Employee Centricity and HR Tech in the Year 2023 and beyond

Harshvendra Soin, Global Chief People Officer & Head – Marketing, Tech Mahindra

The world is constantly reinventing, and the pace of change is often unmatched for many. The past two years have seen major transformations for the entire world. As a result, every sector has had to adapt to an ever-changing environment and the HR teams have been pivotal in making it happen. The work culture has changed driven by the rise of tech-enabled hybrid and gig work patterns. This has also impacted the workforce, which now is a lot more sensitive and is mired in the fog of thoughts. For this, HR itself has gone through a mindset and workstyle shift. Traditional HR practices are evolving into modern human capital management where people-centricity is at the core.

In 2023, the emphasis will be on pushing HR to new heights. A framework that promotes work flexibility, personalised learning opportunities, employee engagement, wellness, and care through the use of advanced HR technology to drive meaningful and purposeful work will be a key driver of future trends.

Some strategic and disruptive HR trends that will impact businesses in 2023 and beyond:

  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEI&B) – Even before the pandemic, HR leaders focused on promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion in order to create talent-driven workplaces free of biases based on race, gender, ethnicity, religion, age, or other factors. Today, a new dimension has been added to this strategic approach: ‘Belonging.’

We firmly believe that all DEI efforts in the world will be futile if the people in the room do not feel they belong there. To foster a sense of belonging, it is critical for organisations to build a workplace where every member of the workforce feels secure and empowered. This sense of belonging will prove to be more important than other benefits, possibly even a monetary raise.

  • Prioritising outcomes instead of tracking output – Today, with a remote workforce, organisations no longer need to focus on tracking output like login hours, breaks taken, etc. but look at outcomes like tickets closed, reaching SLA’s and milestones achieved. Managers must be sensitised to focus on data over perceptions, outcomes over output, and empowerment over oversight. This makes the workforce more empowered – allowing them flexibility and hopefully happiness and less conflict on performance assessments.

Organisations are adopting more agile feedback and performance management processes. Frequent manager-employee check-ins and real-time feedback provide opportunities for coaching, encourage employee growth, and eliminate the stress of annual reviews.

  • Tech-enabled recruitment – According to Gartner, recruiting will remain a top priority for HR leaders in the coming years and they will need to reprioritise recruiting strategies in order to align with current business needs. With respect to this, establishing an efficient tech-enabled/semi-automated hiring system will be mandatory. As we approach 2023, AI-powered digital talent intelligence will become even more important in HR functions. Platforms that are fool proof and incorporate adequate AI data analytics will serve as the first line of recruiters, generating ample insights on all parameters including the skill and cultural fit of each candidate.
  • Upskilling and Reskilling – Technology is evolving at such a rapid pace that the most sought-after skills have a shelf life of no more than 3-5 years. In order to keep up with the pace of change, individuals and organisations must strengthen their focus on skilling and upskilling.

Given the need for niche skills in this competitive landscape, organisations are now building ecosystems to ensure their employees have continuous upskilling opportunities to stay agile and relevant. They no longer view upskilling as a cost, but as an investment. With the demand for talent now being termed as the ‘War for Talent’, it is imperative for organisations to curate policies, programs, and designated centres that nurture and build an effective learning ecosystem within the organisation, which not only benefits employees but also helps them meet the rapidly changing client requirements.

  • Enhancing employee experience (EX) – Employee expectations have fundamentally shifted and companies that do not adapt will not survive. This essentially means that enhancing employee experience (how employees feel and think throughout their journey, from onboarding to leaving the organisation) has become critical today. While every organisation strives to understand what motivates and sustains its employees, it is also becoming increasingly important for organisations to identify the factors that contribute to increased employee engagement.

Strengthened focus on emerging EX trends such as improving new employee onboarding and enablement, modernising legacy systems and processes, providing employees with a healthy work-life balance that allows them to recharge, regular demonstration of company values, ensuring fair pay and job security, and providing ample opportunities for employee development and growth, among others can significantly aid in enhancing the employee experience. While these trends will undoubtedly shape the EX-pitch for 2023, it is also important to note that the extent of employee experience has expanded beyond the boundaries of HR to become an organisation-wide initiative to promote productivity, well-being, engagement, and overall growth.

The years 2020 & 2021 were dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic that triggered a change in the way companies across all sectors and regions operate. Today, CEOs use their chief human resource officers (CHROs) the way they use their CFOs—as sounding boards and trusted partners—and rely on their skills in linking people and numbers to diagnose weaknesses and strengths in the organisation, find the right fit between employees and jobs, and advise on the talent implications of the company’s strategy. Organisations that walk the talk on their core values – through company purpose, work standards, and investment strategies – will better relate with their stakeholders and be better positioned to deliver business outcomes.

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

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