The world may have vaccines in 2021 but it still needs the ability to respond and adapt to change continually. No wonder, just like 2020, 2021 will be another year marked by continuous reinvention, transformation, and adaptation. Companies will need to focus on purposeful transformation to tide over the vulnerabilities and create plans for managing a global workforce.
In an exclusive interaction with us, Capt. Partha Samai, Group Head- Human Resources, Ags Transact Technologies, shares with us why continuous reinvention is the need of the hour and ways in which HR will be critical to managing the ever-changing world of work this year, and ultimately redefining the way work gets done from this point forward.
2021 will call for continuous reinvention. What are some of the ways you are reinventing the workplace at AGS Transact?
The year has called for realigning teams because otherwise, we won’t be able to realign with the organizational goals. The idea is to relook at functions in a way so that we are able to deliver the same KPIs as before COVID. One important thing that powers this recalibration and re-collaboration with other functions is developing resilience at the workplace. This re-collaboration called for building more empathetic workplaces, as was demonstrated by the first three months of the crisis. What this empathy has also resulted in people have become very good listeners.
In addition, we have also started respecting each other’s times as all of us struggled to balance our work and home life.
As an organization, we also increased our speed of resolutions for problems of our field personnel or the frontline.
What are some of the policy and process changes that your organization has brought about in order to reinvent the workplace after the pandemic?
The first and foremost change that we brought about was incentivizing the field staff. Because for us, keeping the ATMs serviced and working was very important. We also instituted bravery awards and going the extra mile awards which were department and area-specific, especially in difficult terrains.
When it comes to working from home, it was a little tricky for us as we deal with a lot of confidential data and for that, people can’t work remotely or alone. Hence complete uberization of work or gig economy is not possible for cash and bank businesses given the fidelity issues.
How are some of the ways in which innovation and sustainability will be encouraged at AGS Transact?
Innovation has always been in the DNA of our organization as we are in a business that is ever-evolving. The technology and infrastructure around ATMs have changed a lot from what it was to be a decade before and are still evolving in this domain. The technological hunger to change things in this industry will always be present; hence from that perspective, our tech team was always on its toes and it still remains the same.
From an organization’s perspective, we too equipped employees with all the required tech tools which help keep track of productivity and ensuring that deliverables were delivered on time.
How do you see the role of HR getting transformed and reinvented this year?
This year, modalities of hiring will be very different as we will have to train our recruitment team to be more clear on the objectives given that campus hiring will be virtual; the concept of exercises such as group discussion is also not more relevant under current circumstances. So how do you really shortlist or filter people will be a big question.
Also, there has been a lot of shift from assessments and IQ to EQ. Departments need people who have the agility and flexibility to take on these frequent changes which are becoming a part of our lives.
Challenges are in quantum; you have to be your own warrior, and still deliver. Hence people will value EQ scores over IQ now.
Thirdly, HR will also have to understand as well as design each and everything very objectively. There has been a lot of discussion on all KPIs becoming number-driven; but in current circumstances, they need to be more objective-driven when it comes to deliverables.
How can organizations reinvent learning and skilling this year to crisis-proof their employees?
We did a lot of hard work in this regard as technology in our business, specifically, the digital payments business is changing rapidly. Earlier, there was more classroom training, but last year we created modules to familiarize our employees with the changes through our digital learning systems. They would then be equipped to deploy these changes in the machines in their areas of responsibility. Hence we have realized and reinverted our own rigid thought processes that learning can only be delivered physically. Ultimately, there has been a whole lot of recalibrating and reskilling of our own selves and our rigid thought processes this year, so much so that the new normal has become business as usual.