Uncertainty and ambiguity are two important words that have been embedded into our daily life especially in the past few years. Global crisis, climate change, pandemic, war and economic decline are several unwanted events haunting us continuously. Unquestionably, the global pandemic has altered and flipped our lives upside down, be it at professional or personal level.
These challenges are clearly outlined and given strong emphasis under the Sustainable Development Goals (17 SDGs). With that, businesses are facing on-going challenges not to propel but to survive and sustain in this ever-changing atmosphere. Some are battling with the unforeseen and frightening situation.
The “talk about town” today is business transformation. We have been hearing and seeing it often and its been incorporated into business strategies. Organisations are jumping into the transformation bandwagon as the world gets closer with the support of technology.
Organisations are reinventing themselves to cater to huge demands and expectations. Ways of working, twist in talent hiring and modification of work mode are just several changes impacting us due to this global experience.
Ways of Working
Ultimately, a mindset paradigm shift is needed to move ahead in this new norm. The emergence of new skillsets to navigate through this tough period and fast changing environment are something to ponder. Emotional intelligence is one of the top cognitive approach for organisations to manage talents and deal with uncertainties around us; shifting our mind from conventional way of doing things and gearing towards technology enabled efforts are the new way of working.
Twist in Talent Hiring
Hiring talents from anywhere and remotely is trending, and set to become the industry standards. The key focus area that emerged recently is how do you hire the right talent combined with technology playing a significant role in championing this. Moving forward, with the high virtual talent hiring, organisations need to redefine a fresh set of guiding principles for end-to-end talent management cycle in such an ever-changing business environment.
Alteration in Work Mode
We are almost close to bid farewell to 9 to 5 jobs, traffic hassles and hours of face-to-face meetings at the board room as well as classroom learning. The ultimate impact is the swing towards Work-from-Home (WFH) or even Work-from-Anywhere (WFA); meaning that being actively physically present at the workplace is slowly fading. At the same time, it gives a strong emotional and physical impact for the employees; although most initially felt that WFH seems to be their favourite and ideal situation.
As for the board members as well as business leaders and CEOs, acquisition of new skills such as virtual work management, change management skills, business sustainability (ESG) and being technology savvy are becoming mandatory.
Era of Virtual Environment
A high boost in cross functional teams, countries, and regional communication, and forming a virtual team is strongly supporting the new way of business operations. A robust requirement arises in virtual communication, motivational and emotional support, and fortitude to stay positive in business. Ultimately, virtual team management competency seems to be in the lead followed by technology-driven approach. This outlook gives a strong indication to all to redefine managing the workforce initiated from the top. Therefore, all must stay strong and cope with managing global crisis that matters to us, and embedding key components of change. As we move forward, being digitally-savvy may not be an option. CEOs and board members may want to consider these points in managing the workforce, be it virtual or hybrid.
Time to Acquire New Skills
Being agile and resilient are two top skills for the board in order to stay relevant in the business. One of those is definitely a decrease in physical usage of the office, marching towards virtual workplace setup, followed by managing virtual environment effectively including the policies, safety and benefits. As we do not have options here, there is no better time in embarking on upgrading board members with new skillsets required in the digital world.
Also, it is crucial to start identifying and work towards new skills and competencies required to manage the changes that is happening around us so we can be resilient and agile. It is the perfect time to explore available resources that can support and elevate us to the next level, post pandemic. Knowing, believing and crafting the action plan, and accompanied with milestones success measures to successfully managing the trends and challenges.
In conclusion, year 2023 will see the adaptability, agility and human-centric oriented business strategy aligned with global uncertainty and how board can manage this effectively and wisely. Therefore, having the right technology and ramping up digital capabilities, consistent communication with business units, making people accountable are undoubtedly essential wins in providing workforce with work experience that encourage them to do what they love best and drive success in today’s fast-paced and highly ambiguous environment.
Prakash Santhanam is an experienced global talent management practitioner and is an affiliate member of ICDM. The views expressed here are the writer’s own.