Category Management in a Post COVID World

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Hope all of you and your families are staying safe.  There is something illogical about describing a post COVID world because we will have to live with COVID forever but hopefully we can live with it safely in the near future.  As usual, we are busy doing extensive research on your behalf, so you don’t have to 😊.  As you may remember, we publish our look into the crystal ball and try and predict future trends every year (2021 coming ASAP!!!) and you may have already been interviewed by us to contribute to it.  I did come across the following from HBR and thought it was interesting enough to discuss it (and yes, Talent is already on our list as well 😊.  Here is their list (as it relates to Talent). 

  1. Employers will shift from managing the employee experience to managing the life experience of their employees. Just think about how much more you know about your employees – you know about their house, their dog, their kids because the webcam sees all on Zoom and you as their manager need to be cognizant of all that.
  2. More companies will adopt stances on current societal and political debates. All you have to do is to look at what Facebook had to do to deal with their employee’s attitude towards current political debate, what happened at Google and their treatment of the AI ethicist or Amazon employees trying to organize at work for political purposes.
  3. The gender-wage gap will continue to increase as employees return to the office. This one caught me by surprise but makes sense. There may be a wage gap emerging between those employees that are willing to come to work compared to those that want to continue to work from home and that breaks down along gender lines ☹.
  4. New regulations will limit employee monitoring. Employees will not want to give up their privacy so corporations will have to develop a different point of view on measuring performance – deliverables versus activity.
  5. Flexibility will shift from location to time. This follows the logic from the above point. As long as I produce the results, don’t hold me to a certain time routine.
  6. Leading companies will make bulk purchases of the COVID vaccine for employees — and will be sued over COVID vaccine requirements. This will clearly be a conundrum for corporations for which the government will have to step in and lay down some guidelines.
  7. Mental health support is the new normal.  Mental health issues are losing their stigma AND the forced quarantine has exacerbated this issue for many. This will need to be factored in by HR to develop new policies and benefits packages.
  8. Employers will look to “rent” talent to fill the skills gap. One of the responses from employers to a number of the issues above will be to move more to a “temp” model which makes sense. That may lead to some structural changes in how we view employment?
  9. States will compete to attract individual talent rather than trying to get companies to relocate. This again is a natural outcome. The reason for attracting an employer is because of the economic impact from the employees that work there. But if the employees can be anywhere, then Hawaii has the right idea – they are offering incentives for employees to relocate and work from the beach!!  Aloha anyone?

The whole cycle of Talent Management has to be fundamentally rethought from the ground up – which is a good thing.  Gives us a chance to finally make some key changes.  Let us know if you are starting to rethink your Talent Management strategies.

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Dalip Raheja is President and CEO of The Mpower Group (TMG). Dalip has over 30 years of experience managing large organizations and change initiatives. He has worked across the spectrums of supply chain management, strategic sourcing, and management consulting.
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