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Lalit Ahuja

Founder and CEO, ANSR

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Trends That Could Define The GCC Industry In 2022 And Beyond

As we gear up for the ‘great hybrid experiment’ with empathy, flexibility, and proximity top of mind, 2022 will reveal a new set of challenges as well as opportunities to reinvent ourselves.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated every organization's digital transformation agenda. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella put it, "We’ve seen two years' worth of digital transformation in two months."

As organizations crammed a decade’s worth of tech adoption and digital transformation into two whirlwind years, GCC leaders were presented with unprecedented challenges. However, India’s GCC sector remained optimistic and only emerged stronger.

Despite new strains of the virus springing up, the pandemic is showing signs of easing. Organizations are contemplating if, when, and how they can safely facilitate the return of their employees to the workplace.

As we gear up for the ‘great hybrid experiment’ with empathy, flexibility, and proximity top of mind, 2022 will reveal a new set of challenges as well as opportunities to reinvent ourselves. Highlighted below are a few trends that the GCC industry can expect in 2022.

Returning to Work Safely

The biggest focus area for GCCs, or any company for that matter, is getting employees back to office. Majority of employees are expecting complete remote work or a hybrid culture where they have the freedom to work from both the places. Since many workers have permanently shifted to their hometowns, bringing them back to office, or to the base location in support of the hybrid model, is going to be a tough task for employers. The anxiety about the new variants of the virus will remain a challenge for a while. However, most GCC leaders believe that they need to be firm on asking the employees to return to work.

Getting Hybrid Right In a recent PwC survey, 83% of business leaders said remote work has been successful for their company, but only 13% said they’re ready to let go of the office for good. So clearly the future of work is hybrid and one of the major areas of focus for leaders would be getting it right. There’s no one-size-fits all approach and different organizations are figuring out their own types of hybrid strategies. Some GCCs are creating a ‘hybrid cookbook’ to define how to drive more collaboration, run meetings efficiently etc. Some are introducing an inclusivity person who can engage remote and in-office employees alike during meetings. Approaches can be different, but the key is to focus on individual human concerns rather than institutional ones when designing hybrid work arrangements.

Retaining Top Talent As Harvard Business Review observed, rather than spending billions to acquire talent, a better approach is investing in the talent that’s already in place. All GCC leaders consider the sense of inclusion and growth opportunities as the top reasons any employee wants to stay with the company. 2022 will see increased emphasis on defining the mission and purpose, building stronger employer brand, creating a culture of trust, and providing growth opportunities to the employees.

Stepping Up D&I Efforts

In 2022, GCCs will put more focus on their Diversity and Inclusion agenda. Focusing on D&I is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do. While helping organizations to attract and retain talent, experience, and skills they need to thrive, it is also good for our economies and societies. However, leaders need to be careful to avoid any biases. There has been a tendency to extend permanent remote work to women in view of schools and day-care centres remaining shut. Despite being an empathetic gesture, this can lead to fewer women taking up leadership roles and eventually creating a gender gap at management levels.

The pandemic has given us a chance to pause, reflect, rethink current processes, and make room for new ones. So, as we step into 2022, it is time to harness the powerful learnings from the year gone by and strategize to capitalize on the upcoming trends. It’s time to give employees the incentives and recognition they deserve, reskill and upskill at scale, create a stronger and inclusive culture, and thus, enjoy a more satisfied, engaged and productive workforce.

If the pandemic has a silver lining, it's the opportunity it presents to make permanent improvements in the workplace.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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technology GCC industry employers

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