hr leadership in C-19 times is tough

The HR role is never easy and 2020 has underlined that even more. 

Modern titles such as People & Culture or People Enthusiast reveal that there is a human, positive element to the job and that people drawn to the profession have extraordinary interpersonal skills. Notwithstanding, there’s a great deal of complex legal aspects to take care of too, not least with compliance & immigration issues. The HR professionals, that also recruit and welcome foreign talent and fill a Global Mobility role, are well rounded and highly skilled professionals. 

Yet, this year has delivered an extraordinary amount of challenges and concerns that the HR Business Partner couldn’t have been prepared for. Unless, you were in the profession for at least 11 years there have been growth and glory rather than reducing staff and creating severance packages. These days converting to almost full remote work for office workers and fulfilling all the lagelities around employer responsibility had to be done almost over night.  

With all this at hand, we want to send out a big Shout Out to all you HR leaders out there – you did well! 

The Future of Work was already a hot topic on the IBA Immigration Conference in the fall of 2019, i.e. before Covid-19 hit.  Many large corporations were already struggling with meeting the demands from top talent to provide flexible arrangements with work from home or remote work. Immigration professionals, for good reason, know that most countries are not ready from a compliance perspective and  that the tax piece is front and center when the law makers around the world enable or obstruct the possibilities of working from different locations.  The future of work will require a great deal of modernisation of tax agencies around the globe and Migration agencies will need to get much faster in the processing times and borders has to open up for the talents that many need. Some countries actively work with opening up and creating possibilities for the Best & Brightest and three countries stand out; Canada, Germany and Ireland.

Covid-19 has shown that; 

1. Remote Work is succesful and was much easier to implement than expected.

2. In many surveys of workers around the globe people find that there are both pros and cons with working from home. A majority want to have a hybrid solution going forward and have access to an office from time to time. 

3. Leadership find that monitoring the wellbeing of employees is difficult when you don’t engage in person. You can tell more about how a person feels if you can also see the body language, not just a small face on a zoom call. 

4. Working moms needs employers to understand, allow flexibility and provide support not least when the schools are closed. 

5. When companies see that remote work is working so well from an output perspectives, thoughts on finding talent that doesn’t necessarily live nearby is natural. Some see that there’s potential to mix the teams in high and low wage countries and see opportunities for lower tax rates. 

6. Other companies suffer from lower output and quality issues. 

7. Having had furlough for many months have for some revealed that they can operate with fewer employees. 

Looking to the future of work both in the medium and long term we expect; 

1. Remote work will dominate also during 2021 and likely be desired by many team members after that too. 

2. Mental Wellness consideration will be huge and companies will need to find solutions.

3. Much more training is needed on leadership, self-leadership, accountability, focus and cultivating a healthy life style. This is much harder when gyms are closed, and many are locked up inside. 

4. Legal agreements, policies and labor law needs to updated to cover remote work as well. 

5. That onboarding new employees will be harder and the task shared by more co-workers since, in all likelihood, not everyone will be in the office at the same time. 

6. Mastering technical platforms made for remote collaboration will be essential and will likely require training. While YouTube is your best friend when it comes to tutorials, the way colleagues work must be somewhat streamlined in case you cover for a colleague so a more holistic approach is needed. 

Nimmersion has for decades worked with clients all over the world. Many of them we have never met in person. Our team is located in four countries and three time zones. When we outsource services we look for quality over geography. Our transferees come from all corners of the world and we have welcomed them to create a smooth arrival with all the add-ons that we have.

We have documented all this and have a Remote Work Support Program that we are rolling out during 2021. As part of that we have invited external guests to our Monday Motivation sessions with Holistic Coach Pamela Wilson.  Every other week we have guest co-hosts and inspiration & thoughtprovoking topics. The session are maximum 25 minutes to keep attendance and engagement up without losing important time at work. 

What are your wins and challenges?  Please feel free to reach out and request information on the Remote Work Support Program, but also just to share your story or for a chat. 

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