Updated: Apr 30, 2020
by Roberto M. Policarpio, FPM (2015 PMAP President)
MMXX is a leap year – the 2020th year of the Anno Domini (AD), the first year of the 2020s decade, the twentieth year of the third millennium and the twentieth year of the 21st century.
We are in a world of digital with diverse platforms and applications. New technologies (AI, Analytics, Cloud, IoT, etc.) and new discoveries are arising in shorter cycles. High proficiency in social media and use of automation create big advantage for organizations and individuals. We have been experiencing transformational changes in how technology influences how people think, feel and behave and impacts the way business operates. There are concerns on the implications of these current and new technologies on people, operations, research and development, production, sales, marketing, customer service and support services.
Business enterprises, therefore, need to continuously build up and sustain a digital-savvy workforce that are ready to manage new challenges, to promptly solve problems and to succeed in the changing landscape of trade and commerce today.
At the forefront of these breakthroughs, disruptions and evolution is the HR Department. There is a demand for new thrusts, directions and even rules for the HR in the digital age, which can be seen as seen as opportunities amidst the challenges. The HR Team has all chances to take the lead in what will likely be among the most significant changes on the workforce. It is imperative that HR leaders create and develop the appropriate platforms, fitting the existing or new processes, effective in supporting both people and overall business.
The business and HR leaders must proactively and purposively collaborate and strategize on how to digitalize and improve the processes in talent management, learning & development, career management, and performance management, resulting to continuous better engagement of people.
How to be Future-Ready?
‘Being future-ready’ is not a state that exists tomorrow. Being future-ready is right here and now. Everyone is expected to act responsibly and accountably who has the right mindset; possesses the competencies; and shifts quickly to varying situations of life with agility and adaptability.
The ‘HeaRt’ defines the philosophy, culture, values and norms of the organization. People are holistically being prepared and developed evidenced by their readiness always to be valuable to the organization, and department and team. Major aspects of employees’ corporate life in terms of spiritual, psychological, emotional, physical and social are properly being taken cared of through appropriate HR programs, interventions and facility. These are specific areas wherein the organizational leaders and HR Team are the ‘champions’ in creating and sustaining the values and norms resulting to deeper significance for the employees as being manifested in their way of life; and how the managers and supervisors use leadership styles anchored on integrity, professionalism, fairness and openness. There is high morale and team spirit. The primary reason behind these actions is – people first.
How do we build ‘Being Future-Ready with a HeaRt’?
How will the HR team work with the organization’s leaders and the employees to facilitate the readiness of everyone to achieve smooth transition to new roles, functions and processes created? Honest answers to these items will require an objective assessment on the current abilities of the employees, and on how the new technology will impact on the competitiveness of the organization and the growth, development and advancement of employees.
The HR department has to align its people strategies with the organization’s business goals. The HR team is responsible for creation of right organizational structures that will address business challenges while upscaling and/or retooling the competencies of the employees. They need to have the business acumen, and have acquired both soft and hard skills.
Empower employees to take responsibility and accountability for their own education, develop beyond what they know today, chart their respective career path, gain confidence in using new technologies, and network with others in various industries. Failure not to empower them to learn new competencies means not having a future-ready workforce.
Leaders foster a culture of continual learning and improvement where employees perform as empowered individuals working efficiently, productively and harmoniously aligned with the organization’s thrusts, goals and standards.
Leaders step back in order to let their teams take the lead so that they will not only make them more valuable but will make them highly inspired and motivated to do their best and maximize their potentials.
Leaders initiate and promote a two-way communication process by providing ample time to listen to feedback and reflect on it in order to shape the future by doing excellently the tasks and managing the progress of people. They delightfully converse with their people.
The organization has purposively professed that learning is one of its core thrusts, and has embedded a ‘growth mindset’ into every aspect of the business operations.
A lifelong learning culture is instilled within the organization to address the identified skills gap in addition to efficient and sustainable employees’ learning and development programs using creative and innovative learning delivery solutions and tools. Its learning culture ensures that the employees are constantly upscaling and refining their skills based on technology advancement, product trends and industry’s developments.
Everyone has a conscious effort to cultivate a collaborative, flexible and inclusive culture of learning.
A winning business strategy requires employees to have updated knowledge and right sets of skills who are agile and adaptive to use the latest technology.
Astute enterprise persistently innovates by investing in talent through various learning and development programs to ensure employees do not only have up-to-date competencies – both position and personal – but also advancing them to be digitally savvy without losing the ‘people part’.
Focus on continuous competencies development that is embedded into the organization’s culture.
The organization provides employees with a healthy work-life integration program with direct impact on organizational efficiency, effectiveness and productivity. The HR Team is the lead that assesses the situations of people and the business. It plans, organizes and conducts employee wellness programs using approaches that creates intense synergies, inclusivity and flexibility in all areas that define “life” in work, family, home, community, personal well-being and health.
In the scheme of the changes and developments, the HR department has to be consistent, dynamic and persistent in providing commitment, clarity and consistency in its objectives, plans, policies and procedures. These ensure the welfare and protection of rights of the employees anchored on a spirited and safe work environment.
Technology can automate anything and everything. The aim of automation is to create more operational efficiency and attain higher productivity so that people realize greater amour-propre, self-esteem, and value within and outside of work. People is over and above technology as evidence by safeguarding human dignity, protecting their rights, understanding human behaviours, practicing effective interpersonal skills, being trustworthy, expressing respectfulness, and upholding justice and fairness.
Technology serves human interests. Computerization and robotics bring convenience and make things easier which are powered by artificial energy. It still remains today and forever that the world becomes a better place primarily because of people who have the HeaRt – the capability to love and care.