Article (April-2019)


Jobs will become more qualitative

Vikas Khokha

Designation : -   Director - Human Resources

Organization : -  Zimmer Biomet India, Gurgaon


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Where do you think, we are headed in terms of skill set requirements and capability assessments to build a talent bank for future workplace needs? And how do you visualize the workforce of future?

VK I always categorise the future assessment to the need of the business environment which constitutes of internal environment and external environment. The categorisation of internal as well as external and future requirements is corroborated to how far we could think as organisations and where do we head to attain the business advantage in future. The similar journey has to be dealt by the stakeholders who are part of the value chain. Some of the unique pointers around the skills which would be very critical in assessing our readiness for the future are :

A. Ability to think through the knowledge of the challenges the environment offers in future and mitigates future risks with the current performance.

B. Ability to evaluate future needs of the consumer and being able to get the necessary view of competitive landscape around the same.

C. Able to effectively adapt to the paradigms of the workforce evaluation and absorbing the change in KPIs to be able to evolve as better business leaders.

D. Incorporate necessary levers in current habits which would impact effective alignment to the future requirements. Highlighting necessary flexibility in transitioning through the change required in the future.

How is AI, robotics, automation affecting the employment scenario in India?

VK There is a significant impact on the employment scenario through AI and Robotics in India while I still would not like to categorise this as a negative or a positive impediment on the growth in the number of jobs.

A. The jobs would turn out to be more of output and impact driven than inputs.

B. This would certainly offer very high flexibility of working not only in terms of location but primarily work as well.

C. The job scales would move from employer's bucket to partner's bucket.

D. The component of specific skills would get introduced into the society.

E. The nature of jobs would be highly impacted as the jobs which are around data collection or database driven to the decision making.

F. Accountability on the business impact would be enhanced largely amongst the assignments.

G. Focussing on the concept of GIG Economy, more and more specialised partners would be evolved rather than the full time employees.

H. There would still be a fine linkage between a robot or a human connect and that would define what roles would be commanding better career prospects in future.

I. Due to availability of data faster, decision making would happen quickly than the traditional scenario which would lead to better impact and focussed output.

J. The KPIs and competencies would be largely modified on the basis the above parameters rather there may not be need of developing complex competencies around job roles anymore.

There are statistics that speak a loud about the growing unemployment in the country, so much so that highly qualified individuals are forced to take up meagre jobs to make a livelihood. To avoid any kind of social unrest, how more employment opportunities can be generated?

VK The meaning of the word employment is also tending to change. In today's scenario, a fixed salary denotes job security and a fixed income but the same is certainly not beyond the notice period so the notion is primarily incorrect. The employment opportunity rightly would mean that the Jobs become more of quality i.e. it enhances one's skill to impact in better business growth than the repeated activities to keep us busy. Also, that means the professionals would get more opportunities to associate with organisations at their own, will lead to developing specialised areas in them. Rather, I would see this scenario leading to better career opportunities by enhancing skills of the workers and contributing well towards economy which would further enhance employment opportunities in the times to come. I am also focusing a lot on certain parameters which would lead to skill building in building better professionals and leading to better productivity and enhanced output for organic growth of jobs.

Is the current HR ecosystem ready to take on the challenges of a highly demanding and dynamic future workforce? How HR should evolve and upgrade its competencies to address this challenge?

VK HR plays an important role in creating future ready organisations and I clearly see 3 important areas where HR could easily impact in partnering with Business Leaders to be able to execute this successfully :

A. While acquiring talent the right benchmark needs to be incorporated that the skills to be able to execute the current job matches well with the resource being able to be future ready to be a part of the long term business strategy.

B. The talent management plays an important role in identifying the group of top talent resources who would be able to take forward the future readiness of the remaining organisation. This could be evolved by objectively identifying the skills and measurement parameters including assessment centres which take care of skills and competencies to map the future positioning.

C. Performance measurement criteria to indicate towards future roles and long term objectives highly dictate the need for resources to attain differential output compared to the present KPIs.

What are the ways which can help HR to create a system where man and machine can co-exist without eating into each other's space? Is it even possible to have such a workplace universe?

VK a. Activities and job roles : The organisation resourcing helps in developing ecosystem around this space. The resourcing comes from the fact that which activities need to be included while which activities to be excluded looking at the long term business proposition. The list of activities could help in grouping into various job roles and the desired end state would help us giving the revised KPIs. HR would play a very important role in the above classification and this would be a firm building block in the new ecosystem.

b. Identifying & developing talent : This becomes one of another critical activity as there would be resources would automatically fit into the new matrices while the others would need to get developed for the identified roles. HR would play an important role in identifying the mix and coaching managers to be able to champion the move swiftly without any exigencies.

c. Communication : Change management is also a key parameter to be looked at primarily what and how the new scheme is communicated down the line to be able to trace the end goal well to the larger universe rather than their own stories and perceptions around this. The channels and communication becomes a strong area where HR needs to be partnering with the business leaders.

How do you think young generation should prepare themselves to remain employable and worthy in the age of technological disruption? How can HR and organisations support in this?

VK The primary career demands as I hear from the young generation is to constantly enhance their skills through exposure into various development programs not limited to regular trainings but on the job live projects, constant coaching and mentoring including regular qualitative feedback from their supervisors and keep their work life balance in order to channalise their energies into the areas that they like to do. The role of HR is to primarily build a bridge between what the young generation wants to do and what we expect them to do. This is a most simple barrier to understand the motive of any young generation resource that they would like to draw from the ecosystem. HR could help in getting the larger picture in front of the young generation and also create SMART-WORK for them on the basis of their above needs. This would certainly help in developing a culture of corporate entrepreneurship culture which is highly output driven and invites young generation to still showcase their passion with the much demanded flexibility.