We had the privilege of running a masterclass with several global HR executives (Europe, Asia, and the US). The primary focus of the master class was to examine the talent imperatives of enterprises in a post COVID19 world. Several key findings and insights were generated from this masterclass.
While many professionals are reporting a higher degree of satisfaction working from home, there is also a concern if that satisfaction is due to the effort put in previously in building relationships. One major concern is around the impact of time as the opportunities to build such relationships decrease. This is an evolving topic. Journal of Urban Economics conducted a study a while back to study knowledge flows and geographical proximity. This paper theorized the effectiveness of knowledge flow across patent generating professionals increases with colocation. Very many models have evolved based on geographic proximity (New Jersey being a Pharma hub, Silicon valley becoming a software hub) is due to this ecosystem impact. The models of office spaces transforming into a better working space is now a plausible theory rather than working from home entirely. This may mean, workplaces have to become truly collaborative. Paul Michael Romer is an American economist and co-recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2018 for his contributions to endogenous growth theory. Romer theorized that physical assets have less impact on building the economy than knowledge assets. But what is not understood well is how and when knowledge flows? Is knowledge flow more effective when you grab a cup of coffee with your colleague and talk through an important problem? There have not been many experiments on these topics. Knowledge transition happens when it is least expected. Some surveys show that GenZ prefers more direct interaction, especially while dealing with innovative problems. The challenge we have now is that Motivation factors and Hygiene factors are mixed and viewed through the same lens. In other words, we are trying to solve a problem from a personal safety (hygiene factor) standpoint and trying to establish that will work well for innovation and collaboration (Motivation Factor). We have to be a bit careful as professionals on this. Long time back, a noted psychologist Frederick Herzberg in 1959, says that job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are measured in different ways and are not two opposite ends of the scale. We can benefit from thinking in similar lines for the current crisis. The solution to the social distance at work and working from home indefinitely may not be on the two ends of the scale. Something to think about and ponder. We are doing a lot more research on this.
When we got into the discussion of Reskilling, several stories were discussed in the masterclass. One aspect that I highlighted is viewing the available talent from a different lens. Let me give you an example of what I mean. Let us look into the case study from Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) reported by Forbes. In March, (SAS) temporarily laid off 90% of its flight attendants. Recognizing a shortage of skilled healthcare staff for battling the pandemic, SAS quickly aligned private, public, and government sectors around the idea of reskilling its cabin attendants into healthcare. With the cabin attendant’s foundation of basic medical knowledge and skills for dealing with tense situations, leaders built a program to translate existing skills and teach new abilities to fill the void. This is an example of how to view your talent differently.
Let me now showcase a table for you based on extrapolating this
|Role||Traditional view||New View||Potential New Roles|
|Call Center Agent||Able to handle multiple phone calls||Can understand core customer issues and resolve at lighting speed||Inside Sales
Deal Desk Support
|Cashier||Meets and greets customer and transactional||Interacts with multiple digital systems in split seconds and keeps records straight||Compliance related roles
Digital Ambassador type roles
Ethical implications of Machine Decisions?
|Business Data Analyst||Pulls data from systems and compiles into a spreadsheet||Queries multiple systems and narrates a story||Business Storyteller|
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company is committing $160 million over five years toward Future of Work, a new reskilling and upskilling program. The company has also incorporated increased bonus incentive targets and is piloting a Summer Fridays program. It hopes the investment will enhance its business outlook and make it more competitive for talent. This program specifically focusses on Digital literacy.
In the digital age, tracking what products are available is a very key aspect of progressing in knowledge.
For example, if you are a business analyst, you can use these five different products to transition into AI.
Draup suggests that even if you are not directly hiring for AI, learning leaders should start planning and launching AI academies. You can start with the basics of industry related case studies, professors doing key work, potential workshops on where AI can influence and impact. We will be happy to provide more details on the same