Leading organizations around the world consider people as the central focus of their growth strategy. With the rise of affordable and accessible communication technology, and consumers who are spoilt for choices, our work environment has changed tremendously over the last few years. Therefore, the legacy ways of managing human resources have to make way for some innovation. The HR leaders have to move away from specialist roles to wear multiple hats. This means unlearning some old professional habits and gaining some new competencies. Here is how HR can be the change leader for a new age business:
Rather than having a mechanical approach towards typical HR functions like recruitment, payroll management, appraisals, conflict management, and employee retention etc., HR needs to use a new lens to look at the business. This lens will allow the HR leaders to bring Customer Orientation, Delivery Excellence, Innovation, Business Acumen, Emotional Quotient, Technical and Analytical Skills into their vision as well as day-to-day operations.
Apart from developing the above competencies, it is also important to manage HR in a more Agile way, i.e., aligning HR operations based on business needs and seeking regular feedback from all stakeholders. In other words, HR leaders need to become enablers and not merely administrators.
Technology has disrupted every facet of business. HR management is no exception. There are several iterative HR activities that can be automated for better accuracy, cost reduction, or simply to enhance the user experience throughout their journey.
For instance, technologies such as artificial intelligence, chatbots, machine learning, and data analytics have been picking steam. While these are currently being used for basic use cases, possibilities are endless. These technologies are not only helping in automating certain processes, but also uncovering insights for HR problem solving and better decision making. As a result, the conversations between HR and employees has become more engaging and meaningful; leading to higher productivity.
Technology also empowers HR leaders with a lot of measurability, something that they always missed. With big data analytics capabilities, performance measurement and management becomes much more rational. With IoT becoming the next big tech-leap, HR has the opportunity to connect with employees using multiple devices/platforms, and make communication more seamless and transparent.
The new age workplaces are receiving more and more millennials every day. Their expectations from the workplace are completely different from what Gen X had. An important expectation is transparency and openness in work environment. Thus, it requires an increased focus by businesses to enhance engagement levels.
The key to manage this expectation is communication and it is never enough. Be it townhalls, hackathons, periodic newsletters, a webinar, or collaboration over social media, everything counts when it comes to engaging with millennials.
The HR leaders need to be careful while selecting the right platform for communication with new age employees. There should be a balance between too formal platforms like emails and a casual approach like Workplace.
Embrace the Change
Before embarking on the transformation journey, the HR leaders should realize that they will undergo a major change. This realization helps them to become more agile and embrace the changes they undertake.
Acquiring new competencies becomes easier when we believe that there is a dire need to do so. The HR leaders should try to leverage vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in the modern business environment rather than shying away from it.