Almost 64 per cent of the 284 HR professionals surveyed by the Australian HR Institute (AHRI) said they were not confident that their organisation was ready for a post-COVID normal.
It also revealed that only 30.3 per cent were confident that their organisation currently has the specific skills required to be future ready.
HR professionals said the most critical skills required post-pandemic were change management; adaptability, agility and flexibility; resilience; strategic workforce planning; and communication and digitisation, among others.
Cited barriers to developing these skills were a lack of time and resources, poor strategic planning, and costs involved with upskilling.
AHRI chief executive Sarah McCann-Bartlett said that, for many CEOs and senior executives, it’s the first time they have had to make a series of decisions really fast that are all about their people.
“The research tells us that the perceived HR influence on the executive team has risen by 14.9 per cent during the crisis and is expected to remain at a similar level post-pandemic,” Ms McCann-Bartlett said.
“This has really pushed HR to the forefront in terms of providing information, giving advice, making decisions and delivering fast — making upskilling for the future even more crucial.”
Taking the pulse of organisations in relation to the pandemic, AHRI found that they were split into the three phases of “reacting” (36.6 per cent), “resolving” (35.6 per cent) and “recovering” (27.8 per cent).
Of the 36.1 per cent of HR professionals who said they were confident that their HR team currently has the skills required for recovery post-pandemic, those in the “recovering” phase were more likely to say so (52.8 per cent) compared to those in the “reacting” or “resolving” phases (28.9 per cent and 29.4 per cent, respectively).
“Skills that include change management and leadership, adaptability and flexibility, resilience and effective communication were considered by HR practitioners to be among the contributing factors to organisational survival through the crisis,” Ms McCann-Bartlett said.