The research, conducted by LHH on a sample of 16,000 respondents, reveals the labour market is undergoing dramatic change driven by the changing circumstances. The visiting panellists, Milica Jović of Philip Morris International, Gordana Panajotović of Delhaize Srbija, and Branislav Savić of Ball Corporation shared their companies’ experiences of doing business and their views of which benefits the new labour market trends may bring, and spoke about the role of human resources divisions in times of change.
The survey shows that 77 percent of those polled want more flexibility in when and how they do their work. The principal challenge is how to offer such flexibility to staff that are in some way tied to their actual workplace, such as supermarket cashiers and shop floor workers. The response to this is to offer full- and part-time work, reduce commuting times by providing transportation for employees or finding them opportunities to work closer to their homes. Health concerns can be addressed by reducing the need to physically interact with customers.
As many as 69 percent believe that contractual remuneration ought to be based on performance rather than on time spent at work, showing that traditional ‘9 to 5’ models may be changing. Corporate performance measurement is based on clearly defined key performance indicators (KPIs) that are not location-dependent, so no alterations to employee performance measurement arrangements are required.
Changing circumstances bring the need to develop the skills of staff at all levels. The meeting heard that empathy and the ability to build trust and care for employees were the key leadership skills. It was agreed that empathic leadership makes exceptional performance sustainable. As such, an exceptional leader ought to identify when employees need help, but each individual employee should also be more open to seeking help from superiors. Also highlighted was the importance of trilateral communication between employees, HR officers, and managers, where each individual must receive a tailor-made development plan and have access to a development platform.
The survey showed that employers gained the trust of their employees during the Covid-19 outbreak. Eight out of ten workers believe employers are responsible for creating a better working environment after the pandemic. In addition, 88 percent of those polled reported their managers had met their needs during this time.
The main conclusion of today’s discussion was that HR departments ought to be business partners, and that corporate administration should ultimately be completely digitalised. Human resources units should be better integrated into staff training and follow emerging trends and standards, while also maintaining close relationships with employees at all levels and communicating with them.
The event was moderated by Nikola Milosavljević of Adecco, Chairperson of AmCham’s HR Forum, and Ivana Karanović, Vice Chairperson of the HR Forum, of the Karanović & Partners Law Office.