We are currently in a very transformative era. The ongoing health crisis has triggered an economic crisis and COVID-19 has clearly amplified the challenges the world is facing today. However, a crisis is a threat to some, but an opportunity to others and organizations will have to adapt to the New Reality in order to thrive in this new context. Labor force is a strategically relevant topic you should be thinking about when assessing the current period and upcoming challenges. When looking at your labor force, there are three important aspects to keep in mind: (1) the HR function, (2) flexible rewards and mobility and (3) the impact of the legal framework on remote working.

The first aspect you should consider in this New Reality is the HR function. To be able to continue to add value and help organizations reinvent themselves, HR functions must shift their view from a micro perspective to a macro perspective and focus on strategic activities. The global pandemic has forced many businesses to consider changes to their operating models and their ways of working. Many organizations reacted quickly and did whatever was needed to keep their employees safe. Other businesses are further along, have already improved their resilience and are trying to identify long-term growth opportunities.

The biggest threat to long-term growth is ‘talent risk’. On one hand, the HR function needs to help employees find ways to embrace the new way of working. This includes a heightened focus on upskilling and reskilling the workforce - for example through the implementation of new and advanced technologies - while keeping your employees’ wellbeing in mind. On the other hand, businesses also need to find ways to not only keep their people safe, but also connected, productive and engaged. In order to do so, purpose and values must take center stage. Redefining and further enhancing your organization’s culture to emphasize a digital mindset - while working virtually and remaining agile - will be critical to thriving in this New Reality.

The mobility landscape is changing drastically due to the global health crisis forcing organizations to reconsider their mobility and reward incentives. As employees continue to work from home on a regular basis their demand for more flexible mobility solutions increase. This puts pressure on businesses to reconsider their approach and adapt their vision to remain attractive in the war for talent. Consequently, this unprecedent moment of change provides the perfect opportunity to review your reward and mobility practice. An attractive and flexible renumeration package is crucial to attracting and retaining top talent!

The third important labor force element to consider is the legal aspect. A solid legal framework can provide many possibilities for new HR policies, but also has its drawbacks. The sudden change to structural remote working shows that most companies have not yet implemented legal policies to address homeworking such as work expectations and the privacy of employees. Having structured, official policies in place will protect both the employer and the employee. Discover these topics in depth and how to react to them in our labor force webinar.

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The HR Function in the new reality