HR leaders at the forefront of reshaping the workforce

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges and demands to the workforce and shifts to HR priorities. A new KPMG HR New Reality Pulse survey shows that HR leaders should be at the forefront of reshaping the way work gets done, and strategically engineering a successful future for their organizations.

“2020 has brought about five years worth of changes to how organizations manage their talent,” said Mike DiClaudio, Principal, Human Capital Advisory, KPMG LLP. “Perhaps the most strategic step HR and business leaders can jointly take is to start redefining productivity for the workforce, which will then inform underlying management systems,analytics and behavioral change.  Using persona development and better analytics business leaders will be driven to make sound and informed decisions as their organizations enter the new reality. Having this conversation now as an organization is healthy and will have a long-lasting impact on the way work is done.”

Seventy-nine percent of survey respondents agree that the HR function needs to rethink productivity and performance measures in light of the shift to increased remote working.

Top three skills to add value

Survey participants identified the following skills as the top three that would add value in today’s environment:

1.      Managing performance and productivity in a predominantly remote environment (41%)

2.      Delivering transformation change management (34%)

3.      Applying design thinking to improve the employee experience (EX) (36%)

“Managing performance and productivity, transformational change and design thinking are required for organizations to successfully navigate the next 24 months,” added DiClaudio. “HR functions need to build better analytics and personas of their organization’s employee population, to help identify changes to the shape of their workforce.”

Another important priority for HR professionals was the forecasting of future workforce requirements.

“There is a high demand to understand workforce forecasting and the shape of the workforce based on desired business outcomes,” said DiClaudio. “Organizations cannot take their eyes off that ball as well as the need to have a good handle on analytics and their business model and strategy in order to project where workforce demand will be.”


Top three investment priorities

In terms of the top three investment priorities from an HR services and technology perspective, survey participants identified the following: 

1.       Virtual working tech to support remote work (56%)

2.       New or updated learning and development platforms (54%)

3.       Enterprise Service Management (ESM - connecting and automating an organization’s back office for a connected EX)

“Organizations need to understand that these investments are necessary and will be used in a post pandemic environment,” added DiClaudio. “Anything that can be done to shorten the lines of communication and increase employees’ ability to collaborate, will build a more capable and sustainable organization.”

About the survey:

In July and August 2020, KPMG interviewed 175 U.S. senior HR professionals with an HR decision-making role or insight into their organization’s corporate HR strategy.

To learn more about the findings of the survey or to arrange an interview with KPMG’s Mike DiClaudio, please contact Andreas Marathovouniotis.

Media contact

Andreas Marathovouniotis

Andreas Marathovouniotis

Associate Director, Corporate Communications, KPMG US

+1 201-307-7608



Mike DiClaudio

Mike DiClaudio

Principal, Human Capital Advisory , KPMG US

+1 313-230-3120
View more

Related content