There have always been two major markers of history in the western world in particular. B.C. denoting Before Christ, and A.D. denoting the Year of the Lord. This year, the world has changed in unprecedented ways. May be because HR was not so evolved during the last epidemic, Covid has challenged many basic assumptions, beliefs and practices of HR. Added to this, the pandemic fast forwarded adoption of new technologies backed by AI, practices like WFH and WFA, etc. Verily, HR AC (Anno Covidi) may be dramatically different from BC (Before Covid).
HR Policies & Systems
The world of employee manuals, conduct, discipline & appeal rules, and full time employment may be passé. This does not cover contract labor, the mainstay of most organizations today. Archaic laws and myopic attitude made organizations keep an arm's length from contract labor for decades. As a result, when the tragedy struck, migrant labor felt helpless and hopeless, triggering a migration that many have compared to the one at the time of partition. As a result, when the government exhorted industries to restart full production, many industries just did not have the required manpower back.
Add gig workers to this conundrum. And organizations are talking of 25 by '25, meaning only 25% of employees will be required to come onsite by 2025. At a time when technology and customer sensitivity will equalize, workers' sense of ownership, engagement and innovation will become the main source of competitive advantage. How do we create this amongst contract labor, gig workers and even WFH/WFA employees? What is ahead-of-the-curve thinking of HR in this connection?