A glimpse into the evolving “new normal” of tomorrow’s workforce

 What will the Workforce of the Future look like, according to you?

The digital transformation of society has accelerated rapidly in just a few months. Collaborative technology has enabled the workforce to adapt quickly, demonstrate resilience and continue operations during the COVID-19 crisis. Virtual meetups, mass streaming of media, tech-led creativity, and online learning are the new normal. These modern modes of communication and work have made enterprises rethink/ reimagine the future and its workforce; which is expected to be more agile, evolved, and transformative. Going forward, technology and remote working will become fundamental for the path to recovery, and a trendsetter for the future workforce.

When we look at the workplaces post-pandemic, what should be the new normal? What are top of the mind issues/priorities for key stakeholders – HR and employees?

The COVID-19 pandemic has led interactions to become virtual and organizations to transform digitally for maintaining business momentum. As the world gets to normalcy, the concept of a flexible working environment is going to become standard, along with the way colleagues learn, lead, and interact. This blended working environment can be an opportunity to be more efficient in measuring productivity, collaborate effectively within and across teams, and drive the enterprise forward.

At American Express, our colleagues are the biggest assets. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have ensured our colleagues feel secure in their jobs and have the flexibility and resources they need to stay safe and healthy. At the same time, we are unlocking new ways to deliver a great colleague and customer experience, nurture leadership and build the best teams.

What has your experience been with digitization, AI & Robotics in HR? Is India ready for such a huge transformation?

The lockdown has accelerated the adoption of digital technology tools, not only for enduring through the pandemic but also sustain business continuity in a competitive market and prepare for future crises. Today, managing employees when working from home or through a remote access desktop, requires an efficient digital HR system and tools that can deliver an enhanced and consistent colleague experience even when colleagues employees who don’t physically work from the office daily.

According to a survey by E&Y, the crisis is forcing organizations to re-look at the HR processes and operations through a digital lens. More than 70% of the organizations are now moving to virtual methods of recruitment, and emerging technologies like AI, ML and Robotic Process Automation. HR is transforming from a mass commoditized approach to becoming personalized and high-tech. The office will transform into a space where high-end technology and employees coexist and are interdependent.

Customized self-service features such as online learning resources, viewing personalized colleague benefit information and managing time through mobile applications, can go a long way to ensure seamless colleague experience in remote working environments, without compromising on productivity. Going forward, technologies such as AI, ML, and analytics in HR will enable hyper-personalization and further improve the employee experience. Digital push by the government and rapid adoption by corporates is the right stimulus for the country’s technology transformation.

About the respondent

Manoj Adlakha is the Chief Executive Officer of American Express. Manoj is a compassionate leader who takes opportunities to coach his team where he can. With his vision and approach, Manoj has been able to build a foundational trust with his team and within the organization, which is crucial for scaling a business in India.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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