Technology, automation, changing workforce models, and a diverse workforce are transforming not only the nature of the organization but also the traditional role of the HR department. What will this role look like in the future of work? Will it be replaced or reinvented? And what does it need to do to earn its place in the future of work?
K.S. Harish, Country Group Head HR, South Asia at Bayer shared his thoughts on the same in an exclusive interaction with People Matters. In his role he handles the HR function for India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, overseeing over 5,000 employees in South Asia. His wide experience spanning over 27 years has provided Harish exposure to business partnering, leadership development, and change management across very different situations and cultures.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview-
Do you think your role as an HR leader will continue to exist in the future landscape of work?
Yes. HR will deeply embed itself with the business teams and play a very significant role in shaping leaders and employees towards a culture of performance and creating engaged employees towards an organization’s purpose
If yes, how do you perceive the role to evolve over the years? If not, how should HR leaders prepare for the role?
HR Leaders will need to spend even more time with business teams and shape winning strategies. As a close collaborator of functions and a key advisor and partner to the leader, HR leaders will need to hone their consulting, influencing and partnering skills.
As an HR leader, what are the two key aspects of your role that you see will not have the same kind of engagement?
There are two areas of an HR leader’s role which will significantly change over time-
- Recruiting – will move significantly to use more Artificial Intelligence and digital tools.
- Performance Management - will move to completely to the domain of the employee and the manager with minimal intervention from HR
In your opinion, with the intervention of AI and technology, do you see yourself managing a workspace with only robots or both (robots & humans)?
Humans will use robots and robotics. The development of greater digital mindsets in the workforce will enable appropriate use at the workplace.
How do you envision the future of work and the role of next-gen technology in redefining the role of HR?
I believe I have briefly alluded to it in my earlier responses, as technology keeps evolving, the need to engage within and outside the organization seamlessly will be needed. The lines between what’s purely within the organization and what’s out there will blur.
Taking” purpose” as the base for engagement, teams will be formed regardless of their nature of employment and the organization will need to deliver seamlessly to customers as well as create opportunities for learning, growth. And the development of such a varied workforce.
HR will need to play an important role in strategizing and executing these plans in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders.