Sandhya sits in a long row of people staring intently at their screens. Turning on her laptop, she looks around at the new faces. It was time for her to leave the co-working place she had been working at for the past few months. Her head office had called her back. 'Work from the office would start soon,' a neatly formatted email from the HR read. As she logs into her email, a notification greets her. A newly implemented engagement bot asks about her mood. Before she can click on an option, another notification beckons her attention. The first of many calls begin in another ten minutes.
Like Sandhya, millions of employees across India have witnessed pivotal shifts in their work and collaboration. And while these shifts might seem like knee-jerk reactions to the pandemic, forces evolving work have long been in motion.
Forces reshaping future of work in 2023
Workplace evolution has been a journey of ever-changing definitions for modern-day HR. The pandemic accelerated many of the evolutionary forces acting on companies over the past decade. The growing use of digital solutions, a multigenerational workforce with diverse demands, and a tumultuous business ecosystem today are actively shaping talent management priorities. Shifts that pose challenges to companies who cling to old ways of working and great opportunities to those who evolve.
For companies in India, this led to rapid shift to flexible work, the creation of newer business models to keep up with digitized consumer demand, and the dependence on digital solutions to maintain productivity in the face of rapid disruptions.
HR leaders across India have been pivotal in redefining the future of work in the post-pandemic era and ensuring important workforce indicators like hiring, engagement, productivity, and retention remain in check. While trends like the great resignation and reshuffle swept through Indian labor markets, through timely changes, adoption of digital solutions, and timely and impactful HR interventions, companies were able to ensure they hired and engaged better.
For instance, Anand took over the reins as the CHRO of a medical and healthcare services company in 2019. Since his appointment, Anand has been in the eye of a storm. Having implemented a multi-year transformation process to revamp the company's talent management practices, his plans had to be reworked once the pandemic struck. Timelines were pulled up, and suddenly Anand found himself hoping to meet fast-changing business demands. 'Evolve at the right pace or perish' soon became the unofficial driving force behind many of his talent decisions.
Today, sitting in 2023, when he looks back, he realized how little he knew the world would change. Yet, in the past few years, he had overseen his company's shift to a completely remote way of working, rapidly digitized their learning and skilling initiatives, created better avenues for digital engagement, implemented real-time and comprehensive well-being initiatives and was currently leveraging AI to improve the time and quality of his hires. Going forward, Anand knows evolution is fast becoming a cornerstone of impactful HR initiatives.
HR evolution perspectives in India
Many of Anand's initiatives are projected to grow in relevance in the coming year. AI-powered and data analytics-backed decision-making, for example, saw a significant rise in its application in the past few years. And reports suggest that this usage will grow in the coming years, with one suggesting that over 50 percent of organizations plan to increase their investments in artificial intelligence over the next two years.
While 2023 has its own challenges, HR leaders across the board, today are geared to evolve to leverage the opportunities present. With a greater focus on building organizational agility and employee experience, many like Anand today want to build an engaged and motivated, resilient workforce.
But it is easier said than done. How are companies across India empowering their employees and evolving to mitigate business threats and create newer, more competitive ways to grow? These essential questions require more profound insights to help HR leaders take the right decision.
The People Matters and Darwinbox research study HR Evolution Perspectives 2023: Empower & Evolve charts the progress of talent management practices and HR priorities in India. One of the largest studies of its kind, it is designed to explore trends and provide actionable insights to HR leaders across the board to help navigate 2023. As an HR leader or practitioner, it is your place to share your vision of change in 2023 and help build the right perspectives for this year and beyond.
Be a part of the change that you want to see in the world. Participate now to help shape HR evolution perspectives for 2023.