Averbook: 10 ways HR can reimagine itself for 2021

This year has poured gas on the digital revolution. Dramatic world shifts, the prioritized prevalence of the digital workplace and distributed work, and a need to be physically distant with deeper connections than ever to work and each other dramatically accelerated digitization in our personal and professional lives.

It’s the parallel revolution that makes 2020 so significant: The human revolution overlaid these world shifts, making work suddenly, if not refreshingly, more human than ever. The global health pandemic rooted us in communal health, mental wellness, physical safety, psychological resilience and a local and global sense of both shared trauma and newfound community. The social justice pandemic shined new light on historic wounds, forced awareness and conversation, challenged value systems and inspired change. People have, quite simply, changed forever. The humanization of work must follow.

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Related: Hear more from Averbook and these other keynote speakers at the HR Tech Conference, Oct. 27-30.

Approached with optimism, the “now of work” presents incredible opportunities for organizations that establish a people-first mindset; instill a culture that encourages experimentation, innovation, inclusion and growth; and set out to design it with purpose. It’s not only possible, it’s up to us, HR, to set an agenda and lead the reset toward building a better normal.

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10 HR Reimaginations for a Better Normal

  1. A new model for HR operations, HR technology and employee experience supports whole employee care, bi-directional workplace communication and trust, and a frictionless workforce experience.
  2. Old talent management habits make way for new talent stewardship strategies.
  3. Talent wars are waged within our own organizations; the business prioritizes reskilling, the development of workforce resilience and intelligent mapping of capabilities and career drivers to the strategic needs of the business.
  4. Organizations develop accurate, timely line of sight to the full, extended workforce. Experience, engagement, inclusion and mobility strategies apply to all, regardless of employment status.
  5. Workforce experience is designed with a people-first and data-driven mindset.
  6. Whole employee care and a truly frictionless workforce experience necessitate a unified digital people vision, the dissolution of HR silos, coordination of people strategies and better people data than ever before.
  7. Static strategies and multiyear roadmaps are replaced with agile, nimble strategies focused on what people and businesses need in the now of work and future-proof investments for an unknown period ahead.
  8. Technology is configured, optimized or selected to address spikes and pitfalls and general changes in workforce behavior.
  9. Renewed strategies are intentionally prioritized and sequenced to drive maximum business impact by leveraging tangible “measures of success.”
  10. HR reimagines budgets and leverages sequencing to set the stage for sustained transformation in 2021.
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Join our Leapgen webinar Oct. 20 to “Reimagine HR for Business in 2021.”

I’ll also be talking all about “Rewriting the Book of Work” at the upcoming HR Technology Conference & Exposition Oct. 27-30, a reimagined online event that is not to be missed.

Jason Averbook, Mercer
Jason Averbook
Jason is a Senior Partner and the Global Leader of Digital HR Strategy at Mercer | Leapgen, with a career that spans over two decades in the HR and technology sectors. From 2018-23, Jason co-founded and served as CEO of Leapgen, a company committed to shaping the future workplace. Now, under the expanded partnership of Mercer | Leapgen, Jason continues to challenge executive mindsets, advocating for a shift from executing technology projects to embodying a digital function. Jason also serves as an adjunct professor at universities worldwide, has held senior roles at industry giants such as PeopleSoft and Ceridian and is frequently quoted by top media outlets.