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COVID19 Bounce Back: Maximising People Performance

Oakleaf Partnership and Hewlett Rand co-hosted their latest thought-provoking online event which considered how HR & Training functions can support organisations to bounce back through the COVID-19 pandemic as employees continue their return to the workplace.

Survive, Revive and Thrive

Zoe Case and Rebecca Lancelles-Foskett, Senior Managers from our specialist Regions business introduced context, whilst Richard Lowe, Director of Training and Digital Learning and Angela Tang, HR & Training Consultant from Hewlett Rand presented their observations from working with their clients and market trends, reflecting on challenges employers had faced and the one certainty is that employers that adapt and manage change well will survive, revive and thrive.

They highlighted that whilst the immediate impact of COVID-19 sent businesses into survival mode, with many having to take decisive measures to stabilise cash flow, using reserves and draw off Government financial rescue packages and job retention schemes, the world will now recalibrate. As managers and employees continue to return to their workplaces, we will move into a phase where businesses can begin to look further ahead, to revive and adapt to their ‘know new normal’.

Five key points areas of focus were discussed:

1. Leadership: Upskilling Leadership teams to ensure they have the capabilities to keep their teams safe, healthy and well and to bring leadership teams together ensuring HR & Training teams can align people strategies for success.

2. Structures: Many organisations are now streamlining workforce structures with leaner management hierarchies, virtual workers, fluid workplaces and flexible working. Whilst this will bring challenges is it also bringing opportunities to redistribute their workforce.

3. Processes: Now is a time where HR & Training professionals should review and re-engineer their processes to make efficiencies for working virtually. Reviewing ways to optimise productivity through enhanced onboarding, performance management and recognition practices.

4. Technology: Employers should reflect on whether their HR & Training technologies will deliver what they now need. There is opportunity to embed digital skills for technologies that have been harnessed during the pandemic, upskill remote people management and virtual team working skills and the digital capabilities needed to work effectively with customers.

5. Culture: Finally, employers will need to reflect on how they re-engage employees with their purpose, vision and values in their ‘known new normal’ to rejuvenate a high-performance culture.

Some great points were raised and debated from all who attended.

The overall message seemed to be that employers are embracing the new way of working providing support to their workforce and wider families, reconnecting with staff in ways that were never done before – offering fluid workspaces for when people return to the office.

We spoke a lot about how to drive performance and took some great examples from our two Hong Kong-based attendees. It was interesting to hear how some organisations were ahead of the curve before the pandemic even hit.

Overall, attendees felt their employers were embracing the new way of working Covid19 had imposed, but more work is now needed to re-engage, re-connect and upskill their teams and a general recognition that the new world of work has been unequivocally remodelled by the pandemic.

Hewlett Rand have kindly produced a Covid19 Bounce Back HR & Training Checklist following our webinar, email zoecase@oakleafpartnership.com for more information or if you would be interested in hearing about future events.

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