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CK Mohan of Yum Restaurants for column on people issues

“2026 will be the age for specialists,” says CK Mohan of Yum Restaurants

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CK Mohan senior director HR, Yum! Restaurants, is quick to point out the three areas most likely to impact HR in 2026 – personalisation, connectedness, and an acute talent scarcity.

The world we live in is seeing rapid changes, and there are three areas that are likely to impact HR in 2026: personalisation, connectedness and an acute talent scarcity.

The first, personalisation, relates to how today’s customers expect to be able to customise products or services to suit their individual tastes. Since these customers are also employees, I see an increasing trend of personalised work arrangements in working hours, location, leave and salary components. Employees with specialist skills or deep expertise will be better placed to exploit this trend.

2026 will be the age for specialists. Companies that have progressive HR leaders will be better placed to face the future.

Th e second is the concept of staying connected. Real-time communication and keeping employees informed and engaged will be the norm in 2026. This will be a real HR challenge given the trend for flexible work arrangements. HR leaders will not only need to be conversant, but also competent with technology.

The third is acute talent scarcity. Almost all good universities have business incubators which help students who aspire to become entrepreneurs. This will be an even bigger force to deal with from a talent standpoint. The best will want to start their own businesses and companies will need to create an environment where entrepreneurship is encouraged.

Companies with flat structures that reward big ideas and propagate entrepreneurship will succeed in the future.

Image: Provided

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