Redefining HR in 2020

Sep 07, 2020

Covid-19 has accelerated the use of digital technologies and pushed organisations to rethink their organisational and workforce strategies. More than ever before, leaders are now looking up to HR Leaders to integrate and align the workforce capability to their organisational strategy. There is a need for HR to champion the workforce strategy by enabling the adaption of digital technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Analytics and Artificial Intelligencewithin the organisation. This new normal i.e. remote work, however, has brought forward many opportunities and challenges for HR. 

Among these challenges are maintaining a positive employee experience, creating a digital collaborative culture and improving performance whilst working online. In order to understand how to cope and sustain businesses to survive the new normal, it's important to redefine HR from the traditional service station to becoming a powerful people function 


  • Evolution of HR into a people function: 

The new normal has been steadily adjusting itself into the way HR functions but without a doubt, the pandemic has accelerated that change. Where previously, organisational culture was imbedded in a closed office environment, now HR will have to rely on data being relayed by digital technologies to assist them to map culture, communication and improve performance. The speed of increasing changes has led to complex business challenges one of which is the current skillset of HR practitioners. This means that there is not only a demand and desire but also a need for data-driven HR professions.  

The heart of the HR must embed analytics; indeed, the reason why smaller businesses successfully acquire data driven changes is due to their agility and their ability to adapt. One of the reasons keeping HR behind is due to the fact that they are not as accustomed to deal with numbers as other departments such as Marketing and Finance. This shift to data analysis and focus on commerciality is not yet adapted fully into the HR functionNevertheless, such an implementation is a need, because after all,  


“words without numbers are just opinions!” 


Making this leap can enable the HR function to move from a service station towards a powerful people function. 


  • Developing new ways of working: 

Covid-19 has introduced remote working as the new normal and without a shed of doubt this is here to stay. This means implementations of new policies and procedures that fit in with this type of work that is taking place. This is an important aspect for organisations, as it means HR procedures will change and technology will play a key role. 

Another essential aspect of change worth mentioning is employee wellbeing. Mental health has become a priority for many reasons including the psychological impact of the pandemic.  


  • Automation and maturity of HR: 

Automation is essentially taking care of the maturity of the HR function and the digital world of work. It’s important for HR to effectively connect workforce strategy with business strategy by aligning business and workforce needs. Luckily, HR holds a huge opportunity to actually support the digital transformation process for the business. 

The most accurate way to reach overall business targets is by the use of people analytics. This is because the value can be generated by the workforce from the workforce. This would ensure adapting to automated machine, big data and artificial intelligence that initiated industry 4.0 without losing the human function.  

The process of connecting workforce and performance data is dependent on HR so that it can evolve into a data-driven function. In order to do that, a relevant analytics software will also need to be implemented. 

People analytics is the way forward and should be an essential consideration. In order for HR leaders to become people strategists, the use of data, leadership, and intuition is essential to create a powerful people function.  

The program by Nadeem Khan will reveal how this is possible in order to become ‘future-proof’ and ready for change. 



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