COVID-19 lockdowns have damaged economies. The impact on businesses and workforces is huge. It has inspired a collective action behind a shared purpose—to revive economies. CHROs have the tools and expertise to help build shared workforce resilience—helping workers recover now and equipping them with new skills for the future. Three focus areas.

The need is great. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, many organizations are reducing their workforces, while others can’t fill jobs fast enough. How can CHROs help people and organizations navigate workforce shifts and build resilience?

Accenture has identified five areas of focus for CHROs to help their organizations achieve long-lasting workforce resilience. I discussed the first two in my previous post. Today, I look at the last three: connecting workers at scale, accelerating learning, and fostering shared resilience.

Connect workers at scale

Regardless of industry barriers, organizations can partner to build a resilient ecosystem that helps people access continued employment opportunities. How?

  • Create unlikely partnerships (e.g., non-profit, public sector and outside industry relationships) to match people with jobs.
  • Look at alternative employment models and other job design options.
  • Stay grounded in skills and aptitudes, connecting impacted people to new opportunities and interests.

An excellent example of innovation at work to connect workers at scale is global, cross-industry platform People + Work Connect. Created by CHROs from organizations including Accenture, Lincoln Financial Group, ServiceNow and Verizon, it’s a free employer-to-employer platform that brings together companies laying off or furloughing people with those companies in urgent need of workers.

Accelerated learning

This focus area builds on the first two, namely predicting demand shifts and assessing skills profiles. Once the organization understands what skills are needed, it must identify skills gaps and create the ability for people to learn rapidly to change the trajectory of their career.

So, how do you accelerate individuals’ learning curves so they can become more productive?

  • Tap into human potential. Allow people to opt in and choose their learning. Don’t underestimate the human potential to continually learn and grow.
  • Address the most critical skillset gaps within the organization. Leverage agile platforms to quickly develop curated learning pathways and facilitate learning networks.
  • Close the gap on skill adjacencies through accelerated learning.

One example of how to achieve this is through use of technologies such as Cognician, a digital change-management platform that delivers impactful change activities consistently to global teams. For example, Cognician is helping ease clients’ transitions to remote ways of working through multi-day challenges. These challenges prompt employees to plan their days, communicate actively, remove distractions, fine tune their virtual tools, connect with others continually, show empathy and care and look after their health.

Moving forward

By building these rapid response capabilities, CHROs can help organizations go far beyond any one crisis and into a new future of work—one fueled by the courage to try new things, a commitment to responsible leadership and a sense of shared purpose that fosters the greater good.

I hope you have found this series of posts useful. I am keen to understand how you are addressing workforce challenges and dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Feel free to connect with me on these and related issues.

For more on this topic, click through to Creating shared workforce resilience.

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