Hamsaz Vasunia Wadhwani, Chief Executive - The 7th Fold

“The talent diaspora will look very different with a lot of reverse migrations becoming permanent.” Hamsaz Vasunia Wadhwani, Chief Executive - The 7th Fold

Hamsaz is having over two decades of experience as a Business Head, HR Head and now an entrepreneur. A strategic HR professional with a passion for Well-being and Mental Health. A practicing Psychotherapist and an Executive Coach.

In an exclusive interaction with SCIKEY, Hamsaz shared how professionals can manage their anxiety and be more effective and successful at work, factors of 2021 that talent leaders must consider while designing the plan, the latest guidelines for HR leaders more. Read this intriguing article below


With the new normal shaping the future of HR, how do you see the larger HR landscape evolve in 2021? 

The future for HR, like most businesses will be virtual. Digitisation will continue its time in the spotlight in 2021 too. Organisations have already come up the curve and unleashed the potential of technology and the current year will see a more systemic and permanent change in using technology to deliver superior employee experience, improving internal efficiencies and in eliminating the need for physical proximity to deliver results.

Use of data science to make employee decisions will take precedence over intuitive and more offline water-cooler insights. Organisations have been quick to adopt AI and ML tools for sourcing talent. However, the said technology will also be used for several predictive purposes to improve selection, training and retention.  

Another change for HR will be in the areas of DEI. Several organisations have seen the cost benefits of remote working and will continue to use this model in 2021.

This means that talent acquisition will no longer be restricted to any geography. And with a hybrid model of working, more women and physically disabled employees may get added to the talent landscape. This will lead to a more diverse workforce.

Employee wellbeing will continue to take center stage amongst other wellness initiatives. Sporadic wellbeing efforts will be replaced by more systematic, technology-enabled interventions to improve employee wellbeing around both physical and mental health.

The Gig economy will become more prevalent and acceptable by organisations.

This will mean a different approach from HR professionals in hiring, developing and managing the workforce. 

Hamsaz, being an HR professional for more than a decade, entrepreneur now a Psychotherapist, what do you advise how professionals should manage their anxiety and be more effective and successful at work.

According to The 7th Fold Employee Wellbeing Survey 2020, 44% of working employees reported feelings of anxiety. Most employee wellbeing help-lines have also seen a surge in calls related to anxiety. Survey also noted that women employees were more prone to anxiety than their male counterparts. It is important to understand that employee mental wellbeing and productivity are correlated. Thus all HR professionals need to arrest this issue through various interventions. The Following are 3 Tips for managing anxiety that I would recommend for each professional

  1. Embrace uncertainty. Anxiety is a product of overestimation of risks and underestimation of your ability to handle it. Thus when you find yourself excessively worrying about the future, ask yourself if you can do anything about the problem. If yes, do it and let the worry go. If you cannot do anything about it, let the worry go.
  2. Remind yourself of all the tough situations you have handled in the past and reaffirm that ‘you will be able to handle this too’      
  3. When you find that your worrying is interfering with your workday, schedule time for worrying. Keep a fixed time everyday when you will worry. This will help you deliver on your work commitments well.

How should Talent plan 2021 of an organization should look like? What internal external factors of 2021, talent leaders must consider while designing the plan?

As mentioned earlier, talent acquisition needs to capitalise on the opportunity to create a more diverse workforce. The hiring of gig workers may also improve the talent landscape of organisations that otherwise found it difficult to attract talent. For several roles, global talent will be more accessible now than ever.

Agility, adaptability, seeking challenge, ability to work under ambiguity, innovation will become important aspects to identify talent. Ability to move cross-functionally will also be critical.  

Talent development will need to be more customised for each individual. Interventions will be virtual and may include global development programs.    

Hamsaz, As per your opinion, What could be the latest HR guidelines HR leaders should be upskilling them that also includes cultivating a culture of continuous improvement

HR leaders most definitely need to upskill themselves with ML and AI tools. While they don’t need technical expertise on it, they surely need to understand the basic concepts of supervised and unsupervised learning. They need to also partner with experts in ML AI and use technology for various predictive analyses to improve employee hiring, productivity and retention.

The other important aspect they need to understand is on Mental Wellbeing. Mental Wellbeing is here to stay long after the pandemic is under control. While some HR professionals still consider ‘Mental health’ as a taboo topic, some others don’t consider it important. This will need to change to build productive workforces. Up-skilling on their basic counseling skills will be extremely relevant.

As HR gets more virtual and the use of robotics becomes more prevalent across industries, HR professionals will need to embrace technology.

Building a culture of agility and growth mindset will be an important element for any HR professional. Remote and hybrid working has also opened the doors to improving diversity and inclusion within the organisation. The HR community will have to reinvent itself in building these cultural tenets in a more virtual set-up without the ease of physical proximity. 



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