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CHROs setting the stage significant transformation agenda post Covid:NHRDN survey

NHRDN during April 20 conducted a comprehensive survey-based analysis, with participants from organisations across industries, of varying sizes to understand the impact of Covid-19 on people and organization and future challenges.

 

This report is based on the finding of a survey that was rolled out to CHROs across 111 various industries. However, the effective sample size varies for various variables.

 

1. THE COVID PANDEMIC HAS BEEN AN UNPRECEDENTED GLOBAL CRISIS.

 

It has locked employees indoors and shifted work out of offices across many parts of the world. The scale of disruption created by COVID to the work, workers and workplace has caught many organizations at short notice and is expected to last long enough that it is o􀅌en said to define the new normal for the future.

 

2. WORK FROM HOME:

 

1. Many organisations, especially large firms in the Technology space, are planning for work from home with the aim to make it a major way of working in the future by changing policies to support it. Organizations even in Automotive and Manufacturing sectors are expected to adopt work from home in a bigger way in the future although they may be limited by the nature of the work that needs to be performed in their industry.

 

2. Interestingly, several respondents reported an increase in productivity while working from home. And there was an even larger number of respondents that reported an enhancement in employee wellbeing while working from home.

 

3. So companies in sectors like Automobile, Financial Services, Education, Pharmaceuticals,

Manufacturing and Retail that traditionally did not priorities or plan for work from home

arrangements for their employees, are likely to incorporate and encourage this as a way of working in select roles, in the future.

 

3. HEALTH AND WELLNESS:

Larger organizations have clearly prioritised health, safety and wellness of their employees as they responded to the COVID pandemic.

 

4. COMMUNICATION AND EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT:

 

1. Organisations across the spectrum are adopting a range of initiatives to manage employee connect through this crisis period encouraging virtual team meetings and HR ‘reach-out’ along with periodic and frequent leadership communication through virtual methods.

 

2. Virtual team meetings, leadership briefings and webinars are amongst the most popular methods to solicit feedback from employees during the lockdown.

 

5. LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT:

 

1. Over 80% of organizations in the survey have increased their focus on learning aimed at upskilling/reskilling their employees and for engagement too.

 

2. Webinars, virtual classrooms and e-learning are commonly used methods although a few companies have adopted so gamified Artificial Intelligence based learning tools. Larger companies have reported introducing Apps/tools to support their employees’ learning needs.

 

6.RECRUITMENT AND ONBOARDING:

 

1. Recruitment is on hold in about half of the organisations in the survey.

 

2. While recruitment of trainees has been less impacted, it is in the part-time/gig working cadres and management levels that hiring is frozen.

 

7. COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:

 

1. With all organizations trying to conserve cash during the COVID pandemic, employee costs are in focus.

 

2. At the time of the survey, several organisations had not yet changed salaries. Half the companies in the survey were undecided on whether there would be salary reductions and management salaries were most in focus for reduction with a third of the companies  lanning to cancel salary increases for management staff for the year.

 

3. As one would imagine, the impact on smaller firms is larger. Several smaller firms were looking at reducing pay and restructuring compensation, whereas larger companies were in favour of lowering incentive payouts to reduce cost.

 

8. WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR US:

 

1. As the crisis persist, organisations are looking at a slew of employee cost reduction interventions like deferring salary increases, incentives and promotions, but not contemplating yet on aggressive measures like voluntary retirements and salary reduction across the board.