What is the key to successful redeployment of roles?

Phan Yoke Fei, Director of HR and Corporate Administration, Gardens by the Bay, offers his insights.

Disruptions, particularly  from new-economy companies, have created a new normal in recent years, making constant restructuring and resulting redundancies a much more frequent occurrence. Somehow, HR still lags other fields in terms of keeping pace with the disruptive changes on the business front.

At many organisations, HR lacks the ability to fully support key enterprise goals such as adapting talent-management strategies and processes to deal with changing business needs, managing change more effectively, and developing agile executives fully capable of leading in such a volatile business environment.

The changes in business priorities and alignment may directly create demand for different roles, while other roles become redundant at the same time. However, in practice, the timing of such changes may not align, and may require some anticipatory and planning capability from HR to bridge the gap.

HR should make available measures and platforms to engage employees directly, keeping morale and motivation in check in the organisation. The factual status of redundancies and vacancies should be made available on these internal platforms as soon as they arise.

Line managers should also be roped in to play the role of change agents, with open lines of communication to their reports. When such an open environment matures, there will be less opportunity for negative rumours or suspicions to fester among the workforce.

At the same time, HR can focus on establishing processes to retrain employees in a timely manner. This will involve a new perspective to the traditional role of learning in organisations. Instead of waiting for annual learning needs analysis and subsequent “prescription” of learning solutions, learning must be part of HR’s main solution to a fast-changing business landscape.

Skill areas such as disruptive design, creative thinking, embracing continuous business transformation, and multi-skilling will gain more importance in this approach. This is imperative for the success of any redeployment of employees under most circumstances.

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