

Remote work setups established due to the coronavirus crisis have illustrated very clearly that absolutely nothing will work without motivated, healthy employees who feel appreciated. A key question regarding our future is, therefore, how can individual employees’ needs be met? EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE is a paramount and organizations need to deploy listening posts at every key employee moment, and deliver recommended actions to every people leader in the organization.

3) Corporate Culture

If companies are to be steered safely through a crisis, they need a set of trusted values for guidance. Your employees and leaders must know exactly which principles their actions should align with. Otherwise, the company may capsize. A supportive and unifying corporate culture able to navigate and MANAGE CHANGE is even more important where employees work from different locations.

4) Employer Branding

Many companies are currently working very hard just to stay afloat. The way they recruit candidates, onboard new employees and treat their employees in the process will be closely linked to their employer brand. The crisis works like a spotlight that reveals every flaw. That’s why it is essential for companies to be careful how they present and put into practice their HR services, employee experience and corporate culture, both now and in the future.

5) Developing New Capabilities

Given that working remotely will be entirely normal in the future, relevant skills such as flexibility, adaptability, responsiveness and client-first are very important. Companies need to drive the development of these skills in their HR function.

6) Diversity and Inclusion

The ability to work from anywhere will increasingly open up new job opportunities for culturally diverse employees all over the world. That’s why HR needs to think about how teams made up of very diverse employees can collaborate effectively and smoothly.

Take Charge of the New Normal

Companies’ new normal will be based on the following:

  • Engaging with employees as a company’s heart and soul, not once but throughout
  • Sound and innovative digital processes that support remote work and leave HR managers time and space for focusing on employees and issues of strategic importance

AKT can help you take care of employees, sustain momentum, and build a great future with human experience management (HXM) solutions from SAP. With SAP SuccessFactors HXM and SAP Qualtrics, your organization can evolve your human capital management (HCM) to focus on the key cornerstones of the new normal. And if you already have SAP SuccessFactors, we can show you how to optimize your HR processes and system so that you too can take charge of the new normal.