ROAD AHEAD OF HR
The world is changing at the rocket’s speed – technologies, economies, talent crisis, laid-off colleagues, flat salaries, and new strategies; are all dramatically affecting the workplace. Human resource has to preserve through uncertain times globally and some questions which we need to answer are: How would this technology impact the business? How would global market place change the way people are hired?
I have a strong feeling that human resources would continue to transform many organisations and as we move into the next decade and beyond, let’s discuss the top 10 focus area/s which needs to be addressed: –
- Human resources as a business partner: Together with management, human resource professionals can work in organisations to deliver innovative solutions, solving complex problems, and communicating with the stake holders. These are skills sets which have become mandatory in professional dealing with humane capital. We need to further device and implement strategic plans for effective growth, retention, engagement, and total compensations at organisational level. Another area of focus would be to deploy optimum workforce, with right fit, in order to enable organisations to thrive in these global scenarios. We need to think business and like a business man.
- Technology Takes Over & HR Analytics: We expect more cloud computing for stronger human resource data, more popular mobile tools are expected to be invented, and I feel we will move towards virtual workplace in next decade. Apart from the above, expect more innovations in the fields of self-service, workflows, dashboards, reporting, and portals. Technology may be detrimental in working towards return of investment, in terms of human resources interventions.
- Hire and not fill – Recruiting Right Talent: Usage of global social media for recruiting in the next decade and increased technical solutions, timely recruitment, streamlining, and innovating on-boarding processes would be the key focus areas ahead. I would be happy to also see more international talent and reduction of paper work in human resources.
- HR Operations: A debate is on in terms of too much government intervention, unionisation in some part/s of the country, and also particularly some industries. How much is too much? Growing complexity of legal compliance should be reduced and managed. Apart from this I see many organisations including big and robust ones, re-working on their policies and structures to meet the current needs. There would be loads of work on employer branding and communication expected in next decade.
- Employee Engagement: 2007 onwards the global trends of economic slow-down and lay-offs, have inducted a feeling of guilt, anxiety, and fear impacting directly at employee’s comfort level. Human resources professionals would have to be very careful while managing this. Employers would start recognising employees at an early employment stage, may be even in the first year. Organisation would work more on trust, bonding, and innovations would be the road ahead. Next decade may see a concept of ’employee first’ globalism. Increased technical solutions for succession planning and people readiness are also areas which I would like to address this year. I see personally teams working on my favourite peace which is bonding with employee’s family and involving them. There would be more one to one solutions rather than one to many.
- Made to Order Employment Relationship: I have an instinct that this would be a differentiator especially in IT/ITES, or Service Industry, and soon be the trend setter. We saw flexi-hours, work from home, etc. in the last decade or so. Organisations may look at innovating and working more on the biggest challenge, ‘work and life balance’. Organisations may look at options like allowing pets or babies to work, 4 days flexi weeks, paid time off, vacation time selection, etc. Ideally if implemented in the right way it should increase engagement and results. Yes, as an organisation you should be ready to take the 5 per cent chronic defaulters with you.
- Pay roll and Benefits: Last two months have been stable for Indian markets and now a lot depends on strategic decisions. Being an optimist and keeping in mind the trends, I presume more stability. Organisations should therefore work on wellness programs, competitive talent market would emerge and I see a lot of work in reward and recognitions, and some innovative and improved programs.
- Development Transformed: As we speak technology delivery options have expanded, on-line, and virtual learning’s have been blessing in disguise for millions. Virtual global meeting and classrooms would be a global trend in 2014 and beyond as it cuts a lot of travel, time, and other expenses. I expect more progress on e-learning capabilities and overall human resource teams working closely on nurturing talent through it. Culture can also be worked and build on through technology interface. I would like human resources and the management teams to think out of the box on timely feedback mechanism and work on may be fortnightly or monthly appraisal/feedback/job chat systems through technology.
- Going Global: With each event, each election, a new challenge emerges for HR professionals. World is becoming smaller. Moving into next decade, I feel ‘going global’ to become more common. Global human resources functioning would enable human resource leaders to work with management and create & apply HR solutions to global market.
- Rise of One-Click Generation: These are people with penchant for technology, global vision, interested in relationship building, flexible within workplace, have passion, accountability, and self-driven attitude. These critical qualities are what human resource teams seek out for. India has one of the youngest asset forces and it may be a blessing for each one of us. Apart from that we will also have to work towards what I call current teenagers or one-click-generation & their advent to make India as one of the youngest workforce in the country in next decade or so.
On a personal front I wish in 2022-23 and beyond we use the CSR quotient in the right spirit towards the right cause, with focus.
To sum it up, human resource professionals have many challenges to consider during the rough time ahead. One personal solution to fellow human resource professionals is to continue the path of being a lifelong learner.