“Own and Up your Game” – Self Protection...

Suresh Kumar, Founder of KUE Management Services and ROSAKUE Hospitality, shares insights into the new working culture brought about by the pandemic.

At the onset of COVID-19, lockdowns the world over prompted talent to literally leave the building. We are now beginning to realise that in many places, it is unlikely to come back. Work From Anywhere (WFA) has also triggered organisations to understand that talent can also come from anywhere. In view of this new opportunity, it is time that organisations can embrace a truly global pool that is available to them to drive growth.

The rapid digital transformation, brought upon by the pandemic, has forced organisations to reimagine the way they work and manage talent. It further emphasises that we now have an emergence of culture from living rooms and home offices, further confirming that cultures do not exist within walls but reside in people and these people can be anywhere!

Employers have now realised that they can source the ‘best talent’ from anywhere in the world as long as they have access to the Internet. This talent pool is now free from geographical borders, free from the expectation of working at a specific physical location and may also be free from local legal constraints. In short, a global talent pool has now arrived, and with talent being the new global currency, the only focus of the organisation is to bring in an integration of: (i) Culture; (ii) Confidence; and (iii) Technology to tap it.

It’s safe to say that the pandemic has taught us a lot about the inefficiencies that existed in our old and traditional way of working.

The advantage of being in the ‘Room’ and the old adage of being ‘in the right place at the right time’ and saying ‘the right things to the right person’, is increasingly being seen as getting diluted in the current scenario of post-COVID era. The global health crisis has sanitised a lot of toxicity and partiality that continued to corrupt the meritocratic ideal of talent centric organisations. 

It is now a lot harder to “pretend to work” when nobody sees you or cares about where you are. In a virtual world, neither is the virus confined to borders nor is the talent. The geographical boundaries are no longer an advantage since traditionally organisations were located in places where they had an easy access to the talent and skilled talent often called the shots by virtue of its physical proximity to the decision makers. 

The much-touted terms of multiskilling and multitasking without actually defining the role has further created an anxiety amongst individuals since both managers and staff are not clear on what is being expected out of their respective positions and roles.

People who have survived downsizing, layoffs, reduction in force, right sizing are in an exceedingly difficult position. They usually will have more work to do i.e. job enlargement, and they are expected to do it in an atmosphere of fear and distrust with a constant anxiety of ”Will I be laid off too?”

Unfortunately, as a survivor what is now required is to convert job enlargement to job enrichment. Now is the time to therefore look for ways to make the job more interesting, challenging and stimulating. 

You will be doing yourself a large favour if you realise that your company will find it difficult to take care of you since ‘a job for life’ is gone. Accepting this fact is the first and most crucial aspect to survival in today’s times and once you accept the fact that there is no guarantee of your job, you will do what needs to be done – Protect Yourself by putting your career in your own hands. 

You have got to find ways to make yourself more valuable to your organisation. Stay visible and relevant so as to let others know what you are doing and what you are accomplishing. Don’t forget – ‘out of sight’ can be ‘out of mind’.

Everyone, including management, is suffering from the ‘stress of uncertainty’ since management itself lacks information about the impact of this crisis. Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there. 

Life in the post-COVID world will neither be what we once knew it, nor will be the work culture. It is therefore imperative to take the reins into your own hands and ‘Self Protect’.  Jobs do not have a future, people do. 

Having said this however, there is a silver lining that is beginning to appear in at least the work culture with various corporates and companies now acknowledging the impact and fatigue of working anytime from anywhere. With efforts being made to relieve pressures and resume what were once considered normal work hours and routines, Organisations now are trying to make it easier and lucrative for employees to return to work. 

The need of the hour though remains for you to pay attention to your future because you are going to spend a lot of time there, since average performance will no longer be good enough.

This article was published in BW hotelier issue dated '' with cover story titled 'HYGIENE THE X FACTOR ISSUE VOL 7, ISSUE 2'


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