“GenZ will pose uncomfortable questions to employers, which their predecessors have never dared to” Nihar Ghosh

We cannot be living in two different ages – advanced tools and technologies to understand our customers, and archaic ways in understanding our employees, Nihar Ghosh, president-HR, Emami for HR 2020 forecast

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Technology, data, employee experience – What is high on agenda

In our agenda, technology will be the number one priority in 2020, followed by employee experience. While we have already started some initiatives this year, some will be adapted next year. Third on our list will be data. We will want to use data to make accurate decisions and also make employee life-cycle decisions. We are focussing more on technology because we want to make all services applicable through multiple platforms. There are some which are under evaluation. We will implement technologies, which will make it easy for our employees to access information on the go, and also simplify the process of making transactions.

The biggest challenge for HR in your sector

Finding top-quality talent was a challenge last year and continues to be a challenge this year as well. Another challenge will be building a strong employee value proposition. These days, it is very important to give a positive experience to employees. Employees are looking at the overall experience of working with companies. To give a better employee experience, we have revamped our talent-acquisition process. There is a change in the selection process of employees. Assessment tools are being used rather than depending only on face-to- face interactions. These initiatives are being taken to make a better talent pool, create transparency and provide a better experience to employees. We have been using psychometric tests for all managerial hiring positions.

Role of analyst in HR

Analysts will be required who can go through the data and give precise choices to help in the decision-making process. Analysts in HR can help make decisions pertaining to the career progression of the employees. We cannot be living in two different ages. On one hand, we are using the latest advanced tools and technologies to understand our customers, and on the other, we stick to archaic ways in understanding our employees. When we want to make decisions related to an employee moving into a new role, we will seek a prediction and will want to know the possibilities of that person being successful in that role. To do this, we will need analytical tools. Conventional HR tools used past data to do this, which is not sufficient. Given the cost of a wrong decision in HR, a mistake is something that we cannot afford at any cost. With analytical support, the success rate of an employee can be gauged.

GenZ: a catalyst to change

The role of HR depends on the demographic design of an organisation. For instance, a company has, say, 25 per cent millennials in the workforce. However, this number will change in the coming five years as the baby boomers will retire. Therefore, there is a possibility of the number of millennials going up to 50 to 55 per cent. There will be a need for HR to think ahead and prepare themselves for the coming generations.

There may be some questions, which have never been asked by the current set of employees, but the coming generations may pose those questions — the very questions which an organisation may have been dodging all these years. Line managers will need to understand GenZ and millennials in order to communicate with them effectively. In our organisation, 80 per cent of the people are non-millennials, but we never ask our managers to completely ignore the millennials. Because, this is a generation which they will need to face a few years down the line. After all, a people manager cannot afford to ignore any one segment of employees in the workforce.

( This article first appeared in HRKatha print magazine )

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