Tag: human resources

Preparing for the Future – COVID-19 Implications for the HR function | Blog

Over the past couple of years, the HR function has experienced drastic changes, particularly in the way employees work, learn, and communicate. The pace of change has been exponential, with enterprises pushing for digitalization. However, no one would have imagined that a single global event, the COVID-19 outbreak, would accelerate one of the greatest workplace transformations of our times.

Digitalization is crucial, as it will help companies enable their internal functions with collaboration and productivity tools for employees and improve operational efficiency with agile business continuity plans.

The acceleration can be credited to the urgency to support employees working remotely so the business can run as smoothly as possible and provide a superior employee experience amidst the panic and uncertainty. With businesses struggling to survive in the face of, what is likely, one of the harshest recessions to date, it’s vital to understand the changes that will be brought about by this global pandemic. These changes will be facilitated by newer technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and automation, and force companies to rethink their existing structures and guidelines

Here’s a look at how HR needs to change to ensure a great work environment in the next normal:

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Incorporate policy changes for the next normal: With the strain of the coronavirus confining everyone to their homes, companies across the globe have mandated or are encouraging employees to work from home. And this model is expected to stay. Even after the pandemic ends and employees return to their workplaces, remote work will continue to hold significant relevance as enterprises realize its cost-benefit and commit to finding other methods to support business continuity. To ensure its success, companies will have to develop processes and inculcate policies that enable flexible working – establishing guidelines for working remotely, managing employee productivity in physical and digital workspaces, and formulating guidance for managers handling a distributed workforce. Further, the use of digital workers and bots will increase, which will, in turn, result in an urgent need to develop policies regarding cybersecurity, auditing, and redefining instances of human intervention.

Ensure undisrupted workflow: With the new and restructured workforce, companies are also looking to digitize the workplace and automating various processes and workflows to increase efficiency. Thus, HR solutions for automated employee onboarding, automated helpdesk, and productivity tools, along with communication and collaboration tools, are gaining traction in the market. For instance, the adoption of Microsoft Teams and Zoom have dramatically increased, and the uptake will continue.

Utilize the power of virtual learning: Businesses that have typically relied on face-to-face/classroom learning will have to develop a proof of concept for learning using the latest online technologies. The remote working model and increased leverage of digital technologies will also increase the need to upskill and reskill the workforce. In light of COVID-19, enterprises have become extremely cautious with their spending and are seeking cost-effective solutions for their workforces, which adds to the appeal of remote learning. To derive maximum benefit, organizations will have to look not only for relevant skills and talent but also for tools to enable smart learning, as well as enter into partnerships with traditional and non-traditional learning organizations.

Focus on health and well-being: COVID-19 has brought the importance of employee well-being, which encompasses physical, mental, and emotional health, to the forefront. The HR wellness agenda for the future will have two facets: One, the employee side, which includes tools and policies that help employees plan their day-to-day activities, particularly when working remotely and have to deal with increased stress and added concerns of changing benefits ranging from health and hazard to leave policies; and, two, the operations side, which includes tools that track employee sentiment and help improve employee support, thereby ensuring better employee engagement.

Develop new talent acquisition and workforce management practices: Every process in the acquisition value chain will be overhauled to make it more efficient – from the use of AI and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms to source and screen candidates to the use of video interviewing tools to enable remote presence, and chatbots to ensure a superior candidate experience and engagement. Following the COVID-19 crisis, the job market is also set to undergo massive changes; while the demand for some jobs will increase, the overall job market will slow. Enterprises will need to conduct powerful workforce planning to ensure their access to the right talent, and strategically structure existing talent to ensure maximum engagement and productivity.

Use analytics to track workforce- and engagement-related data: As the workforce becomes increasingly (and literally) spread out, and as new ways of working emerge, HR leaders will have to keep track of their organizations’ pulses. Efficient data collection and mining tools will be key to understanding the nature of changes. Organizations will increasingly adopt tools that track how employees work, perform, collaborate, and feel to derive insights to improve operations and engagement. These tools, along with advanced AI capabilities, will also deliver actionable insights for more informed decision-making in a shorter time.

Keep employees motivated: With increasing instances of pay cuts and the uncertainty of the current situation, enterprises are looking for effective strategies to keep their employees engaged and motivated. Deploying a robust R&R solution that quickly recognizes and rewards valuable employees for their effort and commitment to work can help organizations mitigate some of the impacts of the ongoing pandemic and the slowdown, and as a result, boost employee morale.

Emphasize on financial wellness: With the increasing number of layoffs, instances of pay cuts, and market fluctuations, financial security is a significant concern for many employees. To curb these types of fears within the workforce, companies can provide employees with financial wellness options. Features such as budget management tools, financial coaching, and financial stress management tools, as well as the offer of paid leave, on-demand paychecks, and pre-paid cards, can help during these unprecedented and trying times.

Automate tasks, humanize processes: While HR must redesign processes to make them more efficient, it is far more important to keep the employee at the center of these processes rather than the function. This crisis is an opportunity to redesign around the central stakeholder – the employee.

These strategies will help enterprises survive in the new normal while keeping their employees engaged and satisfied, whether they develop them in-house or partner with service providers to deliver them.

