Key metrics for better people practices, a boundaryless way of work


Workday’s Elevate event took HR to a new level, focusing on transition through technology.

Change is no longer new, but remains the only constant, and leaders need to be resilient to weather the storm that technological disruption will bring to organisations.

These were the opening words of Workday country MD Kiv Moodley at the Workday Elevate event, hosted at the swanky Marriott Hotel in Melrose, Johannesburg.

Speaking to the theme of ‘thriving through uncertainty’, Kiv kickstarted the event by encouraging industry leaders to embrace the future of work even through these trying times. “There is value in having strategic partnerships with the likes of Workday as well as growing your people, because through that you will be able to grow your company.”

Delivering the keynote address, future strategist John Sanei spoke to the engaged audience by challenging leaders to think about how they are planning to thrive in this time of disruption and uncertainty.

Using an Alvin Toffler quote, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but rather those who cannot unlearn, and relearn,” John explained that leaders need to adopt a growth mindset in order to move forward.

“The future is about being wiser, agile and adaptable. We are now in a period of implosion and predicting the future is impossible. However, there is a way to navigate uncertainty. We must embrace the journey with emotional intelligence, curiosity, and excitement, breaking free from addiction to stability,” he explained.

Novel ideas, purpose and meaning

John spoke of how leaders need to cultivate agile optimism, develop human skills, foster adaptability, and focus on long-term goals, valuing uniqueness, creativity, and innovation. By unlearning and nurturing awareness, becoming creative generalists and problem-solvers in teams, leaders can thrive in the ever-changing work environment, embracing humanity with wisdom and adaptability.

“Technology brings with it the 6Ds – digitise, dematerialise, deceptive, democratise, demonetise and disrupt. This simply means as humans we cannot compete with the advancement rate of technology. We can't predict the future but we can prepare,” he said.

As for preparation, said John, humans need to acquire five distinct forms of courage namely, intellectual, emotional, moral, social and spiritual.

“These will enable humans to embrace the new novel ideas, fully experience all emotions and enable us to discover purpose and meaning to our lives,” he said.

Kiv also encouraged attendees to make sure they keep on growing and developing themselves.

In a panel discussion, leading CIOs, CFOs and CHROs discussed how their organisations are applying themselves to thrive in this new dynamic world, and with the help of Workday products, are able to spearhead the digital transformation journey in their HR department.

“With the power of Workday and the data we have, as HR we were able to give up the fire extinguisher and policemen roles we had previously been playing, and said it was time to change the function. We now have a boundaryless world of work,” said one leading HR executive.

The exec noted that the change allowed insight into key metrics, which gave the department great insight and allowed them to have systems in place that allow for better people practices.

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