Article (January-2018)


Technology will be at centre for HR innovations

Aparna Sharma

Designation : -   Independent Director

Organization : -  T.S Alloys Ltd., Mumbai


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A lot of soul searching has been done by the Human Resources function about the way culture and performance issues were handled within companies in 2017. 
In 2018, the focus is on technology as to how it can be used to find people (attract), connect people, engage people, even replace people - and what to do when that happens. For years, technology has acted as a tool to help with day-to-day tasks, but in 2018, technology will be adopted as a way of life in the workplace. 
Besides continuing all the focus on diversity & inclusion, culture & ethics, pay for performance etc, I see these as the six (6) biggest trends for HR in 2018, and interestingly, technology is the common factor across all.  Technology will act as the driving force for HR innovations to enable organisations to accomplish more with less.
1. Shift to Employee - Centric Approach:  The purpose of increased employee engagement efforts by companies is to create different kinds of anchors for developing and retaining employees. Co - created career paths, attempts at providing real - time feedback, creating a culture of continuous learning & development that goes beyond automation are efforts that are clearly seen. The scale & level of application will definitely vary, however the right intent is the bedrock to ensure success.
2. Digital HR transformation wave: Improving and providing uniform employee experience is a major focus in organisations. Serving the internal customers - employees more effectively by deploying digital HR tools in turn enables them (employees) to serve the external customers even better which leads to greater productivity for them & better brand image externally. These tools help employees carry on tasks even when they are on the move through hand held devices e.g. sales team. The use of digital technology is helping organisations change the way they do business.
3. Performance management to boost productivity: Organisations are keenly working on taking the next step from HR automation towards providing optimal technology solutions for enhancing business performance.
Companies are re-designing their performance management process to have actionable real - time feedback and improved productivity. In my view, the next competitive advantage is going to be not just automating processes, but building a high performing workforce.
4. Engaging top talent through gamification: Various HR processes are being gamified to ensure better collaboration, employee engagement and recognition. A few organisations have implemented a well designed gamification model to engage top talent and build a creative workforce.
Gartner estimates that gamification apps for employees will soon exceed that for customers.
5. Predictive HR analytics: It helps understand employees and their challenges better. Knowledge of people related trends in advance helps in being prepared to deal with workforce and business challenges.
Today, almost every HR solution provider offers predictive analytics embedded in their products. This helps HR leaders to get unprecedented insights for effective action planning.
6. Artificial Intelligence (AI) making inroads: AI is beginning to present data to HR to help make informed decisions to recruit, retain and motivate employees. These data driven insights help to create employee oriented programs & workplaces and unbiased, engaged workforce.
While there will be increased focus on Employee Wellness, the coming year is more about keeping your employees focused, engaged and productive.
As organisations prepare to move into 2018, its time to check if the Human Resources function is prepared! The basic question to ask is "What are you doing to improve your employees' experience and productivity?"