Josh Bersin is an industry analyst, author, thought leader, and founder of Josh Bersin Academy. He’s often cited as one of the leading HR and workplace analysts in the world and is frequently featured in publications such as Forbes, Harvard Business Review, HR Executive, and others.
In anticipation of his Perspectives 2020 keynote on the future of HR and corporate learning, we connected with Josh Bersin to get his thoughts on how HR is rapidly evolving to address COVID-19 and how businesses can better facilitate the need for remote work.
Here are some key highlights and takeaways from the interview.
How COVID-19 is accelerating the evolution of HR
This academy I've built is really designed to accommodate what I call the full-stack HR professional. You can't be a specialist in one area; you have to know how the piece of HR you're responsible for dovetails with other aspects of the HR strategy of the company. The DNI expert has to understand the impact on recruiting, which has an impact on pay, which has an impact on leadership development, which has an impact on management.
So all of these things are connected. What's happening to HR professionals is they're being asked to become more multi-domain consultants that work in agile teams.
I think this is a big acceleration of the transformation of HR that was going on already, which was to become a much more highly skilled, multi-domain profession.
Five HR considerations for working remotely during COVID-19
We did a huge crash program on this called the Remote Work Bootcamp in our academy, so we've really dug into this a lot. There's basically five aspects to it.
The first is the tools: having great technology at home that’s integrated, so you're not going crazy, you know, logging into 15 different things to do something.
The second is the rules. What are you gonna pay for? What is the technology that I have to pay for myself? Are you gonna pay for my internet access? Am I allowed to put personal photos on there? Do I have to get dressed up, or can I wear my casual clothes?
The third are the norms. Are we gonna have conference calls where we're always on video? How often do I need to check in with my boss? Where are we booting content? Which system are we using for this and for that?
The fourth area is culture. How much trust do managers have in remote teams? And this is one of the biggest issues with remote work. For companies that have had remote workers for a long time, they've learned to develop an enormous sense of trust that the people they can't see are actually doing the right thing, but sometimes the companies are not used to that. So there's this issue of trust.
And then the fifth one is resilience. How do you maintain a sense of productive, positive contribution when you're in your house all day? There's no boundaries between getting out of bed and starting work and eating dinner and going back to work. It's very, very challenging. You have to get up and walk around, you have to leave the house. Get some fresh air. Get some exercise.
In the current crisis, HR will lead businesses’ recovery
For us in HR, it's really the time to be the heroic leaders of the response, because most of the issues have to do with people and safety: working at home; maybe furloughing half the workforce, but growing the other half; swapping jobs between companies; embracing gig work in a more significant way; improving benefits; giving people help with their children at home because they're all home-schooled now.
I mean these are all HR things. So this is a heroic time for the HR profession.
Want to hear more from Josh Bersin?
If you’d like to hear more from Josh Bersin, listen to his full interview on our podcast page. And if you’d like to watch his upcoming keynote on the future of HR and how it intersects with corporate learning, register for Perspectives 2020, a 24-hour digital learning experience that includes keynotes, debates, courses, and more on May 13—all for free!