Josh Bersin: We require a ‘Big Reset’ towards a human-centered talent transformation approach

today2022.02.06. 410 1 1 4



employee-first, or “human-centered” leadership represents a paradigm shift from the business-centered approach, which prioritized operational measures such as revenue, efficiency, and customer data

The world has now changed due to the COVID 19 pandemic, and it is no longer business as usual. Companies now need to rethink and reposition themselves in the way they attract, retain, and manage critical talent. Talent and digital HR thought leader, Josh Bersin who founded the Josh Bersin Academy believes that we now required a ‘Big Reset’ in the way in our talent management practices.

According to a report by Bersin, as the global pandemic set in around February and March 2020, business was not business as usual. The Corona Virus which had originated from China swept across the world causing death, sickness, and social displacement. To date as of Monday 7 February 2022, the world has had 397 048 748 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 5 761 655. Numerous measures such as remote working, mass vaccinations, and lockdowns have been implemented during the global pandemic in the USA as a way to try to contain the spread of the COVD-19 virus.

The US economy shrank by 3.4% in 2020 and grew by 5.7% in the year 2021 as it recovered from the shocks of the COVID 19 pandemic. Despite this growth, this was below the expected growth trends. These shocks in the economy and social changes seen in the USA and across the globe require a paradigm shift in the way we manage talent. The world is no longer the same as it used to be. This calls for a big reset towards a human-centred approach to managing talent.

Bersin indicates, “The big reset during the pandemic is this movement towards human-centered leadership, human-centered management, and valuing employees as assets, not just labor and expense… and that means empowerment, development, and investment.” The key lessons are that the pandemic has taught us the importance of humanity. It has taught us that organizations are made by people and for the people. To drive employee engagement, attract the best employees and retain talent, companies now need to adopt a more human-centered approach. They need to, ‘bring back the human element into human resources.’

In a report released by the Bersin academy, top priorities for HR include but are not limited to the following.

  1. Continuous and real-time communication with employees
  2. Wellbeing in all forums
  3. Supporting and developing leaders
  4. Multifunctional HR
  5. Digital transformation at speed
  6. Agile problem solving

All this points out to a human-centered approach towards managing talents so that companies can drive performance and productivity. As always said, “Soft strategies drive the hard strategies.” There are a lot of things that money cannot buy and one of them is the heart and engagement of a company’s employees.

“The big reset during the pandemic is this movement towards human-centered leadership, human-centered management, and valuing employees as assets, not just labor and expense…and that means empowerment, development, and investment”

Josh Bersin

Bersin also points out that HR is a discipline where you can no longer copy from what others do as per the article by Fortune. Bersin urges HR to be unique and develop its on-value proposition because every company has its unique cost structure, business model, employee skill sets, and resource capability. Hence, Bersin indicates, “Everything is different in your company than your competitors. You can’t copy their employment brand; you can’t copy their pay structure. You can’t copy their recruiting; you can’t copy their learning strategy. You can try, but it won’t work the same.”

Bersin also calls for companies to focus on technology to enable them to cope with the new demands of the new world. Work is now being done remotely and the world has gone contactless. To be able to move with speed, companies need to focus more on developing and adopting the usage of digital tools. Some of the digital tools include in-house productivity management software, emails, chatbots, the internet, and Do It Yourself (DIY). Examples of collaborative tools on the market that companies can also use include Bitrix24, Hubilo, Zoom, and Microsoft Office, teams. 

Bersin also highlights the importance of agility and speed. In the report by Bersin released towards the end of 2020, he highlights an example of PepsiCo. The company is a large global Multinational corporation that employs over 280,000 employees in over 200 countries. To manage the pandemic, the company had to move with agility and speed. This has helped to develop resilience and business continuity during the pandemic.

Download the report: https://joshbersin.com/research/big-reset-2020/

Written by: Mihaly Nagy

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Post comments (1)

  1. Letween on 2022.02.17.

    A quite insightful masterpiece on the changes brought about by COVID-19,thank you Farai

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