While the pandemic has been challenging, enlightening, and educational, it has also been highly tumultuous. This has led to organizations reorienting their approach toward people. Satyajit Mohanty, VP-HR, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals revealed to All Things Talent that despite being in business for over six years, they designed their first-ever EVP only last year. The changes and transformations made it important for the company to look inward and evolve.
Niraj Seth, EVP, Naukri, is of the opinion that the pandemic years (2020-2021) have dramatically changed the entire HR landscape across organizations. Calling it an ‘HR tsunami’, Seth adds that every aspect of talent management underwent an overhaul, with CHROs taking a relook at workforce management, work-life balance, attrition, employee engagement, boss-subordinate trust, new workplace models, career growth, performance evaluation, and more.
“It was an uphill task for CEOs and CHROs in 2022 to see how to realign the organization and reinvent strategies to keep the wheels running. Unfortunately, it became further challenging with unbelievable attrition in the mid-2022 to global economic slowdown now,” says Seth. CHROs are in a war-like situation where they are facing challenges on all fronts – from talent attraction to management to retention. Hence, it will be interesting to see how CHROs in 2023 shape their people management strategies to address these dynamic challenges.
It was an uphill task for CEOs and CHROs to put things on track in 2022 and to see how to realign the organization to put things back on the wheel. Unfortunately, it became further challenging with unbelievable attrition in mid-2022 to global economic slowdown now – Niraj Seth, EVP, Naukri
Also read: Pandemic Pushed Me to Break Through All Stereotypes: Rahul Deshmukh, Allana Group
Several companies have changed their talent policies and strategies to keep up with how quickly the talent ecosystem is changing. One of the frequently discussed topics was hybrid work models. In 2022, firms were still operating under a hybrid model while also trying to figure out what the future held for such practices. Experts believe it will be futile to expect a return to the way work was done until 2019, as the fundamentals have changed now. Talent today demands certain benefits that were earlier considered good-to-have features.
We at All Things Talent reached out to key HR leaders of various fields to understand how 2022 mattered to them and how they feel 2023 will shape up.
More Power to CHRO
As per Harshvendra Soin, Global Chief People Officer and Head – Marketing, Tech Mahindra, CEOs today use their Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) the way they use their CFOs—as sounding boards and trusted partners. “CEOs rely on CHRO’s skills in linking people and numbers to diagnose weaknesses and strengths in the organization, find the right fit between employees and jobs, and advise on the talent implications of the company’s strategy,” he explains.
In 2023, the emphasis will be on pushing HR to new heights. Soin believes a framework that promotes work flexibility, personalized learning opportunities, employee engagement, wellness, and care through the use of advanced HR technology to drive meaningful and purposeful work will be a key driver of future trends.
Also read: How Are India’s Superstar Tech Companies Doing In Terms Of Employee Productivity?
CEOs today use their Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) the way they use their CFOs—as sounding boards and trusted partners. They rely on CHRO’s skills in linking people and numbers to diagnose weaknesses and strengths in the organization, find the right fit between employees and jobs, and advise on the talent implications of the company’s strategy – Harshvendra Soin, Global Chief People Officer and Head – Marketing, Tech Mahindra
Finding Order in Chaos
The pandemic had put everyone home and when things opened up, organizations gradually eased into the phenomena of hybrid work. The latter reimagined workplaces in a big way and it isn’t going anywhere. But challenges are still there. Even now you will often find key leaders and employees alike discussing what is the best way to get employees to the office and for how many days. Then there are some who have not made the return to office mandatory yet. Whatever happens, it is important to have a process in place which will be followed on principle.
Richard Lobo, EVP, Head HR, Infosys feels the biggest priority this year will be to make the new ways of working a reality. “The whole flexible hybrid model of people coming to the office on some days and working remotely on others needs to be seamless for everyone. The biggest priority is in terms of repopulating workspaces as needed and making them functional again.”
Also read: Talent Branding, Navigating Attrition: How Infosys is Making ‘Work’ Work
Commenting further, Lobo also emphasizes rebuilding the whole company’s talent ecosystem. “We need to build the company networks again and get the social capital flowing. We had used up most of our social capital over the last two years when people worked without seeing each other, so rebuilding the social capital is a priority. We must focus on the human at work and that’s very important.
“The whole flexible hybrid model of people coming to the office on some days and working remotely on others needs to be seamless for everyone. The biggest priority is in terms of repopulating workspaces as needed and making them functional again. – Richard Lobo, EVP, Head HR, Infosys
The Uncertain Future
Covid-19 launched everyone in an era of extreme uncertainties. While organizations are still grappling with the aftereffects of the pandemic-led challenges at work, there are geopolitical tensions, and socio-economic issues looming at large. Add to that the rising inflation. That’s what is on Infosys’s agenda this year. Lobo highlights, “The world continues to be an uncertain place, and economies across the world are under strain. Besides, there is a pandemic which is not fully over. There are geopolitical tensions. There are economic issues so the priority is on handling the talent landscape in a period of uncertainty.”
Also read: 5 HR Operating Models Emerging Due to Volatile Business Environment
Like 2022, this year too will be about adapting to rapid changes. Employers will have to look for ways to keep their talent flow intact and also manage business expectations in such unpredictable times. Priyanka Anand, Vice President & Head, Human Resources – South East Asia, Oceania & India at Ericsson says, “I think 2023 will be a year full of opportunities but also a year full of challenges because despite us having walked out of one of the most tiring times, we’re walking into another challenging time ahead with geopolitical uncertainty, inflation-related challenges, and global economies being tested in many ways.”
2022 helped with recovery but the true challenge will perhaps begin now as the talent ecosystem is ready to experience a lot of upheavals due to changes in the international markets.
– With Bruhadeeswaran R
With uncertainty lying ahead of us and having gone through the pandemic, Ukraine Russia War and recession , it is important to focus on certainty. Talent is certain for us. How we can utilise the existing talent , make then feel appreciated and give them the choice on how/ where to work would be important in 2023. While the recession continues, the Great resignation trend is still here. Like how you said in the article , Finding Order in Chaos.