Chief Human Resources Officers are key to workforce resilience
The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is severe, rapid and global in nature. Tens of millions of people may lose their jobs before we see a recovery get underway.
Organizations globally are experiencing workforce disruption at an unprecedented scale and speed. This is propelling CHROs into the spotlight of this human crisis. Their role has never been more stressful, vital and visible. For example, Accenture has led by partnering with CHROs of leading companies to create People + Work Connect, an analytics-based platform that facilitates continued employment.
CHROs across industries are rising to the challenge. They are best placed to help people and organizations navigate workforce shifts en masse. Their expertise in developing agile workforce strategies is critical to keeping the global economy viable and helping people and their families survive financially now and in the future.
The good news: Opportunities are appearing as companies and industries work together to keep people in paying work. That means a hard-hit industry like hospitality helps its workers redeploy to an industry that needs extra workers, like grocery retailers.
Innovative solutions forged in disruptive times
People, organizations and communities need answers now. Plans need to be fit-for-purpose today but capable of evolving as the global health and economic environment changes.
No enterprise can do this alone. Businesses, governments, citizens, and non-profits play critical roles. It’s at the intersection of these stakeholder interests where inspired and inspiring solutions can occur.
With that in mind, we propose a human-centered, systems-minded approach that promotes shared workforce resilience. This is not a one-time process. It requires the development of persistent capabilities and relationships across stakeholder groups. Each organization will be at a different level of maturity, and with varied labor laws and regulations around the world, not every company will move at the same rate or follow the same path.
A plan for shared resilience
CHROs can focus on five key areas to help their organizations achieve long-lasting workforce resilience.
1. Predict Demand Shifts
Identify and forecast where workforce shifts need to occur. The unprecedented disruption and pace of change can make traditional forecasting models obsolete. Rapid, iterative modeling of potential scenarios can optimize decision making. It won’t be perfect, but it can be sufficient to start planning and taking action.
2. Assess Skill Profiles
Create a baseline for the skills you possess versus skills predicted to be in high demand. Create future-oriented profiles based on the skills, aptitudes and interests required. Look for unique combinations and consider related adjacent skills that can broaden the range of available roles.
3. Connect Workers at Scale
Bring together people at scale by shifting impacted people within or outside the organization. Regardless of industry barriers, organizations can partner to build a resilient ecosystem that helps people access continued employment opportunities.
4. Accelerated Learning
Use your insights into demand profiles to develop a well-defined picture of the relevant skills needed. By comparing existing skills to current needs, HR can identify the skill gaps for the organization. Create the ability for people to rapidly learn, in order to change the trajectory of their career.
5. Foster Shared Resilience
Creating shared workforce resilience means embracing vulnerability and encouraging open sharing about what’s hard and uncomfortable. These behaviors and mindsets lay the foundation for new ways of working that foster a more collaborative and less competitive talent ecosystem.
Coronavirus & human resources: Moving forward
The global pandemic has created an unprecedented sense of shared purpose for political, business, civic and human prosperity. The common global goal of reviving the economy is dissolving traditional industry and organization boundaries, inspiring collective action.
CHROs are on the front line of this response, equipped with the advanced technologies and intelligence they need to help navigate these sudden, massive workforce shifts.
Building these rapid response capabilities go far beyond any one crisis and into a new future of work—one fueled by the courage to try new things, a commitment to responsible leadership, and a sense of shared purpose that fosters the greater good.
How can we create shared workforce resilience?