2018 was predicted to be a year of disruptive transformation. But then again, every year to come, seems to usher in greater disruption, faster changes and bigger leaps in technology. This observation holds truer for industries like e-commerce that need to keep pace with change in order to survive. Here’s a roundup of people and HR-specific changes that affected the e-commerce space in 2018.
Trekking through the HR tech landscape
This year saw e-commerce companies (in synch with leading players from other industries) move towards a more-tech-enabled space with regard to HR practices. With e-commerce organizations expanding across geographies, the amount of data that needs to be available at a click has been expanding as well. Mundane HR tasks have been moved to cloud-backed HR tech tools that allow HR teams more time to focus on strategic initiatives.
The AI domain is predicted to grow from being valued at $8 Bn today to a whopping valuation of $47 Bn by 2020. HR tech will evolve in keeping with this growth and HR teams across industries would need to keep pace with it as well. The use of technology by an organization has been seen to play a key role in how employees perceive the organization. E-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart have been engaged in transforming HR processes to enable a smoother and happier employee experience – a trend that is likely to grow further in 2019.
Vision for wellness
The workforce in modern-day industries like e-commerce has been changing. Whether due to an influx of millennials, an upgrade of technology or a deeper understanding of work-life blend, the focus in 2018 for the right employee experience had shifted to wellness. We live in times that are demanding, dynamic and volatile. In such an environment, there is an even stronger need for wellness at work.
With big e-commerce players fighting for the best talent, the need to provide the best employee experience has grown. 2018 saw initiatives that favoured work-life balance and blend and made employees feel that they are cared for. In an industry as affected by the volatility of our changing times as e-commerce, the need to strike the right balance between work and life is greater in order to ensure that employees are protected against burnout.
Learning to learn better
There has been a surge of new tools this year to make work easier (and probably more similar to play). These tools, in order to be made the most of, need employees to learn, un-learn and relearn various processes, to have an open-mindset and to be open to change.
There have been many organizations this year that have either taken their first step towards or continued their journey of becoming a learning organization. Such cultural shifts are in sync with the world of work becoming a lot more competitive. The need to learn faster, better and to remember for longer has never been felt more strongly.
Adapt, adopt, evolve
2018 saw big changes in e-commerce like Snapdeal downsizing, Flipkart and Myntra merging, Walmart acquiring the joint entity and the number of users growing exponentially. These changes highlight the need for all employees, HR teams and organizations to adapt, adopt and evolve continually.
Whether it is about being able to make sense of and continue being productive through M&A deals, to cultivate a culture of diversity, empathy and technological prowess or to be able to stay relevant in an environment that is ever-changing, companies need to be able to ride the wave of flux. In e-commerce, with hiring trends, needs and talent pools changing, the kind of people who make up the sector is evolving as well. Being mainly millennial (between the 18-34 age group), they are natives of this era and are thus attuned to the demands of it. To not be able to tap into their potential for adaptation would only point towards the loss of abilities, skills and value.
In order to remain at the forefront of innovation, companies need to evolve, not in silos but rather along with every human resource in the system. These trends are precursors to the changes that are to follow in 2019. The HR thus needs to prepare for all that the coming year will bring with it while staying true to the spirit of collective evolution and innovative collaboration.