Talent Strategies for Successful BusinessBy Miriam Bello | Fri, 05/28/2021 - 14:56
You can watch the video of this panel here.
Due to the pandemic, 43 percent of Mexicans feel that their mental and emotional health has deteriorated, reports Ipsos. In this new environment, companies are placing their employees’ emotional wellbeing at the center of their business strategies, leading them to embrace new technologies to effectively manage their staff, agreed panelists at Mexico Business Forum 2021 Virtual Edition, held on May 28. During the panel “Talent Strategies for Business Success in 2021,” human resources experts addressed the disruption of labor conditions and how these changes have brough an opportunity to rethink the current working dynamics and provide better working environments.
“We cannot neglect our collaborators menta health and physical health, especially during these challenging times,” said Nora Villafuerte, Human Resources Vice President of Nestlé Mexico Group. The current situation brought changes mainly in three areas: demographics, individuals and technologies. “This forced people to adapt to the new working conditions while learning technological skills and balancing their personal life and feelings,” said Guido van der Zwet, General Manager of iPS Powerful People. During this period, technology plays a key role as it supports human work and even generates more employment opportunities, added van der Zwet. “Administrative jobs might be losing strengthen but by learning technology skills, people can aspire to even better jobs.” By 2025 there will be many positions that potential employees will be unable meet with their existing qualifications, said van der Zwet, therefore “companies need to train their workers for this transition.”
“As we enter the new normal, it is also important to recognize that our employee’s families matter for the person’s integrity, health and wellbeing,” said Gabriela García, SVP Human Resources at PepsiCo. “We owe flexibility and comprehension to our collaborators, as during the pandemic they have remained resilient and adaptable,” she said. To García, 2021 has been just as eventful as 2020, giving companies the opportunity to reinvent their approach and focus on the collaborator’s life experience beyond their work. “Many companies in Mexico have witnessed intrafamily violence, which will inevitably impact their collaborators’ development. Therefore, we must make our team members feel safe and comfortable at the work by promoting inclusion.”
“Family is indeed a priority and it was the greatest concern for our company during the pandemic,” said Maite Delgadillo, HR Director of Scania. She explained that during the past year, Scania “worked as a team to provide facilitate supplies” to collaborators. Companies need to be flexible, not just now but during the long-term, added Delgadillo. It is also crucial for companies to trust their collaborators.
During the pandemic, Mexico climbed the charts and took first place in cases of depression, said Gustavo Linares, Head of Human Resources for the International Rescue Committee and Founder of TalentHow. The reason for that might be the challenges employees faced to balance home life with work in the same environment, suggested García. “The majority of Mexicans do not have the conditions to work from home as there are many things to take care of at the same time.”
García suggested companies to integrating families into their initiatives. For example, “we offered PepsicoKids as we are aware that parents have little to no time off from their kids during COVID-19, so we organized activities for them to relieve the burden.”
“Companies need to be adaptable and flexible,” said van der Zwet. “There is not a single solution for all issues, everyone works at their own time and pace due to their different conditions at home,” said van der Zwet. Companies that wish to be sustainable must have a socially inclusive workplace that enhances the feeling of belonging for each collaborator, he added. “Also, companies need to rethink old working schemes of daily office attendance on a nine to five schedule, which in Mexico is often longer.”
HR areas must be the copilots of the company, said Villafuerte, since human assets are the core essence of a business. Companies could reinvent work schemes by analyzing the needs of every person to “we determine the way they work productively and happily,” said Villafuente.
According to studies, 87 percent of today’s jobs can be successful in a hybrid work modality, said van der Zwet. “This will present an infrastructure shift where offices will be smaller but hosing spaces will require different commodities offer home-office spaces.”
According to García, for this hybrid modality to work “adaptability is the name of the game.” But these new schemes should forsake a “persecution” culture to focus instead on “accountability and trust to have a healthy working environment.”
“It all begins and ends with people, therefore, empathy and care for employees will make companies transcend,” said Delgadillo. In that sense, leaders play an essential role in setting expectations and targets, so companies should also invest in developing their leaders, said Delgadillo. “We need to focus our trainings on how to lead remotely.”
In that sense, technology trainings could go much further than in teaching people to use Zoom or other software, they can also teach the soft skills that leaders need, explained Villafuente.