Finding value in the path to HR’s new age

Jason Averbook

This year hasn’t been easy: social injustice, diversity and inclusion, and the coronavirus. Was the workforce ready for 2020?

Even if it wasn’t, it has provided HR with an opportune time to make a digital transformation, said Jason Averbook, CEO of Leapgen and a Thursday headliner at the virtual HR Technology Conference & Exposition.

“COVID-19 accelerated companies’ digital communications strategies by an average of six years,” Averbook said, “while 97% of enterprise decision-makers believe the pandemic sped up their company’s digital transformation.”

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There has never been anything that has moved this digital evolution so quickly, not even Y2K, he added.

“It is the digital accelerator of the decade,” he said. “And digital communication is the new lifeblood of business. If we’re not digital, we’re dying.”

We must understand the world is changing around us, he continued. COVID, social justice, inclusion have permanently changed:

  • work (Where people work. How they work. When they work.);
  • workers (What matters. Why it matters.); and
  • business (What we do. Why we do it. How we do it.)

“We have to realize that we have to focus on making sure that we take those things into account,” Averbook said. “It’s time for us to develop our new mindset. It’s time for us to develop our new vision. And develop our new rules of work.”

When CHROs and other organizational leaders approach a new vision, he said, it should be with a beginner’s mindset.

“It’s time to reshape everything we know. Wipe the slate clean,” he said. “Sunset what no longer works and write a new strategy for what we call the now of work.”

The multiple pandemics in 2020 have helped make us more human and more real, he noted.

“It is time to infuse humanity and reality and what really matters into everything we do as a function, and that’s the mindset we need to go into this with,” he said.

He points to four pillars leaders should consider when strategizing a new mindset for the work of now:

  • What’s my story? (A 30-second cocktail napkin pitch)
  • What are my guiding principles? (What am I going to hold myself true to?)
  • What are my attributes? (How do I want things to feel?)
  • How am I going to measure success?

Addressing these questions will lead to more clarity on the road toward achieving your goal, he said. “It helps us with alignment and gives us targets for accountability.”

Click here to view the full keynote presentation.

And, the employee experience is more important than ever.

“In the new rules of work, we cannot have our customers have a better experience than our employees,” Averbook said. “They need to be parallel.”

When approaching employee engagement, make sure you’re checking in with—not up on—employees.

“How are you?” he said HR leaders should ask, not “What are you doing?”

But, “at the end of the day, nothing will change unless you change.”

“Digital is a mandate in the new world of work,” Averbook said. “Every organization must be going through a digital transformation within HR in 2020/2021.”

The HR Tech Conference will feature free, virtual content through Oct. 30. There is still time to register. For more information, click HERE.

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