Bled, 19 November 2020: The traditional IEDC annual HR forum was attended by more than 100 personnel HR managers and experts from 26 countries. The forum was for the first time held as an online conference. Prof. Danica Purg, President of IEDC - Bled School of Management, welcomed and announced the topic of the conference:
"Without any doubt, this year is different and we are in 2020 facing big challenges while adjusting to the new reality. The Covid-19 pandemic caused enormous disruptions in the way we live, work, learn, and socialize. HR professionals are in the frontline, offering the support to employees, and it is now time to re-assert their leadership, to build new ways of working that create sustainability for organizations and their people."
The keynote speaker, Prof. Philip Stiles from the University of Cambridge, the UK, held a lecture entitled “New Reality of Work Calls For New Leadership” and his main message was: “Remote working has changed the way leaders interact with team members and this has both positive and negative aspects. The positive aspects are that leaders now have to trust their team members more and not micromanage. They also have to give more empathy and compassion to team members, since many people are struggling with the new work conditions. The negative side is that the day-to-day contact with leaders that team members really desire and which can be very motivation has almost gone. Leaders can try to address this with frequent online communication, but it is often the small incidental meetings face to face that people miss most.”
New ways of working thus require a new organizational culture "and the culture we will create now, will be remembered by people forever", stressed prof. Styles.
Many outstanding HR professionals and senior managers from various companies shared practices with forum participants on how to deal with the currents situation in their companies and all agreed that remote working is here to stay. Leaders will need to adapt to this and trust their employees even more and give them more power, while ensuring that they sustain a good work-life balance when working remotely. The biggest task and responsibility of HR managers, however, is to continue to unite the company's employees and especially to bring up and together their ideas and innovations.