Article (January-2022)

Articles

HR would need to work as an agile function

Rakhi Shaha

Designation : -   Senior Director - Human Resources

Organization : -  Mobileum

01-Jan-2022

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As HR function seems becoming more automated, what are some of the most important areas we see transforming workplaces by digital adaptation?

RS Much like any other industry, digital transformation of HR management has become critical in the age of technological disruption. Listed below are some important areas which continue to transform the workplace environment.

Employee experience

It is one of the biggest indicators of business success today especially with organisations engaging with employees who now are expected to operate at higher margins than the competition. Today's employee experience depends on a seamless digital experience, and it is said that this factor of a company meeting their technology needs aids in employee stickiness. This is the new normal. Use of technology is the science of engagement where measuring and analysing employee sentiment on a day-to-day basis is critical. The use of chatbots for example, empowers both the employee and the HR team to keep the engagement conversation going, as long they want. These conversations are then analysed and leveraged to address the specific concerns, wants, and needs of the employee. This aids in building the HR action plan in addressing those specific areas of concern rather than generic "one size fits all" approach. It also helps HR practitioners to understand sentiment, anticipate potential roadblocks to act and demonstrate to employees that their voice matters, which in turn boosts engagement and stickiness.

Learning and development

The traditional learning calendars would need to be replaced by agile and adaptable learning programs that are able to meet the individual needs of employees. At the same time, we can use data and reports with more insights to understand the impact of those learnings on their job performance and eventually the impact on the business. To adapt to these changes, learning models are transitioning to agile learning models that support the individual learning versus providing broad-based solutions for the organisation. Technology platforms help in matching the content and recommendations based on relevance to the individual employee needs.

Hiring and onboarding

Recruiting and onboarding solutions are an important piece of HR technology roadmap. Directly integrated with the ATS, various tools are available to add a layer of intelligence to the recruiting process designed to automatically screen thousands of resumes for those that best fit the skills and responsibilities required for a specific job. This reduces time-consuming manual actions to a large extent. It also aids in streamlining and automating process likes internal referral management and campus hiring.

How should HR professionals prepare themselves in terms of their own skill sets to make optimum use of technology?

RS It is essential for the HR teams to provide a seamless functioning and that can happen once they are also equipped to take significant decisions. Firstly, it is imperative for the HR to understand the business acumen wherein they translate the organisation's business context into strategy, positioning HR policies and activities to best serve the organisation's interests. It is very important to understand the global context of the work and the internal dynamics of organisation. The ability to recognize the impact to our end customers leads to better HR policies. Also, HR professionals must be able to apply data and use metrics to generate insights that would lead to action plans since data is the cornerstone of digital transformation. This will enable HR to make a huge difference as the action plans will be more specific rather than generic. HR department also needs to lead by example to run the digitization in the firm. It is a dimension we call 'digital fostering' which aims at creating digital culture in HR and help build a technology first culture.

HR would need to work as an agile function where the focus should be on building a culture that fosters digital innovation and adoption. The function will need a well-thought-out strategy to acquire and develop digital solutions, and a culture that fosters its adoption. Lastly, people partnership is something which can make or break your digital transformation. You need people with specific skillsguided by strong leadership that can collaborate effectively for the project to be successful. Hence identifying those the right talent, aligning them to the vision of digital transformation and roadmap is critical.

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What do you suggest in which processes HR should not use the technology/ automation and why?

RS While the tactical steps of employee separation can be automated, I strongly believe the exit interviews and/or retention discussions still need to be in person and not with chat bots. An exit interview is a sensitive process, and it involves understanding and learning a lot from the employee who is leaving. It is not only that the employee shares the disgruntled views, but they also share what is working well in the organisation and what made them stick throughout their journey with the organisation. These conversations are not straight forward and do need some level of emotional connect with the employee.

Based on the feedback, the HR representative can evaluate if there are any options that can be presented to help retain the employee. This cannot be done by using an automated tool, as it requires understanding of overall organisation ecosystem-balancing the business priorities and the mapping of talent.

Having this effort led by human personnel is advantageous in two more ways - a connect is made with employee even when he/she is leaving which keeps the bridge of engagement open. There is always a possibility that the employee will connect to the HR representative if they want to return. Secondly, it also makes the employee feel valuedand respected even at time of exit as he/she carries that goodwill and becomes the ambassador for other candidates who can be our future employees!!

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