Article: Prioritise scalability when investing in digital solutions for HR transformation: Oracle’s Shailesh Singla

Employee Relations

Prioritise scalability when investing in digital solutions for HR transformation: Oracle’s Shailesh Singla

Our continuous endeavour is to provide information, insights, trends, and even guidance to employees to empower them to boost organisational productivity, says the Country Head and Business Leader- HCM at Oracle India.
Prioritise scalability when investing in digital solutions for HR transformation: Oracle’s Shailesh Singla

Shailesh Singla is the Country Head & Business Leader - HCM at Oracle India. He is responsible for Human Capital Management Business and has steered one of the most successful launches of Oracle's new-age HCM cloud offering in the Indian market since 2011. Shailesh works closely with CXOs of many fortunes 500 companies, leading conglomerates, large iconic enterprises, and Unicorns as advisors and helps them design innovative journeys and roadmaps to meet their business goals.  He works closely with Industry HR leaders, Advisors, Consultants and People and Change practitioners of all Big 4 companies to bring consolidated value proposition to CXOs of various organizations. Prior to Oracle, Shailesh worked in leadership roles with IBM India, PwC India, HCL and TCS.  He has overall 22+ years of experience. His passion has been to develop new businesses, scaling running businesses to the next level and developing new markets.

In conversation with People Matters, Shailesh shares how businesses today can design the right employee experience strategy, the critical role technology plays and how Oracle is supporting leading enterprises in their HR transformation journeys. 

In the new-age landscape of people and work, what are the building blocks of a robust employee experience strategy? What are those key trends leaders must build on today?

An employee comes across multiple touchpoints in his journey from hire to retire. Of these, two key touchpoints are people and technology in their unique employee experience. When we talk about people, it covers internal employees like leaders, managers, peers, subordinates and some customers in cases where the employee serves customers. Employee experience is primarily driven by empathy, inclusion, transparency, trust, support, sharing information, offering opportunities to grow and perform and sensitivity towards their wellbeing.

On the other hand, technology helps enhance employee experience greatly by providing equal access to opportunities and even being a critical enabler to drive their growth and career development. Algorithms not only point out relevant job opportunities but also redirect your employees towards courses that can build their skill sets and empowers them to be more productive. Technology also plays an essential role in bringing in parity, especially in performance reviews, thereby increasing employee satisfaction and improving their experience.

Coming to trends, we have seen that hybrid culture is the norm now, and there has been a permanent change in working styles. CHROs must ensure that the design processes are aligned to these flexible working styles. Secondly, we need to acknowledge that health and safety is one of the primary reasons employees switch jobs, so policies and insurance around employee wellness and wellbeing will play a significant role in the future. Finally, it's becoming vital that organisations invest in surveys and other innovative ways to track employee sentiment to take corrective actions to redesign a robust employee experience. 

With technology at the forefront of HR innovation and transformation, how is Oracle empowering businesses today to rethink what’s possible when designing the employee experience?

Today, employees work from locations beyond their office, often without mentors or peers to support them in person. Our continuous endeavour is to provide information, analytics, insights, predictions, trends and even training and guidance to employees so that they are fully enabled to do justice to their job, which helps both employee and organisational productivity. Moreover, the technology must be easy to consume so they can get started anywhere.

Oracle is investing in many digital innovations such as voice bots, and chatbots so that employees can address their concerns and finish their routine tasks efficiently. We endeavour to automate all HR tasks through these bots eventually. Simultaneously, we also wish to approach a device agnostic scenario by building intelligent applications that can be run on any device for easy and efficient consumption. Another area we are zeroing in on is leveraging AI and ML to garner strategic insights and design tools and technology to track employee productivity and enhance safety through IoT. 

How does Oracle’s HCM platform and solutions address the artificial barriers and pain points of leading HR transformation in a rapidly evolving world of work? 

Oracle supports HR transformation in four key areas: First, we consolidate multiple applications because many of our customers are investing in multiple applications to design their hire-to-retire experience. What we do is integrate those solutions into one place so that the end-users access a single layer of digital architecture for more accessible and more efficient consumption of these tools and technologies. 

Secondly, during the pandemic, we saw organisations struggling to keep their systems running, which is why today, Oracle is helping its customers move their systems to the cloud. This is the need of the hour to become resilient in the face of an unpredictable business landscape. Third, we also focus a lot on the change management side because the right partner and guidance are essential for the success of this transformation plan, even when one has the best digital solutions. Lastly, we focus very closely on getting the right implementation partner who can add value with the best practices and learnings from similar implementations. 

Given the value of data-informed people strategies and workforce planning, how can leading organisations strengthen their data culture and unlock actionable insights with Oracle? 

Data is the backbone of any organisation. Corporates with the right data strategy are definitely ahead of the competition. Studies have shown that 80% of data analysts move data to graphical representations for easier consumption, indicating the rising demand for data culture. 

Implementing a data culture happens in three stages: First is to gather the relevant data using the best solutions; then, we drive adoption by bringing everyone on board the vision of this data culture by empowering them to use these systems and engage in the data transactions methodically, finally, by leveraging tools such as AI and ML to derive value and strategic insights from the data collected. This cyclical process is designed to add value when the entire workforce is encouraged and empowered to participate. Data points are rising in importance, especially after the pandemic, because it points out where the organisations need to invest in enhancing their employee experience moving forward. We at Oracle support organisations in this path by helping them design their data strategy. 

What is an advice you would like to share with our community on leveraging technology to bridge the employee experience gap? What is the one thing they must start doing immediately to lead an agile EX strategy successfully? 

Do not compromise on the technology selection process. I would emphasise looking at the scalability of the product you’re choosing to invest in and to see if it can support your unique growth and expansion plans, be it in terms of employee headcount or geographical expansion. You really need to look at your long-term plan and then decide on the technology vendor and see if they can support your growth strategies in other countries regarding implementation, localisation, data privacy and even compliance. One also needs to consider whether that single platform can holistically address your multiple HR needs so that easier user adoption and integration costs are taken care of. 

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Topics: Employee Relations, Employee Engagement, Culture, #HRTech, #TechHRIN

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