The outbreak of COVID-19 accelerated the pace of change in workplace operations and brought into focus the ‘human’ aspect of HR function. Companies are fast realizing that employee engagement and motivation are key to business growth.
As business environments become more complex, HR departments are harnessing technology to create a great employee experience. Organizations are making considerable efforts to leverage technology to build a vibrant and inclusive ecosystem.
Automation as norm
Automation is becoming the operational norm across operational areas. HR is no exception with recruiters integrating digital technology into the hiring process. Artificial Intelligence enabled tools are widely utilised for screening candidates, on-boarding them and matching the right talent with the right job roles.
HR departments are discovering that conventional employee engagement practices and conservative motivation techniques are no longer applicable in a corporate environment that is becoming highly volatile.
The exponential rise of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning will be crucial in bolstering the functional competencies of HR by analysing employee behaviour, providing feedback and creating a conducive ecosystem for boosting employee morale.
Chatbots as boosters
HR technology plays a key role in effecting seamless communication between the management and employees through messaging tools and intranet. Chatbots can help make communication collaborative and informal. By making chatbots a core component of their internal communications framework, companies can effectively convey their objectives to employees and make them willing stakeholders in the organizational mission.
Integrating chatbots in the learning programmes of organizations is instrumental in boosting employee skills and knowledge through automated training modules and digital courses. By having access to chatbots on their phones, employees can set their own learning schedules and complete training at their own convenience.
This obliterates the need for classroom-style learning and a separate Learning Management System (LMS) leads to significant time and cost benefits. Digital technologies can play a pivotal role in imparting job-specific skill sets through mobile learning platforms.
The impact of cloud computing on HR processes is profound. Cloud will play a key role in centralising information comprising large quantities of data ranging from income tax details to performance reviews. Employees can avail of the flexibility of updating their data forms. The transition to a cloud-based computing system makes work processes error-free.
Digital tools as plug
As governments grappled with the task of flattening the COVID-19 curve with extended lockdowns and stringent social distancing norms, there emerged a hybrid working model that may alter conventional workplace dynamics and change employee-management relations. Even as organizations are contemplating the phased opening of offices, the Work from Home (WFH) policy continues to remain in force. We are witnessing a scenario where virtual has become the new normal.
A key challenge before HR departments would be to leverage smart technology to create inclusive online work setups for ensuring productivity and enhancing the remote employee experience. HR executives should provide employees with digital tools to ensure that there are no communication gaps.
Conferencing apps can be used for holding regular team meetings, delegating tasks and undertaking periodic performance reviews of team members with the provision of timely feedback. HR will also have to take a proactive lead in strengthening employee trust and maintaining team relationships.
Employee engagement narrative has gone through a transformation in the post-pandemic era. As productivity and profitability are back in focus, HR technology will not only offer a positive and inclusive work experience to employees but also make them stakeholders in implementing the company’s vision.