Is your workplace future-ready? How do you see the HR strategies transforming? Share your inputs with Priyanka Mitra.

Substantial Change as HR Becomes Data Driven and Employee-Oriented | Blog

The need to change is coming to the HR world, and it’s happening quickly. It will necessitate substantial changes in the HR mind-set, the way HR groups are organized, the supporting technology and the amount of resources invested in HR. What is driving this incredibly changing universe of HR? And what does it mean for the future of enterprise HR and for third-party HR service providers?

Rapidly changing workforce demographics, coupled with imminent talent deficits, has shifted the HR spotlight to the employee experience rather than an enterprise-facing experience. Thus, it’s now necessary for companies to take a direct-to-consumer approach (the “consumer” being an existing or potential employee).

Read more in my blog on Forbes

ABSL Poland HR Club — June 18 | Event

Research VP Anurag Srivastava will lead a session titled “Skills of the future: implications on talent acquisition” at the June 14 HR Club meeting in Poland hosted by ABSL (Association of Business Service Leaders).

Other experts in the industry will join Anurag at the ABSL event to discuss new development and trends, as well as their biggest concerns and how they are addressing them.

When

June 18, 2018

Where

Colgate-Palmolive Services (Poland)
Sp. z o. o. ul. Taśmowa 7, 02-677 Warszawa
Poland

Speaker

Anurag Srivastava, Research VP, Everest Group

Will AI Take the “H” Out of HR? Not if Done Well | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Most people talk about how AI will transform both the transactional and strategic HR functions across recruiting, performance management, career guidance, and operations. Technology vendors such as Belong.co, Glider.ai, Hirevue, MontageTalent, and Talla, are often quoted as transforming the HR functions across different facets.

So the burning question here is, will AI technologies eventually transform the HR function for good? Or will it dehumanize it? Let’s look at some fundamental issues.

HR Works within the Enterprise’s Constraints

Focuses on creating individual-centric training, incentives, performance management, and career development plans are noble. However, HR may well not have the budget, and the organization’s processes may well not allow these in reality. Most organizations have a fixed number of roles (bands) and employees are fit into them. And there is a fixed L&D budget, which is treated as a cost that prevents meaningful investment in programs for individual employees.

HR Hardly Understands Technology

Most of today’s enterprises are looking to hire “digital HR” specialists who understand the confluence of technologies and HR. Because very few exist, the businesses themselves need to teach and handhold non-digital HR people about the value of AI principles in their mundane tasks, such as CV/resume shortlisting, as well as in their creative work, such as performance management and employee engagement.

Senior Leadership’s Flawed Perception of HR

While every enterprise claims that their employees are their greatest asset, they don’t always perceive HR to be a strategic function. Many senior executives view HR as a department they need to deal with when team members are joining or leaving the organization, and that everything in between is transactional. This perception does not allow meaningful investments in HR technologies, much less AI-based services. As AI systems are comparatively expensive, they require senior leadership’s full support for business case and execution, and HR will likely not be on the radar screen.

HR’s Flawed Perception of Itself

Most HR departments consider themselves to be recruitment, training, and performance management engines. They fail to strategically think about their role as a crucial enabler of a digital business. Because most HR executives don’t perceive themselves to be C-level material, their view becomes self-fulfilling. Many HR executives also silently fear, that their relevance in the organization will be eliminated if seemingly rote activities are automated by AI.

I believe that AI systems provide tremendous opportunities for HR transformation – if the HR function is willing to transform. It needs to make a strong business case for adopting AI based on hard facts, such as delay in employee hiring, number of potential candidates missed due to timelines constraints, poor retention because of gaps in performance management, inferior employee engagement due to limited visibility into what they really want, and compliance issues.

However, there is a tightrope to be walked here. As HR is fundamentally about humans, AI should be assisting the function, not driving it. A chatbot, which may become the face of HR operations, is just a chatbot. AI should be leveraged to automate rote transactional activities and mundane HR operations, and help enhance the HR organization.

Unfortunately, many enterprises myopically and dangerously believe that AI should lead HR. Because HR is not about AI, those that do are bound to dehumanize HR and drive their own demise.

HR’s broader organizational mandate will have to change for AI adoption to truly succeed without dehumanizing the function and its purposes. Doing so will not be easy. Various enterprises may take a shortcut, such as deploying chatbots for simple HR operations, to appease their desire for a transformational moniker. But in today’s digital age, these organizations will be short lived. Enterprises that weave AI into their HR functions – akin to ambient technology – to fundamentally enhance employee experience, engagement, and creativity, will succeed.

Peoplestrong Altify HR 2018 — Jan 19 | Event

Research Practice Director Arkadev Basak will be a key speaker at Peoplestrong’s Altify HR 2018 event in Gurgaon, India.

About the event
AltifyHR is the place to experience the next in the world of work. Join in for an exciting day where you can meet HR Tech enthusiasts, learn how to overcome business challenges, and engage with the latest technologies at one of its kind experience zone. With exciting keynote sessions, analyst interactions, and live demos, we can certainly assure that you’ll be touched with the power of a connected world and will leave with more than just new connections on LinkedIn.

When
January 19, 2018

Where
The Oberoi
Gurgaon, India

Speaker
Arkadev Basak, Practice Director, Everest Group

Learn more and register

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