Transformation of people centric processes ft. Natalie Herman

Q: What are some challenges that you think the HR workforce is facing? And how do you think they can navigate through it?

Natalie Herman

So I think specifically in Australia, if you look at the recruitment, for focused at the moment, we definitely do have a skill shortage here because we've been in a lockdown scenario for quite some time and borders have been closed. So you definitely would hear of the phrase sort of war for talent going on and where it used to be a very much a candidate short market or, the company was in the a driver's seat. I think it's definitely changed now. And part of that is also in relation to what that candidate is looking for from a company that they're joining. So if they've got, you know, five or six different companies as an option, you know, what differentiates one from the other? So I think that at the moment they're definitely driver seat and we definitely, have a challenge from an HR perspective about how to bring that candidate in the door.  

In terms of, I would say employee engagement, it's an interesting term. I think it means quite a lot of different things. Definitely when you think of like, what makes someone engaged, it's probably changed a lot since the pandemic hit. So I would say people are looking for that well-rounded experience, at work. So a company that definitely doesn't, differentiate between work and home life. I think that concept's really just gone out the door and is nonexistent now, especially for a lot of us who are still working from home that transparency over one's personal life is just, you know, it's there every day. And it's not something that we can hide or should hide anymore. Definitely a lot of elements to do with, flexibility and wellbeing, and how that company is actually talking about these issues in a real authentic, transparent way, rather than just to tick a box.  

I think, you know, if a company's not really delving in these issues in a real way, it can be quite obvious to someone, like a potential candidate. I think it's also, you know, what is that company gonna offer me in terms of my career? I mean, this always comes up as a sticking point for us. But I think it's also, it's even more important now because people are looking for that, as I said, that very much well rounded experience, and it's not to say, you know, we need to have an answer to that. The second someone starts with the company, but you know, that onboarding is still exceptionally important. And that relationship that you have with your manager, has never been more important to have that really close relationship where, you know, your manager actually takes an interest in you as a person.  

And, you know, how it is at work. Like what is the environment that you're in? How inclusive is it, how much joy you actually getting out of the work that you're doing,, is, is the role that you're doing playing to your strengths is someone actually invested in your career is, is really important as well. So there are a lot of challenges for us now in, in the HR space, in terms of performance management. I think that's also taken a really big shift as well. What I've noticed with the pandemic is that layer of, sort of, you know, complexity, or I would say not being honest, has definitely gone. People are a lot more real with their feelings. They feel a lot more comfortable to be quite candid and direct in their feedback. and just not care if, you know, if what they're saying is confronting or if they're asking for things that they're never used to. So I think we need to get used to that as well. That feedback has just become really part of the norm part of the conversation and embrace it, and just be courageous about it. So it's not just, you know, your annual performance review at the end of the year anymore. It's, it's that ongoing conversation that you're having with your manager on a regular basis, is probably where I've seen the shift.  

Q: What do you think employee engagement looks like, in today’s post pandemic world?

Natalie Herman

Well, for some of us we're not in post pandemic yet. But I would imagine those that are, or in some sort of semi pandemic it's, you're gonna have people that just don't wanna let it go, like just, aren't gonna be able to snap back into how things were beforehand and pretend it all didn't happen. And you're gonna need to take those people on that change curve on that journey and be really upfront and, deal with whatever residual issues have come, from the pandemic. And then there will be people that just put it behind them, who, you know, don't wanna talk about it anymore. And just, you know, it's something from the past. So I think as a leader, you're gonna have very different reactions to the pandemic and you're gonna have to be very adaptable, and flex in your approach to, depending on you know, who your, what your always going through.  

I think also, you know, we've gotten used to working from home, we've gotten used to seeing our family, we've gotten used to like wearing the clothes that we wear and, you know, having a lot of us time, you know, there's no commutes and, you know, what does that look like for someone returning to the office? Like, is that good gonna be a hybrid model? Or how are we gonna treat that, you know, where we've all had so much luxury to just go to the doctor when we need to, or, you know, go do the washing if we need to, how are we gonna transition back to what's normal? So there are, and I don't think it's a quick fix either. I think it's gonna be something that like takes us time to are out. And I think if you go on the journey with someone rather than try and have it sorted out straight away, you're probably gonna have a lot more success with it.

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