“HR will help business leverage market opportunities” – Saba Adil

Saba Adil, chief people officer, Raheja QBE, is confident that people and culture were, are and will be the strategic differentiators for organisations always, and HR will need to continue to build this social capital

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2020: What to learn – what to erase

What turned out to be a boon was the amazing speed and adaptability demonstrated in embracing change, and accomplishing what had looked almost impossible at the beginning. In a short period, organisations came out with their business continuity plans (BCP) and tried their best to run businesses even working from home, which actually came to be the accepted norm. This has given businesses more confidence that innovations can happen in a short period of time, and even amidst adverse conditions. They will now be willing to take more calculated risks in seeking market opportunities or challenging themselves to create a more superior customer experience. They will make new workforce models, apart from the physical and virtual workforce! Hence, they will be more amenable to adopt these over the long term.

One thing to erase will be the health risk and nervousness that the pandemic brought about.

HR has shown great agility and business acumen

Most companies today acknowledge the importance of the HR function. Clearly, HR has evolved over time from being just a compliance or administration function to being at the centre, driving business transformation. This change has not happened overnight and HR has been working hard, whether through enhancing its own business knowledge, driving business changes, building talent and capabilities, driving culture or planning the future of work. The ingredients are all there in place. Of course, continuous learning and evolution are the need of the day, but I would say HR has come a long way in building its own credibility.

Human resources is at the centre to create an enabling and empowering employee experience through technology enablement and culture designs

2021 – changing organisational design

2021 will be about how HR can help businesses leverage market opportunities by creating a more agile organisation (focus on organisation design and change management) and a workforce that is adaptable, customer oriented and resilient (focus on skill and capability building). People and culture were, are and will be the strategic differentiators for an organisation, and HR will need to continue to build this social capital.

2021 – HR turning into a service centre for internal clients with more tech

Apart from using HR tech to empower employees to manage self-service themselves, the importance of ‘employee experience’ in an organisation cannot be overemphasised. It is becoming an essential element in the virtual or hybrid world as most employee touch points are virtual — right from onboarding and employee engagement to learning, talent development, communication and so on. These interactions or touch points in the employee life cycle go on to define culture. Human resources is at the centre to create an enabling and empowering employee experience through technology enablement and culture designs. This will ensure a meaningful employee experience for the employee as well as the organisation.

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