Lifelong learning key for success of hybrid work
For many organisations and their employees, the last two years have been focused on adapting to workforce changes brought forth by the pandemic.
While some employees have already begun to return to the office in 2022, many will continue to work remotely as variants of the pandemic continue to make a full return to the office a near impossibility in many countries.
This in turn, is likely to perpetuate the hybrid work model, predicted Peter Kokkinos, VP for Asia Pacific Udemy Business. Speaking to HRM Asia, he said, “During the pandemic, organisations saw firsthand how employees can continue to collaborate and be productive in a remote environment. In 2022, I believe the focus in the Asia-Pacific region will be on how organisations can optimise hybrid work models and ensure employees – whether fully remote, partially remote, or back in the office – stay connected and engaged.”
Leaders will also have a key role to play, Kokkinos suggested, in ensuring that employees get the resources and training they need to do their jobs successfully, wherever that may be.
“Leaders and employees need to be lifelong learners to stay relevant in the workplace of the future.” – Peter Kokkinos, VP For Asia Pacific Udemy Business.
Leaders will need to consider what are the essential skills that will be required to support a successful hybrid workforce. As companies navigate a return to the office and embrace hybrid work models, leaders should focus their employee development around ‘power skills’ like leadership, teamwork, communication, productivity, and wellness.
Kokkinos explained, “While technical and tactical skills are critical and will vary by individual roles and functions, power skills are important for all workers. They can also be crucial to building and maintaining a strong corporate culture and an agile workforce.”
With the workplace continuing to evolve rapidly, learning new skills becomes more significant as leaders increasingly recognise the critical importance of having a growth mindset throughout the organisation.
“Leaders and employees need to be lifelong learners to stay relevant in the workplace of the future,” he emphasised.
Recruitment and retention of employees a priority in 2022
As employees around the globe adjusted to the disruptions the pandemic brought to their lives, many began to re-evaluate their priorities, including what they are seeking in their careers.
Besides having to manage hybrid workforces in 2022, many organisations will have to deal with the fallout from the ‘Great Resignation’, as employees become less hesitant to leave their jobs to seek new opportunities.
Kokkinos said, “To retain top talent, leaders should review their full package of compensation, benefits, and perks to ensure they are staying competitive. Employees who feel supported both professionally and personally, and who believe their employer is investing in their professional growth, are more likely to stay put.”
However, he was quick to point out that even with an excellent company culture, it is inevitable that some employees will leave. In mitigation, leaders need to review their recruitment progammes and ensure their organisation is positioned as an employer of choice.
“This encompasses everything along a potential recruit’s journey – from your website and social media channels, to how you appear on job boards and review sites,” Kokkinos added. “It also encompasses the candidate experience after applying to your company. Are you putting your best foot forward and highlighting all the perks and benefits your company offers? Are you making a positive impression? Is the onboarding process seamless and welcoming?”
“Candidates have many options today, so HR leaders and managers need to carefully consider how they appear to job candidates and new hires,” he concluded.