Article: The culture blueprint for 2024: Strengthen connection and collaboration with HR Tech

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The culture blueprint for 2024: Strengthen connection and collaboration with HR Tech

Industry leaders share insightful learnings on how to focus on cultural growth, apply people analytics and promote innovation in an exciting webinar organised by People Matters and Akrivia HCM.
The culture blueprint for 2024: Strengthen connection and collaboration with HR Tech

Workplace culture is probably the most talked-about and the least acted-upon asset in an organisation. While culture connectedness can increase by up to 43% when culture is diffused through work, the latest research indicates that many organisations struggle to manage this critical intangible aspect of the workplace. With the increasing digitisation of people processes, talking about the importance of preserving culture has taken a renewed significance. 

To explore how culture is connected with business goals and how HR leaders can strengthen workplace culture to achieve key objectives, People Matters and Akrivia HCM organised an insightful webinar that brought together business leaders and experts from diverse industries. The panellists discussed how organisations could leverage technology to reinforce the connection, use people analytics to craft employee-centric strategies and maintain the human touch in an increasingly digital workplace. The panellists included Divkiran Kathuria, Global Director - Talent, Seagate Technology; Yashveer Singh, Head Marketing & Associate Director Sales, Akrivia HCM; Bhukya Rahul, HR Manager - Transformation and Analytics, Apollo Health and Lifestyle Limited and Amit Mayekar, Lead - HRBP, Caratlane. 

Here are some key insights from the conversation.

Top priorities to strengthen organisational culture and align it with business goals

Divkiran started the discussion by stating that HR leaders need to build talent in a skill-based economy, use technology to enhance the employee experience and lead by example to ensure overall engagement and cultural development at the workplace. Due to Seagate's complex manufacturing and technical operations, the company has built a culture centred around the three Is of innovation, inclusion and integrity. Since many people at the organisation have been a part of it for decades, there’s a strong culture of purpose-driven work and respect for distinct cultural identities. Striking a balance between engagement and productivity has helped Seagate make people feel valued, provide a safe working environment and promote transparency in business processes. Currently, the organisation is focusing on how to build an AI-fit culture that helps attract new talent and clients. “At the end of the day, bringing their authentic selves to work has helped people make an impact, “ said Divkiran.

Concurring, Amit says that to power a sustained culture of excellence, we need to build a culture of innovation, ensure its consistency across all levels of the organisation and embrace new technologies to empower the workforce. He shares that Caratlane has always emphasised building a sense of community in the workforce and encouraging people to innovate constantly. A culture that views failures as lessons will promote the spirit of creativity and experimentation, which will eventually enhance the company culture. Many prominent business and service features currently a core part of Caratlane started as small experiments. The core values that will drive a culture of innovation are transparency and openness, and inculcating these cultural values will always be more vital for organisational success than any new technology. 

Rahul adds that employers can foster cultural value if there is adequate focus on employee well-being, change management and application of technology to streamline processes. Being the largest private healthcare provider, Apollo has been at the forefront of creativity and adaptability by integrating the latest medical technology for patient care. This has been possible in large part due to the strong culture of innovation that empowers healthcare professionals to work in a dynamic environment, ensure compliance, build public trust and foster inter-disciplinary collaboration by establishing mutual respect. Due to the strenuous nature of any role in the healthcare industry, there is a special focus on building resilience in the workforce to withstand the pressures of a high-pressure environment and long working hours. Hence, employee well-being and self-care have been pivotal parts of the overarching cultural matrix at Apollo.

Yashveer adds the human element to this conversation by explaining that values like empathy, transparency and future-oriented career growth are vital to building a robust culture. He says that building personalised human connections between people, leaders, managers and HR can provide the impetus for people to align their personal goals seamlessly with the organisations’ business goals.

Using technology to address cultural gaps and foster a sense of belonging 

Yashveers shares Akrivia HCM has been committed to developing and deploying people-centric solutions that are innovative, flexible and scalable. The company’s 400+ strong engineering team works closely with clients to ensure that every solution fits the required business needs and integrates with existing tech frameworks. This element of configuration and integration allows Akrivia HCM solutions to account for intangible assets like cultural values when designing people processes and practices. He highlights that many HR-tech systems do not interact with each other and function in different environments, leading to missed opportunities for collecting credible and actionable people data.

For example, when Akrivia HCM was working with a retail client experiencing challenges recording attendance through biometric machines, the team used geofencing technology to capture employee attendance and removed the obstacle of faulty biometric machines that were negatively impacting employee experiences. Similarly,  with a healthcare client, the company implemented attendance based on the number plate of personal vehicles, as many senior employees didn’t want to scan their ID cards daily. Yashveer advises that knowing how to make technology work for your specific organisational needs can make adapting it for your workforce easier. 

Technology can play a crucial role in bridging the gap between the cultural goals that leaders have and the on-ground cultural experience of employees. With innovative HR tech, employers can empower their managers to simplify attendance, performance management and reward processes by increasing transparency, implementation and engagement.

Leveraging people analytics to improve employee experience and organisational success 

Amit highlights that to use people analytics effectively, we must look at how often and profoundly we listen to employees. Giving people the avenue to voice their concerns can create many structured data points, along with creating reliable measures, like KPIs, to address the issues identified. When there is a willingness to truly understand people’s preferences, challenges and behaviour, crafting an effective analytics policy becomes easier as you can prioritise which aspect to focus on. In an environment where people can thrive and grow, they will be more likely to be happy and, in turn, achieve the company’s business goals.

Divkiran adds that HR needs to focus on collecting the right data through surveys that go beyond surface-level queries. Understanding the different drivers of employee experience for a diverse workforce can help HR leaders build data models to predict and prevent attrition. Using people analytics to understand where the organisation is lacking in its offerings and the best way to address it can help managers craft personalised career plans for team members and provide the right skilling support.

A strong mindset change that reimagines how people, processes and platforms interact in a manner that allows talent mobility can enhance the employee experience. Seagate has a ’talent marketplace’ to enable career discovery and match the demand and supply of skills in different teams. This programme has increased employee flexibility and mobility while forcing managers to change their perspective on talent. Furthermore, due to the projects on this platform, the organisation has saved more than 68,000 hours of work, along with witnessing benefits such as higher participation of female employees and continuous skill development. Divkiran states that cultural changes are disruptive and gradual, and HR leaders must consider long-term planning that spans several years to harness their potential truly. 

Rahul sums up the conversation by emphasising the need to preserve the human touch in an increasingly digitised world to build a welcoming workplace culture. He states that employers must prioritise communication and provide ongoing support to managers that allows them to engage every team member. While flexibility and customisation in HR-tech solutions are essential, they must go hand-in-hand with personalised interactions that make people feel valued and supported. Finally, having a clear cultural vision that aligns with the company’s goals, values and strategic objectives can help the senior leadership drive cultural change based on openness, feedback and awareness. To enshrine cultural values and changes in the DNA of the workplace, business and HR leaders must lead by example. 

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Topics: HR Technology, Culture, #HRTech, #DigitallyEmpowered

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