“Business will have to learn to manage polarity,” Abhijit Bhaduri

Abhijit Bhaduri, HR leader & author, Dreamers & Unicorns talks about how accessing and reskilling are a continuous process and two sides of the same coin

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2020: What to learn – what to erase

In 2020, the boon in disguise was that the employers had to make investments and connect the employees. Investment in workplace technologies shot up so that people could continue to work in a remote environment without affecting efficiency, and keep the business going. That was the real boon.

I don’t think I would like to erase anything, because I have seen that strengths and weaknesses, as we see it in the short run, actually change when we look at them in the long run. The distinction between what is good and what is bad, a boon or a curse, tends to blur in the long run.

2021 – changing organisational design

My prediction for 2021 is that business will have to learn to manage polarity, considering that they will have to shift between some people who will be in the physical workplace, some at home — that is, home or home town— and any others. I think, going forward we will see a hybrid workplace, follow a hybrid method of work and deal with a completely hybrid workforce comprising freelancers, as well as full-timers and part-timers. Therefore, I think that any sharp distinction— between employee or non-employee or build vs buy, online vs offline, remote vs in person — will blur and we will see many of these hybrid models on a continuum.

Until and unless both the intangible measures and the traditional ones are measured equally, one will only get a partial story

Identifying right skill gaps or reskilling

It depends on the organisation. Therefore, those who have never really thought of checking their job descriptions, really need to understand what the new skills are and look at how they shape up the business. For them, the starting point would be to kind of assess and find out what exactly is the skill gap, jobwise, because many jobs have changed in their level of complexity. Therefore, in my book, Dreamers and Unicorns, I talk about the importance of a new way of looking at jobs, to look at the degree of complexity in terms of say, the emotional complexity required, the kind of complexity needed across disciplinary understanding and so on. The ability to identify the fastest method of reskilling, also needs to go hand in hand. Therefore, accessing and reskilling are a continuous process and two sides of the same coin. Both will have to happen simultaneously for the organisations going forward.

C-suite wants results, and not just reports

It is true that the CEO wants results, but the CHRO also must ensure that everything is not measured in a tangible way, which is all the data and metrics. Very often, they may not indicate intangible things which is equally important. Intangible things are like the depth of your leadership, the bench, the employer brand strength, the intellectual property of the organisation, its ability to retain talent- the right kin. Until and unless both the intangible measures and the traditional ones are measured equally, one will only get a partial story. So, HR must ensure that it is measuring the tangible and the intangible and the C-suite must really start to put a lot more effort to measure the intangibles because 85 per cent of the firm’s values come from that (as mentioned in my book Dreamers and Unicorns).

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