The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call for the world, countries, organizations, and individuals. We know understand crises happen and they will continue to happen in the future. The present crisis like no other has forced companies to rethink and realign their current talent strategies. It has triggered unimaginable usage of technology in all walks of life. This has also led to one of the most interesting phases of HR Technology evolution. The pandemic also brought HR to the forefront by shifting HR from being a service-delivery organization to becoming the center of innovation. The year saw HR making a crucial decision in almost every aspect of work– wellbeing & safety, remote working planning & logistic, technology implementation, employee engagement & experience, and also the responsibility to future-proofing the workplace.
A recent discussion hosted by People Matters and NASSCOM delved into how HR should look at tackling the crisis and what’s the way forward for HR leaders in the context of the IT industry. Yasmin Taj, Managing Editor at People Matters put forward some tough questions to the panel– Saurabh Govil, President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Wipro, Nathan SV, Partner, and Chief Talent Officer, Deloitte, Piyush Mehta, Chief Human Resources Officer, Genpact, and KS Viswanathan, Vice President, Industry Initiatives, NASSCOM.
A still from the roundtable– Indian IT HR’s maturity in fighting the current waves;
How are we prepared for future disruptions
Here are some notable insights put forward by the esteemed panelist in an attempt to prepare for future disruptions.
Pioneering the remote work
One of the biggest impacts of the pandemic on the Indian information technology (IT) industry has been the acceptance of a hybrid workforce model offering the kind of radical flexibility required to build organizational resilience.
KS Viswanathan, Vice President, Industry Initiatives, NASSCOM shares, “The Indian IT industry pioneered the remote working model successfully with the help of technology in the year 2020.” Reflecting on his earlier interactions with industry leaders last year when pandemic struck the businesses.
He said, nobody had any clue how to emerge from the situation, or what’s the way forward. However, the acceptance of technology in the industry paved way for some of the biggest worries of leaders in 2020– Collaboration, engagement, communication, creating those virtual watercooler moments.
The right employee experience has become fundamental to businesses
Indian HR fraternity experimented with a lot in the past year. We integrated collaboration tools, engagement tools, recruitment tools, and in every step of the employee life-cycle, organizations have brought in technology to make the process efficient, effective, and experiential for both HR and employees.
Going forward, in the world of a hybrid work model, Piyush Mehta, Chief Human Resources Officer, Genpact says, “Technology had a profound impact on talent function and how we manage our people. However, it is not a great discovery that technology is critical. IT is not about technology but it is about providing an ability to our organization to better meet its talent needs. So teh technology is not an engine in itself. However, it provides you a quantum step to leap in areas of change management that would earlier have been difficult or demanded more time.
It also came out from the discussion that a hybrid workplace model challenges HR teams to keep people connected, engaged, and empowered. But it is not just for HR leaders – executive-level leaders, department heads, and organizational managers must accept responsibility to do the same.
Piyush added employee experience has become fundamental to everything we do for our employees.
Sharing the same sentiments, Saurabh Govil, President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Wipro put forward a bigger challenge to be solved in employee experience, “How do we hyper-personalize the technology used for employees so that they see value in it.”
The better way of doing work
While the pandemic has left a devastating impact on our lives, from a business lens, it also led to few positive changes that we were struggling to incorporate in the work. Today, inclusion lies at the center of anything happening around. It was always on our agenda but to see it up close and center is a remarkable achievement.
Nathan SV, Partner, and Chief Talent Officer, Deloitte shared that “We recently surveyed our employees and found they feel more inclusive, more connected now. It does take away those ‘watercooler’ moments but we have to define ways of working with people for better talent transformation.”
Throughout the discussion it was amplified that technology had a profound impact on how we are shaping our talent strategies for the future of work, however, it should be noted that employee experience plays a critical role in bringing that strategy into success.