Thursday 3 December 2020

Nazeeh Abdullah

Staff care post-Covid priority for Saudi HR executives

RIYADH, October 28, 2020

Almost 75% of Human Resources (HR) executives in Saudi Arabia, compared to 47.1% globally, believed in taking steps to safeguard the experience and wellbeing of employees post-Covid-19 and moving to a new reality in the next two years, a report said.

Nearly 40% of organizations in the kingdom are adapting to the new reality phase to deal with the impacts of Covid-19, as the workforce will change “shape” dramatically over the next two years, according to the response of HR executives who took part in the KPMG 2020 HR Pulse Survey.

The other top-ranked initiatives are adopting digital technologies to support remote working and collaboration (50%), reducing costs to accommodate organizational financial realities (50%) and helping leaders develop new management and leadership skills to support remote working (25%).

“HR must swiftly transition from putting out the fires of Covid-19 impact and its aftermath and switch to playing the long game of shaping the workforce of the future for their enterprises. This journey will require new mindsets, priorities, methodologies, and skills,” said Nazeeh Abdullah, Head of People & Change Advisory at KPMG in Saudi Arabia.

“As we navigate the current situation and adapt to the new remote virtual way of working, we want to help all employees to be safe and healthy, digitally ready and actively engaged. Sustaining a sense of team and managing this unique experience is critical in today’s changing environment,” he noted.

The top skills required by the HR function are managing performance and productivity in a predominantly remote environment (75%), deploying digital HR service management (75%) and delivering transformational change management (50%).

Almost 50% of the respondents agreed that the HR in the organization is largely considered to be an "administrator" rather than a value drive, compared to 34% globally, while 50% of Saudi respondents (35% globally) strongly agreed that HR in the organization played a vital role in establishing the right culture.

Nearly 63% of local respondents admitted that the HR function needs to completely reinvent and transform itself, to respond more effectively to future disruption such as another pandemic. Meanwhile, 75% of the Saudi HR executives considered the HR function needs to rethink productivity and performance measures in light of the shift to increased remote working.

Almost 63% of respondents from the Kingdom were confident that their organizations can attract, retain and develop the talent it needs to meet growth objectives, as 75% local HR executives agreed that their organization is confident about growth prospects, despite the Covid-19 challenges.
Nearly 25% of HR executives from Saudi Arabia expected 51 to 60% of the total workforce will need to be reskilled or upskilled, covering all areas of reskilling, including new digital capabilities.

“The pandemic has presented the HR function with an opportunity to be a preeminent value driver. It is time to rise to the challenge and shape the workforce of the future to help build successful and innovative companies,” Nazeeh Abdullah concluded. – TradeArabia News Service


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