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08 Jul 2020

5 big ideas that grabbed the limelight at the Virtual Tech Fest

Highlights of the HR and L&D Virtual Innovation &

The event may have been virtual, but the issues and the answers were real world.

This week’s HR and L&D Virtual Innovation & Tech Fest was incredible.

Over two days, experts and leaders addressed the issues keeping many HR and L&D professionals awake at night and provided perspective on doing things differently as we switch from survive to thrive mode.


Here are the 5 big ideas that resonated:


  1. We were more agile and ready for digitalisation than we thought

“If you had told me six months ago, we would be working this way by March I wouldn’t have believed you” was a common phrase. If Coronavirus has demonstrated anything it’s that we are capable of a tremendous amount of adaptation. It’s been a lot easier than we thought it would be. In a short time, in response to the crisis, teams were able to regroup quickly and work seamlessly, collaboratively, and collectively. Furthermore, the urgent need to pivot has made us better at making quick decisions and creative adaptations to get work done and to support people.


  1. Social distancing or not, the hybrid workplace is here to stay

The default expectation that work needs to take place in one central location has changed for good. Flexible work practices will continue. Productivity has increased during lock down with numerous employee experience benefits including more time with family and less on the commute. HR will now focus on new challenges and opportunities surrounding communication platforms, common connection days on site, COVID 19 safety compliance, maintaining social capital, and remote wellness such as avoiding tech stress and burnout.


  1. The need for inclusivity in the workplace is bigger than a pandemic and bigger than any headline

#blacklivesmatter and the struggle experienced by some employees to connect while working remotely has only emphasised what research has long told us. Inclusivity in the workplace is important. It helps us improve customer experiences, achieve compliance, opens up the talent pool, enhances organisational reputation and strengthens alignment with society and stakeholders. Technology and programs can be harnessed to bring all team members together and to pay attention to who, within the organisation, is not being heard. For organisations to change and to create a culture of inclusivity, people need to be able to feel comfortable with showing vulnerability.


  1. Reinvention requires unlearning

To redesign the employee experience in the new normal and to attract and retain talent we need to understand where and how work gets done, not dictate it. Meaningful information, tools and training must be easily accessible by people according to their needs – including how they feel. There needs to be a shift from focusing on company outputs to company inputs (culture and capacity) and individual inputs (passion, human potential). True agility as an organisation can be achieved when we seek talent from within and when we switch from the mindset of ‘the value you bring’ to ‘the value you create’.


  1. In times of crisis, technology can be used both to improve employee experience and business outcome

People Analytics can be used to understand the employee experience, organisational networks, inclusivity and diversity and retention issues. Furthermore, automation and robotics can be used to keep employees safe and productivity ongoing.


These big ideas were just the beginning. Each session at the HR and L&D Virtual Innovation & Tech Fest was a mine of nuanced insight and directives from speakers, business leaders and delegates.

Although the live, interactive event has concluded, for a limited time you can still access the recordings.

Access them now




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