Leveraging the Digital Opportunity: Equipping HR Leaders to be Change Makers

The outbreak of COVID-19 has by far been the most difficult challenge that employees and employers have witnessed, resulting in the transformation of work practices and culture like never before. The new normal of work has made conventional 9-5 office shifts dispensable, ushering in an era of flexibility, convenience, and hybrid working. Hence, this makes it critical for leaders to curate an environment where people WANT TO work in—rather than HAVE TO work in! It is imperative to build a nurturing work culture and provide an experience for employees that is meaningful, flexible, empowering, collaborative, and inspiring

Charting the way ahead with technology at the core

In start-ups or smaller companies, it may be possible for HRs to personally monitor all the employees and engage with them to understand their concerns or expectations. However, in large enterprises, there is an acute need to deploy emerging technologies to remain connected with people, listen to them, and take strategic initiatives to enhance employee experience. Leveraging HR technology helps us to be proactive in our efforts to get responses instead of spinning our wheels and getting nowhere.

Disruptive technologies like Metaverse, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are making a mark in every field, and HR is no exception. Pathbreaking initiatives such as hiring in the metaverse can help HR leaders reimagine the recruitment process in the new normal. Further, leveraging AI effectively can empower HR with the insights to recruit better, increase employee engagement, and retain top talent. Modern HR software and employee engagement tools are being used to streamline and automate HR processes and ensure data security. Online training and assessment, video communication and interviews, employee self-service portals, and other such channels are being explored to integrate, empower, and encourage employees. This kind of tech-driven easy access and the assurance of being heard and supported lead to greater productivity, motivation, and a lower burnout rate.  

Data-driven automation can transform operations into a value function

Intelligent operations with hyper-automation, augmented intelligence, cognitive agility, self-service capabilities, etc. can help streamline HR systems, protect important data, act as success coaches for employees, and in turn, improve productivity, avoid burnout, and offer a better work-life balance.

By using augmented analytics tools, HR leaders can automate repetitive processes, enabling their team members to perform tasks that took many hours in just a few minutes. By switching to new-age technologies, it is possible to ensure that everyone is well equipped and aware of how to navigate through the rapid changes in the future.

Gamification in talent management can enhance employee experience

Gamification has emerged as a key practice in almost every aspect of learning and development. It is a human-focused design that places emphasis on human motivation in the processes and operations. Employers and HR leaders can engage their staff with greater success by using gamification elements and this can even enhance employee experience.

Organizations can leverage advanced technologies to integrate gaming into their processes and boost employee learning. If organizations want employees to upskill, it will not happen merely by completing a course or a training program. Rather, engaging them in various ways, like through quizzes or contests, credit-linked reward systems, simulations of complex work, incentivizing ideas for improving processes/products, etc. will help transform employee learning experiences and make collaboration on projects more fun.

The experiences of tomorrow will be powered by robotic efficiency and human empathy

From building a robust talent pipeline and bridging the skills gap, to creating an employee-centric workplace, the HR function has progressed manifold in the last decade. The concept of employee experience will continue to be industry-agnostic and shape the future of HR transformation. Even though there are multiple ways to address challenges faced by HR, technology-based suggestions can assist organizations and HR personnel in optimizing their workforce potential, delighting them, and retaining talent. It can enable them to step in only for critical and strategic tasks, thereby helping them provide a better experience to employees. In fact, it will not only help create experiences, but also make them understand how those experiences are emotionally perceived by employees. Tomorrow’s experiences will be powered by robotic efficiency and human empathy. While technology will be an enabler, the moments of truth will always remain human.

Great Resignation to Great Reclamation

Irrespective of the headwinds generated by socio-economic scenarios and instead of getting anxious about the declining performance, employers need to transform the ongoing “Great Resignation” sentiments into a positive movement. They can achieve this by adopting digitally driven measures to support employee wellbeing, establish superior communication, and promote work-life balance. This would make employees feel valued, engaged, and motivated to be more productive and loyal at work.

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

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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