Business Contigence & Continuance: More than an Academic Concept!
Business over the last decade have been threatening to close the digital divide. The opportunity for remote working has topped the employee wish list as an engagement driver. Business continuance and contingency plans have prided the business risk agendas. In 2020, in a matter of hours the “snowball effect” came to life as the global economy started shutting down, country by country, instigated by a virus commonly labelled Covid-19. Even that label is already outdated with the various mutations of the original virus.

We always said that change is inevitable. The question remains; did we grow through the change?

The is no “new normal”, we are just in the next cycle of the business evolution, prompted by a pandemic.

HR assuming its rightful place

For as long as we can remember, the HR community, by its own failure bought into the notion that it should earn its place at the boardroom table. Nothing has ever been more inaccurate. HR always had a seat an equal voice at the table, just not exercised confidently.

The pandemic has moved HR from the periphery of the table to the centre of the table; now the right hand of the CEO.  How HR conducted itself during the pandemic and how its continues to exercise its role going forward will determine whether or not this prized place is maintained. Herein lies a great opportunity for any HR Professional.

It would be prudent for the HR community to align, to network, to dialogue and use the information gathered to chart the way into the future, holding firmly at the wheel with the CEO as organizations are steered into the space which we looking forward to calling “beyond the pandemic”

Linking to Digital

At the advent of 4IR, many organization continue to struggle to be at the forefront of technology which is having all kinds of effects on business. The ripples of this uneasy state is starting to intimidate processes such as attraction, retention, talent management and succession planning.

Technology and digital are topics that dominated leadership agendas as well at forums and conferences mainly driven by undertones of fear due to lack of focus and readiness.

As airports shut down and the FastTrack queues emptied, business found themselves forced into the FastTrack lane of engaging technology to ensure their survival.

18 months down the line and in review, business can pat themselves on the shoulder for embracing the challenge. This challenge not only mitigated the now, but also evoked creativity seeing the evolution of business models.

The mental state of employees

Sometimes we need to be careful what we wish for. With joyous expectation employees plunged into the longed for work from home privilege. Nobody paid attention to the extended timeframes of the pandemic and in some instances the joy was short-lived.

The novelty of working from the bed in “pjs”, soon left people feeling imprisoned in their own homes.  Balance is important and in a blink it was gone.

Human being are social creatures. Whether we claim to affiliate with being introverts or extroverts; the reality is that we thrive of the energy of other human beings, consciously or otherwise.  Work from home proved a feasible concept, but at a huge cost without striking the right balance and this is edified in the reports highlighting the increasing number of staff engaging the employee assistance programs for psychological intervention.

Human Resources has a huge task in ensuring that the “work from home” concept is properly regulated, including ensuring that employees have the right tools and space to function optimally at home, remaining cognizant that we exist on a developing content where access to basic services, adequate housing and high rates of unemployment which impact the economy; continue to plague us.  

This lends to the effectiveness of business continuance plans and determines what the future of work will look like. Will we hobble, because we unprepared and therefore have to regress to old ways or will we walk steadily into the modern era.

The burning topic of employee engagement and the shape it will take, given the shift in operating models, remains to be unpacked. Much opportunity for out-of-the-box creativity here!

A glimpse into the future

The world of work as we knew it 18 months ago is a bleak memory. EVERYTHING shifted.

Organisational hierarchies, remuneration philosophies, conditions of employment and contractual terms, job levels, job grades, employment categories, etc, all have shifted. Some obsolete now or in future, whilst others require to be reinvented.

Talent pools and the building of skill clusters will become the order of the day. The ability to effectively and efficiently flow skill to where it is required will become the order of the day. An increase in project type work is anticipated and location will become irrelevant. The traditional HR model is outdated and under threat to be extinct soon!

Dr. Zain Reddiar
HR Director Africa, SAMSUNG
Keynote Speaker & Panelist

Disclaimer: The above represents the personal views and thoughts of Dr Reddiar and is not necessary the thinking of SAMSUNG.

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