Home News Averbook: Here’s Why Every HR Leader Needs a Digital Mandate for 2021

Averbook: Here’s Why Every HR Leader Needs a Digital Mandate for 2021

Averbook: Here’s Why Every HR Leader Needs a Digital Mandate for 2021

If 2020 was the year of creation (which I think it was), 2021 will be a year of rebirth.

This year was indelibly marked by a global pandemic, an increased focus on social justice, soaring unemployment, social distancing and a complete upheaval of work, workers and business. With perspective, you might look at all of these as activation levers. Called upon to (re)act, we created new work models and social routines, we found new ways to learn and educate, we embraced digital transformation and the power of technology, entrepreneurs birthed new projects and massive enterprises shifted more in months than they had planned to in the next decade.

In chemistry, activation energy is the minimum amount of energy required to activate atoms or molecules to a condition in which they can undergo chemical transformation or physical transport. In the same way, 2020 was chockful of ingredients to activate transformationSpearheading much of the dramatic change were CHROs and other HR leaders responsible for how, where, when and with what resources the workforce could get support, continue to work productively, stay physically safe and mentally well, and remain connected to the organization.

Not the catalyst we expected, but a catalyst we needed.

HR professionals were snapped out of their traditional mindset, assuming their rightful position as nimble and strategic innovators shaping the now of work. HR became drivers of powerful and dynamic enterprise transformation—it is no longer the function just keeping up with the rest of the company, but the other way around. Historically perceived as a department of administrators, compliance drivers, handbook taskmasters, payroll processors and personnel managers, HR took on elevated importance as digital-savvy, data-driven experience designers; guardians of employee wellbeing; and strategic advisors to the business.

But Did You Transform?

Certainly, this moment we’ve been waiting for was a very good start. Activation energy is the minimum amount of energy needed to initiate transformation, but it cannot stop there. We innovated, no doubt; we transformed so many things, we created new programs and policies, and communicated change up and down within the organization. All of that is true. But the work isn’t complete; broad, sweeping digital transformation of HR and the workforce makes your new reality looks almost unrecognizable next to the old. To get the end result you truly want and not a false sense of accomplishment at how far you’ve come, you need to accept that 2020 was just the beginning. A catalyst, not the conclusion. Even more than that, you need to accept transformation work is never done.

To ensure true, sustained, perpetual transformation of workforce experience and the HR function itself, every CHRO must have a digital mandate for 2021 and beyond. That mandate must include a clear and compelling why (mindset). A digital mindset, clearly articulated vision and alignment around what success will look like are much more important than how you’ll execute the work (people, process, technology). The entire “Digital Equation for Success”—encompassing all four elements—will be unique to your organizational goals and unique challenges, although some themes are universal and must be addressed. Work will never look the way it used to: Gone are the days of the 9-5 workplace; people expect a seamless, easy, modern experience of workforce solutions that feel personalized and relevant to them; and we desperately need digital culture to be defined and extended to where and how we work now. Again, aligning around a vision for what digital success looks like in your organization is mandatory before you spend an ounce of energy or resources on persona development, journey mapping or technology selection to bring that vision to life.

The Year of Re-

These are the reasons I’m calling 2021 the “Year of Re-“. Whatever changes you made, whatever transformation work you initiated—even if you’d previously made significant gains to elevate, modernize and reposition HR to better support the business and meet the needs of the workforce—your work will be wasted without a digital mandate for 2021 to both secure your foundation and serve as a guiding North Star for continued transformation.

Approached with renewal and optimism, as this next chapter is one of rebirth. Our callings are to reset our strategies, refresh our mindset, reframe work, remind ourselves why, reorganize our function and reimagine the right future for the now of work.

As part of preparing for the “Year of Re-“, we are offering a complimentary Mindset for Success workshop for any HR leadership team to articulate a digital mandate for your business, align around a shared vision of success and embrace a digital mindset for the now of work. Email hello@leapgen.com to get started.


Eskalera, a Startup Led by Goldman Sachs’ Former HR Head Has Launched a Diversity and Inclusion Index

Eskalera, a technology startup led by Goldman Sachs former human resources head Dane Holmes, has launched an index to measure corporate diversity and inclusiveness,...

HSBC to Remove 35,000 Jobs Amidst Covid-19 Crises

HSBC Holdings Plc has restarted cutting as many as 35,000 jobs, three months after the coronavirus outbreak forced it to pause a long-awaited overhaul...

Genpact Offers Its Internal Skill Training Program Globally for Everyone

Genpact has announced Adapt and Rise, a role-based online learning platform that leverages Genpact's expertise honed from delivering real-world change for hundreds of clients....

San-Francisco Based Learning Platform Degreed Has Raised $32 Million in New Funding

The upskilling platform, Degreed, has announced $32 million in new funding in direct response to overwhelming demand for better skill insights, talent mobility, and...

Research Shows the Implications of Workplace Layouts on Employee Productivity and Overall Performance

As some workplaces prepare for the gradual return of employees and overhaul office layouts and seating plans, research has shown this could also have...

Employee Concierge ‘Back Technologies’ Integrates Automation Into Internal HR and Other Support Tasks

Companies are under increasing pressure to automate workflows and digitally service their employees, particularly in light of trends toward remote work. It takes an...

HR Strategies to Help Your Business Navigate the New ‘Normal’

No business is immune to the massive changes resulting from the health crisis. Organizations have proven themselves to be agile, and employees have demonstrated...

The Importance Of Diversity And Inclusion In HR, Hiring, Talent Management: Thoughts From A Top Expert

Michael C. Hyter is one of today’s best-known experts on inclusion and diversity and the author of The Power of Choice: Embracing Efficacy to Drive Your Career and The...

HR Expert Highlights Actionable Steps to ‘Make Real Change’ Against Racism in Your Workplace

Kyra Leigh Sutton, Ph.D., is a faculty member at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, where she teaches human resources courses...

Adidas Employees Want Company to Investigate HR Chief for Response to Racial Issues

A group of Adidas employees from around the globe is asking the company to investigate its chief human resources officer, as part of a...