COVID-19 has proved society’s ability to work through volatile circumstances and successfully adapt to rapidly changing environments, writes Meric Tunc, Chief Human Capital Officer at NEQSOL Holding.
Over the past 18 months, the workplace has become a centre of this change and organisations have felt the pressure to keep their workforces engaged, productive and resilient in a new digital age.
More recently, public discourse has been consumed by conversations around what the new normal will look like, particularly for the workplace. Against this backdrop, human resources has become more integral than ever.
It is expected that most companies will continue to conduct some, if not all, of their operations remotely. Though there are positive outcomes to this, including more flexible and agile ways of working, there are also a number of challenges that HR professionals will need to overcome to ensure their workforces remain competitive, driven and content.
Employee connections and communication that occurred naturally in the office must now be facilitated by online platforms; recruitment is being conducted virtually, increasingly for jobs that are based remotely; and the training and development of staff is being transferred to the digital space.
Post-pandemic, a robust business strategy will include digital investment in the core business as a priority. HR teams must make a clear business case for how their roles can be adapted to fit within the framework of limited in-person contact, and for the resources they need to execute their functions.
At NEQSOL Holding, we have chosen to view the challenges of the pandemic, and accelerated digital processes, as an opportunity for our business, particularly for our HR team. From the earliest stages of the global lockdown, we took the strategic decision to prioritise identifying new ways to retain and develop talented individuals within our business.
As our business continues to expand across multiple geographies, it is vital we support and bolster our workforce across all subsidiaries and to develop a cohort of strong, collaborative and conscientious leaders. Now, in an increasingly ‘digitised’ world, more than ever.
We embraced these times of uncertainty by focusing on the development needs of our workforce, and introduced our ‘Succession Readiness Programme’ – the first of its kind in the region. The programme aims to create valuable and constructive career development opportunities for NEQSOL Holding management employees, ensuring the company has the critical talent required to achieve its strategic ambitions.
Alongside this, we have also accelerated our investment in ‘NEQSOL Academy’, a digital learning platform that builds bridges between colleagues across borders and industries.
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The platform is supported by accredited institutions, including LinkedIn Learning, and facilitates access to top-tier educational resources from Harvard Business School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School. It also combines a social element, encouraging users to exchange, discuss and connect as they learn.
As our owner and founder Nasib Hasanov likes to remind us, human capital is our company’s greatest asset. We are both very proud of the work we have done – particularly in the context of the global pandemic – to protect this.
Eighteen months on from the first global lockdown, we are yet to fully understand the long-term impact of COVID-19 on working practices. Yet, as we emerge from this pandemic, and the dust settles thanks to successful vaccination programmes, C-suite professionals will be looking to human resources teams to ensure their workforces remain competitive, driven and content.
Human resources teams will be essential in managing the organisational changes that have been ushered in by COVID-19; this is an opportunity that should be embraced.