CHRO Online Malaysia: Redefining leadership in a transformed workplace

Over 120 CHROs attended CHRO Online Malaysia, which highlighted the key priorities facing HR and business leaders in 2021.
By: | November 25, 2020

With the wide-ranging level of disruption brought about by the pandemic in 2020, CHRO Malaysia Online provided the platform for over 120 CHROs to ponder some of the key challenges facing HR and business leaders as they begin to formulate their business plans for 2021.

In the new Now of Work, previous inhibitors to innovation have been broken down. For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated companies’ digital communications strategy by an average of six years, while 97% of enterprise decision makers believe the pandemic has sped up their company’s digital transformation.

Describing digital communication as the “new lifeblood” of any organisation, Jason Averbook, Global Keynote Speaker, CEO & Co-Founder, Leapgen, emphasised that humanity is more important than ever before.

However, people are fragile living in agile times, he cautioned. What leaders need to do is not just push out more processes or tools, but how to make people make them feel that you care about them.

While leaders need to develop strategies, deploy and measure them, they also need to ensure they have the right mindset and vision for success, effectively redeploy resources in an agile way, and identify technology they need to deploy in the Now of Work.

And most importantly, nothing will change unless leaders themselves, change, Averbook highlighted.

Management philosophy has now moved to a model based around empathy, trust, resilience, said Josh Bersin, Global Industry Analyst and Dean of the Josh Bersin Academy. Leaders need to strive to build a resilient organisation and develop ‘powerskills’, or words or concepts that will drive the organisation forward.

These include: Optimism, curiosity, tenacity, flexibility, integrity, humility, teamwork, joy, generosity, learning, drive, ethics, empathy, followership, time management, awe, forgiveness, kindness, patience and happiness, Bersin pointed out. He also urged leaders to set clear goals and create an environment where people are able to perform and feel a sense of purpose.

Business and employee needs are being shaped by changes in external environmental factors, said John Antos, Vice President, Strategy & Marketing, ADP. In planning their transition into a new year, leaders need to recognise that health comes first before business, and the economic slowdown will invariably, outlast the pandemic.

Changes in business models create transformation challenges and opportunities for HR leaders, he added, as business is interrupted through organisations attempt to overcome the disruption to business and stay afloat in the pandemic.

How then, does the new horizon look like as organisations look ahead? Sharing key findings from studies conducted by the ADP Research Institute, Antos pointed out that online and technology is now taking centre stage, and deeper investments in technology will continue as conditions persist. Upskilling needs to take place to manage changes, and compensation is being used to help drive employee behaviour to deliver in changed work models, he concluded.

READ: CHRO Online Malaysia examines leadership priorities in 2021

Picking up on the theme of digital transformation, Ming Jie Wong, Senior Customer Success Manager, Microsoft, urged leaders to double down on their digital transformation efforts, and figure out which technology works best for their organisation in supporting a hybrid workplace.

However, for proper change management to be successful, leaders need to drive change that starts from the top, Wong highlighted. He also urged leaders not to allow the inability to meet physically become a barrier to boost employee morale and productivity.

As worklife balance continues to be a key concern, empowering employees to manage their work-life balance through tools, data and analytics will go a long way, Wong added.

CHRO Online Malaysia is part of CHRO Online Series 2020, which will conclude with CHRO Online Singapore on December 2, 2020. To register for CHRO Online Singapore, which is sponsored and supported by ADP, Microsoft, Achievers and BPP, click here for further details.