The tides are changing. The question being asked is no longer “Where do you work?” but “What are you working on?” There are new rules of work dominating the workplace. Work has become more deeply embedded in our lives than before. We work everywhere and all the time – from stable jobs to gig culture, from time bound to 24×7 time zone and from office-based to co-sharing or home-based flexible work arrangements. For better or worse, the line between work and life is almost disappearing. And thanks to technological disruption, it is transforming every aspect of managing people. Hence, the task of HR has become even more critical.
There’s a strong need for a re-skilled HR team – a team that can handle the nuances of the current changes, meets stakeholder’s expectations by becoming a partner and creates a workplace which is future-ready.
Here are a few things you need to do as a leader and custodian of a progressive HR function when it comes to making your team future ready:
1. Enhance the Tech Quotient (TQ) of your existing team
In order to keep up the HR evolution trend, you must measure the ‘Tech Quotient’ of your team. Find answers to these three critical questions:
How digitally savvy is your team?
Do any of your team members have experience in implementing tech tools?
How forthcoming are your HR team members when it comes to adopting new age solutions for the organization?
The adoption of digital technology has already seen a huge impact on Human Resources. As per a report based on research conducted by Accenture and Success Factors, a more technologically advanced HR department has three immediate benefits: 2% decrease in turnover, 7% increase in internal job fill rate and up to 5.4% increase in productivity.
With AI-based tools and cognition related technologies, HR processes are becoming agile. They are enabling better people decisions and reduction of human biases. If your HR team is still not aware of the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of AI tools that are available in the market, it’s time for you to plan to educate them on various resources with respect to technology or you may outsource it to consultants who can train and guide. There is no substitute to TQ in this technology-driven world for HR professionals.
2. Frame a Solid Career Plan
As an HR Leader, it is imperative for you to ensure that your team is updated with skills that future jobs require. According to a study, 4 out of 10 jobs today will be lost due to automation. As a leader, you need to have a long-term career plan framed for the team.
Look at opportunities where demographics are changing.
Identify competencies your team will require based on the organizational vision.
Prepare a road map of their career so that they are business ready.
3. Create Learning Workers
According to a report by World Economic Forum, one-third of the skills that are now considered important will change in the next five years. As a leader make sure that you are trained to equip the kind of re-skilling’ that is required for yourself and the team. Keep seeking answers to these questions at a fixed interval:
Where is your business heading towards?
What kind of skills do you want your team to have?
Where is the gap and how do you bridge it?
What do you want to learn to keep yourself and the team updated?
Along with attending seminars and networking sessions, it is imperative that the HR team undergoes training on a regular basis. Help create learning workers in your team. Build “always-on” continuous learning experiences that allow employees to acquire skills, quickly and easily, on their own terms. And link these learnings with performance and rewards. Be a role model and walk the talk.
4. Build Change Champions
Get ahead of the curve and bring a change. Develop the art of storytelling through data in your team. HR professionals need to manage relationships with the right blend of influence when it comes to adoption of any change. This trait helps build change champions.
Storytelling through data – There’s an uncanny sense of resistance when it comes to adoption of anything new in the system. Successful change agents are good data storytellers who use data and then translate them into reliable insights for action.
Relationship Manager – One cannot force employees to change immediately. Influencing and relationship building skills help in building such bridges. Develop and harness these skills to listen empathetically and translate information in ways others can comprehend.
5. Business Know-how is a Must
HR professionals should be well prepared to influence the organizational culture by creating customer and employee experiences well-aligned to the core business sustenance needs. The needs must be congruent between people and organizational performance. Businesses cannot afford to compromise the quality of their HR team when it comes to transforming the talent ecosystem. However, all of this is feasible only when the Human Resource team has a full ‘know how’ about what is going around in the ecosystem – the business needs and challenges. Unfortunately, HR has many shades of non-technicality that lacks to establish the credibility required vis-à-vis other functions like Sales and Marketing. Knowing the nitty-gritty of business, competitor, finances, market forecast and technical trends is as important as knowing the internal culture, people, and competencies. Get your teams to participate in Sales meet and train them in creating marketing plans cross-functionally. From understanding the balance sheet to developing competitive intelligence report; these are all required to qualify to become a new age HR leader.
Evolve and re-skill your team to prepare for the future!
In the changing HR landscape, be brave enough to ‘give it a shot.’ Explore different avenues to evolve further and enhance your and the team’s preparedness for future. The readiness to change and the congruency between organizational valence (Will the new changes benefit my organization?) and personal valence (Will such changes benefit me, personally?) is seen as one of the critical deciding factors. And organization’s leaders need to be fully committed to such transformation. And hence, such prominence will eventually give rise to collective new behaviours that will help to create new age HR teams.