Re-thinking HR - A Necessary Shift in the Next Normal

Sep 29, 2020
HCM Technology | 3 min READ
COVID-19 has changed the way organizations manage their workforce planning. It has become imperative for HR leaders to move from the static workforce planning to agile workforce planning to respond to the business challenges during such an unprecedented time. To make an informed decision related to the workforce the HR leaders need to Regroup, Restructure and Refocus.
Terry Eisenmenger
Terry Eisenmenger

Principal and Global Practice Director

Cloud HCM Consulting


Do you have the data you need to make the right workforce choices?
Can your recent decisions carry you through to the "Next Normal?"
Nearly every business is making tough choices about their workforce, some are modifying jobs to split out work that can be done remotely, others are determining which roles to eliminate. And all are struggling with who can return to work and when.
Birlasoft has recognized gaps in some HCM implementations which impede decision making. Under typical approaches, HCM modules have often been deployed in silos. Yet, businesses run on processes and for HR they are, or at least should be, the primary tool. Now, perhaps more than ever, these decisions require a process and association point of view.
The revision of workforce planning requires details that simply put many HCM implementations do not have. In those that do we have seen missing data and less than necessary correlations across modules to support these decisions
The HR Frontline: Certain Outcomes in Uncertain Times
The pace at which these decisions need to be made is staggering. Adjustments to annual business plans and earnings recovery demand it. While varieties exist, the workforce planning process is basically:
workforce planning process
Allowed to run its regular course this cycle takes 3 to 6 months annually as part of a multi-year business plan. In today’s pandemic induced chaos, we simply cannot take that much time; we need to complete much of this in days. It is also imperative that we prepare for recurrences of similar business disruption and forced changes to our workforce.
When adequately supported by relevant data standard HR processes can help take subjectivity out of these critical decisions. Yet they are much more informative when taken holistically.
Many of the most impacted roles are not usually subjects of Succession Planning at least to the level of having successors named for them. However, especially in these times, more incumbents in these roles are fitting successors, backfills if you will, for other roles. Further still, a broader collection of data is needed to help quickly review suitability. Beyond these normal items:
  • Performance History
  • Time with Company
  • Job History
  • Time in Current Position
  • Risk of Loss
  • Impact of Loss
Just to name a few, things such as these are arguably significant:
  • Knock-on effect of redeploying
  • Current competencies showing strength/weakness
  • Willingness to make the change
  • Management/Leadership capability
  • Costs & Time to Effectiveness
Re-thinking HR – A Necessary Shift in the Next Normal
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To underpin these broader elements for Succession (backfill) it is logical to deeply review the manner in which Performance is evaluated. And that should have connections with Career Planning which then leads to richer Job Design and Position Management.
Please look for my coming posts in this series where the expansions and implications to Performance, Career Planning, Position Management, and more will be further explored. We suggest steps to the next normal through an approach we call "Regroup, Restructure and Refocus"
In the interim Birlasoft is conducting a survey to foster thought and instigate changes of what is used to affect HR decisions. The findings and recommendations will be shared with participants.
Take the survey to receive 2 hours of fee-free consultation to further review and discuss this topic with our experts, you do not have to give the name of the company that you work for in the survey but you must be working for a company or a Group of Affiliated Companies that has over 1000 employees.
Till next time.
"The task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees." -- Erwin Schrödinger
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