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COVID-19: How CHROs can drive workforce resilience

April 16, 2020

Chief Human Resources Officers are key to workforce resilience

This shared workforce resilience means keeping as many workers healthy, safe and employed as possible in the now. With an eye to equipping people with new skills for the future.

Innovative solutions forged in disruptive times

A plan for shared resilience

1. Predict Demand Shifts

Key question:

How do you use analytics to understand and prepare for the shifts of workers across industries and companies?

Key activities:

  • Start with possible scenarios and rapidly build a workforce approach. Start with current needs and look into the future. Evolve your plan to include elasticity and resilience in workforce skilling and sourcing.
  • Hone in on skills. Outline the future skills and aptitudes required, versus jobs or people, and define the high-level skills profiles needed for both the expanding and declining work in your organization.
  • Tap technology and analytics to uncover what an excel spreadsheet can’t show you. Use AI and machine learning to expose local labor-market supply and demand, sometimes in other industries, for potentially impacted work and associated skills.

2. Assess Skill Profiles

Key question:

How do you assess the optimal shift in your workforce, both in number and skills?

Key activities:

  • Double down on skills. Develop skill profiles of displaced and in-demand workers with key information like role, skills, proficiency, experience, hours, pay, home and work location.
  • Don’t underestimate aptitudes and adjacencies. Move at pace by using AI and machine learning techniques to assess not only skills, but also aptitudes. In accounting for market shifts, consider and model skill adjacencies for in-demand work.
  • Be transparent with your people. Share information on individual skill profiles, the in-demand skills and the development opportunities during the assessment process. Seek to give access and control of the skill profile to the employee.

3. Connect Workers at Scale

Key question:

How do you collaborate internally across functions and externally across industries to connect people to future work?

Key activities:

  • Create unlikely partnerships. Look to develop non-profit, public sector and outside industry relationships directly, or leverage intermediaries, that deliver opportunities by helping match groups of people with needed skills to employers with specific skill needs.
  • Reconsider the workforce model. Look at alternative employment models and other job design options to respond rapidly to workforce shifts.
  • Stay grounded in skills and aptitudes. Connect impacted people by matching their direct and/or adjacent skills to new opportunities and interests.

4. Accelerated Learning

Key question:

How do you accelerate individuals’ learning curves, so they can become more productive? Or, so they can become a productive member of someone else’s organization?

Key activities:

  • Tap into human potential. Allow people to opt in and choose their learning. Don’t underestimate the human potential to continually learn and grow.
  • Address the most critical skillset gaps within the organization. Leverage agile platforms to quickly develop curated learning pathways and facilitate learning networks.
  • Close the gap on skill adjacencies. Take advantage of the high degree of transferability between needed skills and related adjacent skills. Accelerate learning based on the most in-demand adjacent skills.

5. Foster Shared Resilience

Key question:

How do you care for, nurture and foster resilience in people?

Key activities:

  • Keep innovating and investing. Explore new operating models that unleash people’s ability to quickly adapt to change. Time and money in new alliances, learning and ecosystems will support a more adaptive and resilient workforce.
  • Encourage and expect personal growth. Create the space and opportunity for people to build confidence in their skills and potential as they shift into new work.
  • Stay connected with your people. Continue to foster trust by creating opt-in opportunities for temporarily transitioned people to access ongoing learning and hear about open roles or workforce shifts. Enable people to plan for work transitions with confidence.

Coronavirus & human resources: Moving forward

Contact us

David Shaw

Senior Managing Director – Talent & Organization, UKG Lead

Nicholas Whittall

Senior Managing Director – Accenture, Midwest Retail Lead

Mary Kate Morley Ryan

Managing Director – Talent & Organization

Gaston Carrion

Managing Director – Talent & Organization, Growth Markets Lead

Patricia Feliciano

Managing Director – Talent & Organization, Latin America Lead

Tim Good

Senior Managing Director – Talent & Organization, EMEA Lead

Yaarit Silverstone

Senior Managing Director – Talent & Organization, Global Strategy Lead & North America Lead
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