Blog: HR challenges and interventions for organizations


HR challenges and interventions for organizations

What could be the three most critical HR-related challenges for Indian organizations, and what interventions will be the most useful to address these problems? Read on, for the author's take.
HR challenges and interventions for organizations

The rapidly transforming social & technological landscape means that the business and workforce of future is going to change in the way they operate hugely. 

My first-hand experience with my current organisation lets me know that there is an increasing focus on a) using big-data (not only in HR space), b) enhancing work efficiencies with digitisation/automation and redeployment of resources, c) revamping the people processes (with a large focus on talent management) to make the organisation future ready.

Top three macro trends which will (some of them are already visible) impact HR priorities for business in near future are as below:- 

  • Big Data – Will raise expectations from HR for predictive and prescriptive analytics. 
  • "On demand" consumer expectations – Will drive demand for far superior employee experience coupled with complete automation/digitization run-of-the-mill HR processes. 
  • Digital disruptions / Automation / Robotics / Artificial intelligence: Will not only make normal straight-jacketed (rule-based) jobs redundant but will also drive a drastic shift in skill requirements across a multitude of jobs. 

In addition to macro-trends mentioned above (some of which are already visible), some of the large companies in India shall face particular challenges in the area of leadership development and executive succession. Today, most of the business houses are owner driven where a vast majority of MD/CEOs/Executive directors are founders (or immediate next generations) themselves. These companies typically (not generalizing) have common traits:  

  • The centralized chain of commands – The delegation of authority & decision making powers at the next-in-line leadership are very weak (if not entirely lacking). 
  • No formal succession planning mechanism in place – Vicious cycle of no authority to next line of organizational leaders and hence a lack of right capabilities for CEO succession.  

Interventions which will be most useful to address these challenges: 

Creating Change Management CoEs (centre of excellence team)

The technology of today is rapidly changing, and the shelf life of any product is getting reduced after every invention. The same shall be reflected in the HR policies, processes, and systems as well. 

The rapid pace of change will also get reflected in the business environment and shall demand constant augmentation in the organizational culture to suit business strategy. 

For organizations which want to stay ahead of the curve, this will need a dedicated team which works on pre-empting change requirements, design suitable people policies/processes and project manage its implementation. Also, this will need to house people with specific skills in change management to lead the cultural transformation. 

Talent Management  

Some of the areas to specifically focus are as below:-

  • Executive/CEO Succession – Current Indian organizations do not have robust processes around that. The same is visible in over dependence on blood relations/heirs. 
  • Diversity & Inclusion – There is healthy growth seen in women employment in the country. As more and more women (and third gender) join the workforce, their smooth assimilation and journey to the top management will need to be enabled suitably. 
  • Leadership Development / HiPO development – Indian organizations (many are learning fast) need to delegate authority and decision making powers to next in-line leadership. But it has to be enabled with suitable interventions in the area of learning and capability developments for these leaders.  

Tomorrow's employee will come with more sophisticated skills. And hence will expect enhanced value proposition from the employer. The aspirations of career development and total reward will need to be managed with suitable customization to focus on every resource.  

Capability Building & Skill Enhancement

On account of digitization & automation, there will be a tectonic shift in the skill requirement. The huge number of peripheral works will get automated. Works which remain human dependent will have complex skill based jobs.

Most of the Indian organizations (since lead by one family/related of decision makers) have high empathy quotient when it comes to firing people. Also on account of society/government's focus on employment creation, firing employees despite process efficiencies will be very challenging and shall be a less likely event. 

Therefore, the HR teams of the organization will be under pressure to re-skill the employees and redeploy them in suitable new jobs. Becoming a learning organization is of paramount importance. Building learning academies and re-skilling frameworks are going to be critical success factors. 

Employee Centricity & Employee Experience

The advent of digital disruptions/automation means that only the complex/critical jobs will need human employment. It also means that majority of the employees of future organizations will be ones with complex skills and hence highly valued. – In such a scenario, HR will have to customize policies, processes, and systems to take care of each of the employee's unique requirements. HR function will need to define segments and sub segments of employees (to a great detail) to structure value propositions for every employee uniquely. 

Big data is also creating big expectations from HR. Organizations are already making new investments in HR analytics, will enable the HR function to bring more insightful and scientific talent analytics (both predictive and prescriptive) to management decision making.

Employees (& the business leadership) will expect increased ease of employment experience. Once-in-a-while processes will be replaced by real time solutions (for eg: employee engagement surveys, annual performance appraisal, etc.). A fixed work location will be a thing of the past. The methods of employee (mass) communication will go under transformation. The employee transactions, query management, will be expected on-the-go solutions. The payroll shall be entirely automated and may not be far-fetched if the frequency of salary pay-out become demand based.     

Read full story

Topics: Technology

Did you find this story helpful?



How do you envision AI transforming your work?