Article (September-2021)


Align with new work way

Anil Kaushik

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As economy has gradually started opening up, though it will be too early to say that the things have become normal, but we are heading towards that, it appears. Business world has understood that everyone involved has to learn to live with covid  and adapt to that living and working style with evolving guidance and safety protocols. It is a matter of co existence at present which has pushed business leaders and HR leaders to rework on people, policies and processes to address the gaps exposed by sudden impact of this pandemic.

There appear two major areas which pose challenge as well as opportunity. One is automation and second is remote working. The recalibration of HR function will be evolving around these two aspects. To cope up uncertain ties, organisations are rapidly adopting technologies and artificial intelligence. It will impact the way organisations have been hiring and doing on-boarding till now. The massive transformation  that too with speed will be putting a high pressure on HR to re work, recalibrate and reset the things and align with new way of working. For HR, it may not be an issue of formulating policies for different generations working together but real challenge would be to understand the profile of future workers. They are going to be On Roll (regular employees), off roll (contractual, temp through third party), Gig worker and Digital worker (Robots). Out of these, some would be working remotely and some would be in office. HR has to effectively re design policies, structures and practices keeping in mind the upcoming future class of workforce.HR cannot afford to overlook the truth that while automation at fast space in all areas is taking place, in times of crisis human prefers to interact with human and not chat bot. To think that AI and bots will successfully replace all HR processes and keep employee engagement level at high will be a mistake. Technology cannot be a substitute of human but only be a supporting tool to improve efficiency. Technology must be used to empower employees and make them accessible and knowledgeable and not to make them useless. Technology cannot enhance engagement, human interaction does. Personal touch enhances emotional security.

Remote working model which is going to stay also needs attention of HR to recalibrate their approach towards this segment which will going to be bigger day by day. Since resilience will take place over efficiency, employees working from home or remote places would have to be emotionally  matured  and  digitally competent  enough to deliver  and tailor made HR policies would have to be kept in place to meet their requirements.

It will be an exciting challenge for HR to ensure that ‘out of sight’ employees do not become ‘out of mind’ employees.

Cover Story Experts are here to talk about the areas and challenges HR is expected to face in new work world with changing work profiles and how to recalibrate its policies and processes.

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