Article (August-2016)

Articles

The Future of HR

Rajeev Dubey

Designation : -   President (Group HR, Corporate Services & After-Market)

Organization : -  Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

01-Aug-2016

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As we enter into the brave new world marked by characteristics of Uncertainty, Exponential change, Complexity, Conflict and Lack of trust, revolutionary trends are dramatically redefining the way we work.  Disruptive technologies, rapid globalization and changing employee expectations mixed with a volatile business environment have implications for HR and the impending talent crisis adds to the complexity.  Thus a complete re-evaluation of traditional HR practices is required. 


Workforce Analytics will make Talent Management more scientific. We have now amassed huge quantities of workforce data from HR management systems. This treasure of data needs to be analyzed using scientific tools and statistical models to gain insights that would drive better performance from their employees. The power of Analytics needs to be harnessed, primarily in the area of capability building.


Another significant change will be the rise of virtual workforce. This will be a challenge to supervisors who are less effective in managing people at distant locations.  Organizations will need to leverage a global network of partners, outside contractors and other "nontraditional" employees.  Establishing different set of expectations and leveraging technology will be the key in evolving these dynamics.


The race to acquire talent is going to get extremely severe. Skill gaps are increasing as the demand for intelligent, technology savvy and agile business people is on the rise. A thorough evaluation of capabilities which are crucial to attaining key organizational goals is required. Retention strategies that focus on critical workforce segments will become important. Developing a solid leadership pipeline and identifying top performers will be instrumental in gaining a competitive advantage. 


Risk Management will become a necessity.  Our environment is becoming increasingly regulated.  Unpredictable regulatory moves have long been considered as 'wild cards' in business and mistakes can be extremely costly. Leaders must realize the profound impact of regulatory issues on people.  This is not limited to mere compliance. HR needs to lead the process by developing suitable metrics and integrating employees and risk factors. 


Diversity and inclusion will drive business performance. Innovation is an outcome of bringing different minds and opinions to the table. Obtaining deeper customer insights and entering new markets require people from diverse backgrounds. The business case for diversity is compelling. A starting point is to have open channels of access.  And finally, the command and control paradigm will have to yield and give way to a culture built on collaboration and empowerment. The question is how can we as HR professionals help our organization prepare for 2020? It begins by redefining ourselves as business people first, where we support other functions so that together the organization delivers on its business strategy and goals. Also, we must be brave enough to take risks because some of today's 'best practices' may get discarded tomorrow.  Most importantly, keep learning. We need to have foresight and constantly stay ahead.