HR Leaders Talk – State of HR in 2021

ChapmanCG panel discussion: What’s up HR? Let‘s discuss: the state of HR today.

Some few thoughts brought to “paper” to capture key points. To start off with here my summary:

Our working world is changing – Corona further accelerated this and triggered a push for digitalization and new work topics. During the crisis we all showed a high amount of openness and willingness to change – Let´s keep that up and continue to dare things. We will need exactly that openness and flexibility in shaping our future of work.

3 key takeaways and my personal views:

  • Hybrid, flexible working world is our new now reality.
  • The meaning of career is changing – anticipate a portfolio career and become your own talent manager.
  • An inclusive & diverse culture is a competitive advantage – diversity, equity & inclusion needs to be made part of the business strategy.

Welcome to read more on ChapmanCG: State of HR in 2021.

Here are 3 core questions of the live panel addressed towards me:

New working models, Feli, how do you see the new reality, at the end of Quarter 1, 2021?

-> my view: hybrid, flexible working world is our new now reality.

Lets shortly go back to the outbreak of the Crisis. Here, the rule was: Navigating on sight. That meant making daily decisions under greatest uncertainty and in a rapidly changing environment. So, if you so want the “VUCA”-world.

We were presented with new types of challenges that demanded a maximum flexibility and resilience not only from HR. In a very short time, we all had to cope with changes of unprecedented ways.

We saw, if everyone pulls together, certain things could and can succeed faster than expected. Specifically, remote work and digital collaboration, worked well. Nothing we believed or had experienced before. We took a big leap on future ways of working. …, (and of course, it also had and has its challenges).

But, there’s no question about it: As “Chief Digital Officer” – as often paraphrased – the pandemic triggered a push for digitalization and new-work topics. 

Now a phase of consciously shaping the “new normal” awaits us. A #BackToNormal – whatever that was – longed for in some parts will not happen again. Because, we know: Our world of work will never be the same. It was already in motion before Corona. Corona further accelerated this process as a #gamechanger or #catalyst.

My belief: In the future, hybrid work models that will vary by time, place and contract will set the pace.

Then, why hybrid, you might ask? Big ideas don’t happen alone, but there were diverse perspectives and teams get together and co-create. Culture gets created together, as creativity, innovation and new ideas happen when people come together and interact. It is true that culture is increasingly also conveyed through communication, but people want to experience culture or feel it in the truest sense. Togetherness in the office also serves this purpose.

That’s why I believe hybrid, flexible working is the new reality: “Hoffice” as a mix between Office & Home. #hybrid will be part of our new #newnormal working reality. The question is how we can design #hybrid and make hybrid, flexible working “feasible” and sustainable – giving people choices.

That must be done and developed individually for each company. The proportions of remote vs. on premise might differ from company to company, also given experience and industry. We now need to come up with a workable hybrid model as there will not be one-size-fits-all.

Read on at ChapmanCG.

Please check out other publications on this subject.

Do you see personal development changing, and what will a career mean in future?

-> my view: The meaning of career is changing – anticipate a portfolio career and become your own talent manager.

Our so-called “VUCA”-world requires organisations to change their set up, ways of working as well as their company culture. Companies will (need to) move towards new, more agile ways of working and co-creation,

Correspondingly, we see general shifts happening:

  • Changing working conditions (e.g. more flex working models and temp contracts)
  • Changing labor market (means, more global based on digital labor platforms)
  • Changing career expectations (e.g. Gen Y with a different understanding of life, its purpose and individual development, wlb)
  • Changing career paths (e.g due to flatter organizations and new ways of working, less managerial/ new roles)

Thus, we will experience a lifetime employment with one single employer being an experience from former times; as well as the classical “functional” chimney career.

Today, “portfolio career” is the magic word. We very likely are to take on different roles in different constellations over the course of our working life.

Companies used to invest heavily in employees with the intention of keeping them for longer and seeing them grow. Today, employers must provide development more quickly, move people more regularly, and give them tools to manage their career and development path.

Correspondingly, the responsibility for (career) development is shifting – as the nature of careers is changing. Given the changing career possibilities, paths and expectations the responsibility for (career) development is shifting towads self responsibility:

The new mantra is: “Design (and drive) your own development” Or, in a nutshell: Become your own “talent manager“, every day: as a „prosumer“ – co-creating your own development. This new type of career requires an open-mind, flexibility and life long learning.

Please check out other publications on this subject.


How can we turn a diverse & inclusive culture into a competitive advantage?

-> my view: An inclusive & diverse culture is a competitive advantage – diversity, equity & inclusion needs to be made part of the business strategy.

We all are currently discussing in manyfold ways the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) as well as belonging. It is key to success.

The shift that now needs to happen is understanding DEI as a true competitive advantage. So, I would like to call out for ACTION: As I believe we have enough analysis and facts – it’s now the time to ACT.

We need to take action and make I&D part of our business strategy. We know the diversity of our workforce is what makes us strong. Diversity to start off is a matter of fact – as we all are diverse.

Our new VUCA world requires a new organization, that focuses on creating a shared culture, and designing a work environment that engages people, … and gives appreciation of these different qualities of people.

In order to cope with the complexity of the changing world of work and digital transformation, we need – in addition to networking and teamwork – diversity of ideas, thoughts, perspectives, experiences and competencies.

Without making inclusion & diversity a business imperative, and without that strong culture, we will not succeed in tackling the challenges and getting the required customer focus, need for innovation and let alone employee engagement.

Especially, in challenging times like these, it is a driving force because it connects and helps to master challenges together as a team.

It’s about diversity in work. If you want to be and remain competitive as a company, we need to embrace this. So the time is up and over to talk, we need to act. Making I&D a business imperative. Not a nice to have but a MUST have.

That means: Put it on the agenda – target it – measure it – incentivize it.

And then, most importantly, live it! Make it part of the culture and mindset. Making it visible and showing it.

Please also read: State of HR in 2021, ChapmanCG, 03/ 2021.

Please check out other publications on this subject.

#ChapmanCG #HRLeadership #HRExchange #HRNetworking #able4change ##ChangeChangeability #ChangeManagement #Coaching #ChangeCoaching #FutureOfWork #HR #NewNow #Diversity #Inclusion #DiversityAndInclusion #Career 

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