The global pandemic has brought about a new set of challenges for the world of business. The unprecedented nature of the crisis has forced companies to launch the world’s largest work-from-home exercise. It has disrupted supply chains and is creating a new normal at the workplace.
Speaking about the shifts, R. Swaminathan, Chief People Officer, WNS Group spoke about how the company that has operations in a number of countries including India, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Africa had to reinvent their processes to keep the business running. The company focused on five categories: 1) Logistics management, 2) Planning for work from home enablement, 3) Securing operations and work culture 4) Keeping employees safe 5) Preparing for a restart.
“This is going to be a marathon and not a sprint, that’s why we need to focus on the long-term,” Swaminathan said.
The new normal – what’s needed
“Not all teams are going to be busy during this lockdown,” he noted. Therefore, it’s necessary to use this time to prepare for the post-lockdown onslaught of work. Leaders need to have the clarity of thought, especially when making decisions that have a long-lasting impact. Agile workplace culture is needed and there’s a need to think through the commercial and economic ramifications for the organization.
Speaking about how technology is helping the organization during this crisis, Swaminathan spoke about how the pulse of the organization is measured using chatbots – which helps the HR team understand the kind of support that’s needed for the employee. Technology is also helping the company understand productivity and enabling employees to learn.
“The coronavirus crisis has catapulted HR leaders on to the spotlight,” said Ashwani Chandhok, Senior Director, Platform Cloud Solutions Oracle, Asia Pacific citing a recent report by the Economist.
Reinforcing the importance of well-being, he noted that the future of work is the future of employee wellbeing. And technology can help in providing an authoritative mode of communication, proactively help those in need, enable remote guided learning paths and task management, help assess sentiment analysis, and improve overall effectiveness.
Talking about the latest additions to the Oracle apps platform, Ashwani spoke about how the autonomous platform can be used to proactively reach out to vulnerable employees. One can track employee locations closer to the hotpots – by doing a quick check-in. This central repository can help companies collect data on employee wellbeing.
In terms of tracking productivity, technology can help employees use this time to learn new skills, or deepen existing skills. Technology can help proactively track tasks and resources. It can also help improve team effectiveness by providing an intuitive org-wide productivity dashboard comparing all teams on the same criteria.
Identifying top talent, and assessing which of your employees are at risk of attrition can also help HR leaders optimize their talent strategy. Understanding what are the key contributors to attrition and tracking KPIs that matter is important.
Another area where technology is playing a key role is in understanding stakeholder sentiments on internal or public social media – anger, fear, sadness, surprise, or happy – how are your employees feeling? In addition to it, companies can also create surveys to improve employee experience and engagement.
As the world of work adjusts to a new normal, understanding the potential of the technology can greatly reduce the challenges that companies face.
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