The way organisations operate has changed forever. Almost overnight the Covid-19 pandemic forced businesses to scrap their plans and adopt new operating models in a desperate bid to ensure business continuity and employee wellbeing.
With the UK officially in recession and talk in Ireland of a deeper depression than that of the 2008 global financial meltdown, it might seem a little unusual for us to be talking about new skills. Despite the personal, economic and societal hardship the pandemic has caused, there is no denying that it has also created new opportunities. What is the future of work and what areas should you develop to give you the edge in the changing workplace?
Just as the tech sector is thriving, within organisations the role of HR has never been so prominent. Both business leaders and employees are turning to their HR officers for guidance on how to navigate the ‘new normal’, drastically increasing the CHRO’s influence as a result.
With so many changes in the way we work emerging all at once, we foresee the role of the HR department becoming more nuanced, with niche functions and skills emerging as a result of the pandemic. Here are four new HR roles more and more organisations will look to fill in the coming 12 months.
- Director of Work from Home
In Ireland, Government advice remains that “Unless it is absolutely essential for an employee to attend in person, they should work from home.” Meanwhile, across the water, a BBC survey of the UK’s 50 biggest companies revealed almost half (24) have no plans to return workers to the office.
With work from home (WFH) set to remain the norm for millions of workers, organisations need to ensure their processes, policies and technologies are optimised for remote workers. Enter the Director of WFH, who will be responsible all these measures are in place and that employees working remotely are just as engaged and feel just as much a part of the organisation as those in the office.
- The Wellbeing Officer
A major challenge for organisations throughout the pandemic has been managing employee wellbeing. A recent HRLocker survey found that managing employee stress has been the greatest internal challenge for 40% of organisations.
In order to minimise a legal backlash and maximise employee retention, expect to see more businesses appointing a dedicated Wellbeing Officer to drive employee wellbeing as part of the broader organisational strategy. With some companies already hiring for such a role, the job spec is likely to involve designing services and practices to nurture the emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health of all employees.
- HR Business Continuity Director
Globally, few if any organisations (or Governments for that matter) had an emergency preparedness plan prior to the pandemic. We were caught unawares, and we have paid a deep price for it, economically and more significantly in the loss of life.
The HR Business Continuity Director will work with the C-suite, most notably the CEO, CFO, CIO and Facilities Director, to create a safe working environment for both on-site and remote workers, while ensuring there are clear protocols for such an event in the future.
For those organisations that plan to re-open their offices, ensuring the safe return of employees to the workplace will be paramount. It will fall to the HR Business Continuity Director to put in place sufficiently, sustainable measures.
- The HR Data Analyst
The digitalisation of organisations has necessitated the digital transformation of the HR department. Up until now, only a few HR functions had incorporated analytics capabilities into their teams to solve key people challenges — such as measuring productivity, gauging culture or employee engagement & wellbeing. At HRLocker we’re driving the advancement of such data-driven insights, bringing HR on par with other departments, like customer experience and finance, to provide business leaders with clarity and measurability on everything from employee performance to retention.
We see the HR Data Analyst generating disparate data streams (such as employee surveys, learning management systems, and benefits portals) to help solve business problems. These HR/ Data hybrids will collect and compile HR-pertinent insights to help improve employee performance and drive better results for the whole business.