It is a well-known fact that today we are living in an ever-changing environment compelling every organisation to adapt in all areas, not only to thrive but also to survive. Irrespective of the business climate change, demographic alteration, deeper technology proliferation and not so upbeat economic growth will be a crucial input. 2020 will be kairotic as we strive to balance changing employee dynamics whilst maximizing business impact. Some of the trends to watch out for are:
Data, Data, Data!
Data is the new oil and in a wired world one can source talent across the globe using this data to its maximum capacity. While HR has always recognised the importance of data, analytics has added a new dimension by helping in strengthening recruitment and retention. Predictive analytics helps organisations to identify behavioural patterns of employees, correlate various events to the real problem or causes, understand real reasons and possible future actions.
A key use of analytics data is to enable engagement with employees via custom made initiatives depending upon the career life cycle/ geography and role of the employee. One can also drive productivity, for example organizational health index gives you valuable insight on both preventive and curative steps using which one can deepen employee work norms, and even design the work place with optimum number of seats – for example if an organization has majority of the employees who are on field do you need assigned seats for each one of them?
Using analytics data in HR leads to improved employee experience, increased productivity, and eliminating bias in decision-making.
While analytics can support HR in identifying patterns and eliminating issues, the level of an employee’s commitment or connect to their company is basis the level of engagement. Recognition of work, nurturing change makers in leadership, employee wellness, meritocracy, inclusivity and integrity are all crucial elements of making a person Belong to the company rather than just work for the company.
Crazy city traffic is global phenomenon and a clear example, this is where Bengaluru takes the cake – I came across an organization which had analysed the employee’s residence and place of work then deployed a bus which has a complete office setting with connectivity. So, an employee can start work the moment they hop on to the bus and the commute time is counted as work time. Brilliant isn’t it!
With proliferation of technology in every aspects of life organizations have leveraged to provide services without investing on inhouse modules. Some examples to consider are - making apps available for health care for self and family, financial management, learning module etc.
Do It Yourself – the DIY approach
Though better engagement is at the crux of an organisation, increasingly people are becoming more independent in their working style e.g. Today workers are expected to show personal initiative, learn on the job, ask intelligent questions to drive projects and endeavour to independently drive results.
Over the course of time, several of the HR practices and processes have taken a more of a DIY approach including -
- Use of collaborative tools to create a seamless network of people across multiple locations of the organizations and in turn minimizing the need for individual team members to travel
- Encouraging habits that contribute to the environment and to be part of enhancing green cover of the planet including conservation of water and energy, disrupting the use of single use plastic, minimal use of paper, etc.
- The availability of forums where employees can contribute their time, finance and/or material resources
- Be a listening post for the organization and relay back any kind of information about the product /organization/ competition or any best in class process which can be a more responsible and purpose driven organization. One can get ideas from anywhere – just be a keen observer and see what you can pick for the organization
- And imbibe a high level of personal accountability.
Individual Social Responsibility:
Besides work, personal accountability also translates to Individual Social Responsibility - a moral belief wherein we as individuals have a responsibility towards the society. Being "socially responsible" is about all individuals behaving ethically and sensitively towards social, economic, and environmental issues. While this is the basic definition, organisations must be cognisant that ISR is at the root of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), because a corporate comprises of individuals and over a period determines an organisation’s social responsibility culture. In short, if ISR becomes a way of life, CSR could become an instinctive result.
Employees should be encouraged to be aware of ISR (individual social responsibility) and demonstrate tangible action whether it is water/energy conservation, green and good practices or any action that can Heal the World! Employees that are actively involved in the community, gain motivation and pride in their work through these personal-development opportunities. The more engaged and invested they are in their organization, the more productive they will be and act as brand ambassadors enhancing the organisation’s reputation and company culture.
The Future is Now:
It’s no secret that technology, automation and differentiated approach is transforming the global workplace, leaving many employees worried about their future and job security. It is incumbent upon every HR practitioner to gear their employees towards developing new skills to prepare for the future. Continuous learning and mentoring, rewarding entrepreneurial nature and providing a learning environment that is not only challenging but also innovative, are some of the crucial elements.
Conclusion: Managing the ever-evolving workplace dynamics is an eternal journey. It is also a moving goal post. There is no ideal recipe that ensures instant success. It is an iterative process and traveling through is both challenging and satisfying than reaching the destination. From hiring the best talent to utilizing the data gathered to engage with them through custom-made initiatives, offering work flexibility, 24x7 connectivity and encouraging employees to be more inclusive organizations need to be prepared in the new decade to not only offer their employees with the best possible work environments but in turn ensuring the productivity of the organizations continue to grow.