What trends have you observed around HR tech adoption amid the COVID-19 crisis? How is the pandemic changing investments in HR tech?
The pandemic has acted as an accelerator in the process of digitalization. Organizations have realized the true value that digital technology brings to the table. HR teams are being actively involved in adopting innovative technologies at all levels like – recruitment process, employee engagement practices, and management processes. There has been an increased emphasis on mobile connectivity and visual communication as employees started working remotely.
The HR function is not just ensuring the smooth functioning of the business; technologies leveraging AI, ML are enabling new insights. In the new normal, HR functions like recruitment, interviews, onboarding, documentation, and training were conducted via various virtual platforms like Zoom, Teams, etc. So, we can safely say that from incorporating video analytics for regulating social distance in the office premise, to holding virtual happy hours, the HR function has been able to reinvent its role in the new normal.
What are some challenges you foresee in implementing a hybrid workplace?
As an organization, we take pride in our culture. However, when a company has a legacy as strong as Dalmia, there are bound to be ways of working or thinking which are not always very modern. So, getting people comfortable with technology requires change management.
Other than that, over the last decade and a half, we have grown manifolds both organically and inorganically. There have been multiple acquisitions and with each acquisition, there was a need to navigate workplace cultures and processes. We couldn’t look at them through a single lens and needed to respond to them in different ways and at the same time, help them assimilate into the overall organizational philosophy.
With mergers and acquisitions, we ended up having different sets of processes plus different platforms for each activity. So, we were doing a lot of things, but not everything converged into a common purpose and ideology. That was the biggest challenge that we had to address while conceptualizing our digital journey.
How are you thinking about employee experience in a hybrid workplace?
Our priority has always been about not just delivering output but creating an experience. Our mission statement guides us to unleash the potential of everyone we touch, and our strategy is designed to achieve the same. Our focus is on creating processes that are robust yet simple, quick, and efficient, while creating platforms that offer mobility and ease of use to people.
Given the increasing need for upskilling and reskilling that the pandemic has surfaced, how are you ensuring continued learning for your employees especially for the virtual workforce?
Learning is a continuous process. It cannot be limited to just an identified number of training hours to be completed but designing interventions that help people advance as professionals and evolve as better human beings. With Oracle implementation , we have been able to provide a common learning platform to all employees supporting both online and offline learning. The platform offers not just mandatory trainings related to organization processes and individual’s role in an organization but other voluntary learnings that employees would like to undertake.
A common platform also helps in better tracking and analysis of learning needs as well as inclination of everyone.
What changes are you seeing or expecting in your organization’s HR tech landscape to handle the new normal post-COVID-19?
By moving to Oracle at HCM Cloud, we adopted a digital path, which was aimed at not just to deliver a speedy solution to people, but also to help us bring about an entire cultural change in the organization. When I say cultural change, I mean, we wanted to reinvent the way people look at operations. I can talk specifically about HR as a function, our ability to track, to monitor, to review, analyze all the business solutions and deliver them proactively, has helped us, to position ourselves as a strategic business partner. And I think that is a very key ask from every HR professional.
With this implementation, we have been able to integrate multiple platforms running HR Operations. With Oracle as an inputs source every single platform gets an auto-update making it a single unified transaction, so that has helped us bring out a lot of efficiencies and effectiveness in our processes. Most importantly, it helped transform the entire perspective of people towards an HR solution. The UI is much easier and intuitive. We did not have to perform too much training as people found it easy to use it. I would see it as one of our biggest achievements while looking at the struggles of the past.
The other aspect is efficiency. The HR team was spending 8-9 hours doing the routine tasks, which is no longer the case. So, it is a case of increased efficiency there. In fact, on average around 25% of our bandwidth has been released to do so much more meaningful work. And there are so many more, employee connect and other initiatives that we, as an HR function have been able to plan around learning or leadership development around communication.