The rapid changes in the work culture due to the sudden emergence of the pandemic provoked all industries to embrace new technologies to ensure business continuity and meeting employee needs. But, what’s next? ‘The old business methods need to be rethought because those are not going to work in the economy that we are in right now’, shares Brian Sommer, Founder, TechVentive at the TechHR India Conference 2021. With all industries transitioning into massive technical changes in the work culture, it is expected that the future is going to be like something which otherwise either wouldn’t have been expected or would have slipped in slowly.
Need to reimagine HR Technology
With the evolution of workforce needs and expectations, the age-old practices of dealing with the workforce are not going to work anymore, believes Brian. In fact, if employers are looking forward to resting for another twenty years with a newly purchased technology, then that is not going to work either. Because the economy and the business world is in a highly fluid state right now for this to happen.
Employees are looking forward to better ways of working and they crave flexibility, the absence of which induces frustration among them. So, organizations must impart a certain level of satisfaction among the employees to avoid losing talents. Very few HR tools have features to perform all the functions of the HR team given the sophisticated needs of the new workforce. With a better tool, an organization may find its HR functions easing out. Starting right from the management of a huge workforce to the retention of the right talents, the performance of every task can be improved with the right technology.
Streamlining career and retention
Brian says, 'most people look for a career and not just a job. People today look for stability at the job that would give them the satisfaction, which may be a challenge for the employers to provide to the entire workforce and not just the top leaders.' In order to ensure the retention of the key talents, an organization must provide cross-functional learning and development programs and improve the working conditions. This also calls for the upskilling and enhanced ability of the leaders to help train their subordinates.
During the pandemic, several organisations had to undertake measures such as mass layoff, salary cuts, and many others due to affected businesses. This may have affected the brand image which needs to be repaired. The first step towards damage control should be to offer jobs back to laid-off employees and show the face of humanity to the job seekers in order to hire the potential players post-crisis.
According to Brian, there is going to be a rising demand for the right talents and organisations may struggle to find the right people. There are going to be many workers who expect and want more from their employers in terms of improved social contracts.
Talent supply chain
Employers must invest more time in the management of the supply chains of skills. Most employers face challenges while making decisions about whom to use how. The supply chain problem being acute, the companies must trust their alumni. He asks, 'if you think that a part of the workforce can’t be trained or upskilled, then what did you do?'
Alumni are people who know your organizational values. Alumni know an organization better than new employees and can work faster and skilled better than the new ones. Brian insists that if an organization fails to maintain the alumni list, then the fault is on the part of the organisation.
However, having alumni back on board may throw several challenges at the employers, the first being the real ground on which they may have left the company. Not all alumni leave a company on a good note or retirement. Some may have other reasons such as dissatisfaction towards the company which they still may be possessing. Assessing the perception of alumni towards the organisation is a real challenge.
So, it must be figured out what could be the right process to bring back an extremely sought employee. However, no company can completely rely on alumni. The importance of the supply chain will continue to exist. Companies need to hunt for the latest technologies such as data analytics to source new talent.
Brian concludes by saying that organisations need to find out what could be the right ways to retain talents and how they could maintain a healthy relationship with the employees, candidates and alumni. They should pick work tech tools that enable their people to function smoothly. Some of the tools may be short-lived, but companies need to figure out how to cross such hurdles and avoid getting into long-term contracts with the developer companies to remain at par with the changing needs of the hour.