AmCham Slovakia

Imagine the post pandemic era. Instead of systems with old rules, inefficient processes, an analogue mindset, and hierarchical control, try to imagine a new system. A system pivoting new trends such as a digital mindset, shifts in allocation of resources and different interactions within organizations. How to transform this vision into reality? We discuss the focal points that help decision-makers to navigate fundamental crisis areas more effectively.

#1 HR can help employees know the company identity
During pandemic times, organizations perceive the fragility of HR ecosystems. They ask: “How to strengthen a culture of leadership and talent? What does it mean to be ready for the future? What kind of company culture do we foster?”

Facilitating employees to understand what is going on helps organizations adapt and build a so called “new normal”. Sticking with knowing the purpose of the business, values, culture. Why does the company exist and what features make it unique? More than ever before, decision-makers are brainstorming and answering the purpose of their being here. Based on the findings, HR trends might be able to articulate and apply specifics into praxis in the form of new norms and behaviors.

#2 Do you know your talent?
Decision-makers recognize an urgency to identify the real value-adding talents in their hierarchies. They are reallocating talents based on their crisis strategic plans. If you do this now, you will be more in sync with tough times and more successful than your competitors. Crisis times favor the ones who have been working on continuous talent development. As an example, a CEO of a retail company confirms: “Who is just about to select the talents now, is about to be late with success. At the beginning of the pandemic, we set our strategy, described the ways of working and we realized, who were our top talents to guide us through hard times. And they got trust and ‘free hands’ to act. The responsibility was not just on the shoulders of top management but the team leads and their team members.”

#3 Workforce orchestra in companies
Currently, we often hear about home-office impact on teamwork and morale. Engagement in companies dropped significantly. Companies analyze what consequences it has on their business in concrete numbers. Discussions in companies have the following in common:

  • It is harder to gain inspiration from a team, to facilitate co-working
  • Economically, they can benefit from cuts on travel and office costs – those costs will not return to pre-covid times
  • Need of employer branding, trust-based cooperation, flexibly managed agendas and engagement of employees are in the spotlight to manage hybrid or fully home-office teams
  • No drop-back in efficiency where hybrid work is possible. Newly learnt ways and winning methods of hybrid models are thus likely to stay with us after the pandemic
  • When only home-office structures are possible, creative and timely cooperation are in decline, eroding engagement on mid-long-term
  • Mental wellbeing of employees is a crucial factor - companies need to focus on keeping team members engaged and efficient

Organizations need to focus on employee experience architecture more and re-audit their own HR processes. This may involve internal mobility, new business assignments or new leadership or mentoring engagements. Companies already know that they can anticipate creation of new jobs.

#4 Agile, fast interactions
Organizations won’t survive witha traditional way of thinking in terms of hierarchical models.

connection2022_01.png They are shifting to a more agile HR place where there is space and support provided for faster decisions. 2022 HR trends lead to organizations where every process, every person and every pillar has been audited. New structures prioritize an interactive approach with more “talent considered crises leaders” and create paths to more agile teams. Fast decisions provided by right people will bring quicker solutions and lead to a higher success rate. Does the bell toll for corporates with several reporting layers? The pandemic times strengthen the power of fast decision-making. Companies with less reporting structures will perform more successfully and will deliver faster decisions.

#5 Continuous improvement is the key
Human resources struggle to allocate the right person internally or externally. The pandemic market is demand-driven. Good individuals have usually more possibilities to choose from. Business changes, organizational ones, geographical presence – all call for continuous improvement of processes. Organizations challenge HR departments to look into the mirror and ask if they have transformed to be able to accelerate employee experience and to find talent.

As a CEO of a civil-engineering company confirms: “We are in the middle of a war for talent. In my opinion, the talent density in our company will be a watershed point. It will lead us to future success or failure. We are offering our colleagues a new way of thinking: Working smarter, not harder. It is a cornerstone of lean thinking. Our company is pioneering lean culture and we believe that it makes a perfect sense to strengthen this idea in the organization.”

Given all the mentioned HR trends, organizations realize that prioritization is critical. In 2022, making shifts in lean thinking, agility, employee experience and knowing the culture of the company will drive a skillset that will be able to solve problems in critical times. Rapid usage of automation and technologies can only help to reinforce the success of chosen priorities.

Katarína Bittalová, Partner, Arthur Hunt Slovakia