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?
Vinay Deshpande, Chief People Officer, Mahindra Finance shared his thoughts on the same in an exclusive interaction with People Matters. 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?
Technological disruption is invading our life where machines can now do almost everything. We are reaching a point of convergence between man and machine. In the near future, offices are going to see humans, robots, drones, and intelligent machinery working together to solve business problems. These dynamic changes will create the questions never asked before for the HR fraternity. We will have to rewrite the conventional rules of HR in this new world.
“My role as an HR leader will continue to exist, but the work and the responsibilities might evolve. HR leaders will have to align their role with the technological advancements and work in synergy towards business growth.”
If yes, how will it have changed?
While the role of HR leaders will continue to exist, it will witness some major changes. Following are some of those changes described in brief:
• HR will have to move from workforce planning for full-time employees to take advantage of the big economy and evaluate technological solutions.
• Instead of fixed skills requirements, HR will have to look for diverse workforce skills to cope up with technological advancement.
• The workforce will move away from career ladders towards career experience.
• Employee will move away from job description towards tasks which are aggregated as roles. This will give HR an opportunity to optimize the manpower as their work will be not be restricted to a certain description
As an HR leader, what are the two key aspects of your role that you will no longer be engaged with, in the future of work?
There will be no transactional responsibilities. Most of the work in HR administration will cease to exist in the future role. HR will be involved mostly in business & strategy. Also, all interpretations will be done by AI based applications.
In your opinion, will HR be managing people or robots OR both in the future?
Computers can create but people communication solves the most important human problems. The robots and machinery can elevate the work and its productivity, but human intervention will be required from time to time. As manager of the workforce, HR will be managing both humans and robots in the future. The two will need to work in synergy under the watch of HR personnel for effective and efficient productivity.
How do you envision the future of work and the role of next-gen technology in redefining the role of HR?
The implosion of robots in the workforce is going to create a lasting impact on the workforce and occupation. In fact, technology has already had a great impact on the workforce so far. Take the following trends for example:
- According to a study, by 2025, the market will witness 5.25 robots per thousand humans.
- 20% of the workforce will be robotics.
- 375 million workers will switch occupational categories because of technological advancement.
Such facts prove the impact of next-gen technology in redefining the workforce which eventually leads to the change in role of HR.
“The HR fraternity will have to optimise the manpower as well as AI and machinery, to create the most suitable working environment, where the resources can work in synergy towards the business growth.”