“AI will free up HR to focus on judgement and creative thinking,” Sriharsha Achar group CHRO, Apollo hospitals group

Sharing his thoughts over how technology will reduce the redundancies at work for HR but now HRs will need to give a human angle to the whole situation in the coming years. Sriharsha Achar, group CHRO, Apollo hospitals group on HRKatha 2019 Forecast.



More power to HR in 2019

The human resources landscape has transformed in the past decade and is evolving at a faster pace than ever before. The reason does not boil down exclusively to technology, as one must expect. Rather, it is the employers’ increased awareness of the need for diversity, equal opportunities and support, wherever that may be needed.

The following are the pointers, which will enable HR to be the powerhouse of any business in the coming years:

HR operations: Artificial intelligence and emerging technologies will give HR a massive facelift, creating great change in mundane and repetitive tasks – recruiting, learning, employee experience and talent management – in 2019. This will free up human potential to focus on judgement and creative thinking.

Employee experience: Gone are the days when employees only wanted a paycheck and a designation. 2019 will be the time to concentrate on what employees feel and whether they are heard and cared for at work. HR with strong focus on strengthening the culture of success and deriving employee happiness will enhance the productivity and help achieve organisational goals.

Learning tools: One size doesn’t fit all! Customisation is the key.

Download the HRKatha 2019 Forecast – powered by Sodexo to read what the top 30 HR leaders predict for the new year

The real HR will stand up and get closer to people

Advances in technology have evolved HR’s role beyond administration, and the professionals are expected to be more strategic. It’s no secret that machines are taking on many manual, repetitive, and even problem-solving tasks. But capabilities, such as empathy, autonomous creativity, moral judgement, and the creation of meaning, remain exclusive to humans. The ‘human’ in human resources is becoming a competitive advantage for organisations.

“The ‘human’ in human resources is becoming a competitive advantage for organisations”

Social belongingness at the workplace, interpersonal relationships, breaking silos between teams, team dynamics, carving career journeys, and ensuring health and well-being are responsibilities to be shouldered by human resources for productive and performing organisations.

Technology will allow HR to be more human

While technology may guide through all aspects of HR, the human touch / factor will not go missing. It may transform processes that have relied on human labour but the sheen of human factor cannot be removed.

There will be data-backed conversations. The ‘human’ angle will be required to deal with sensitive issues.

Technology will be responsible for the big picture of employee happiness at work. Proactive measures by HR professionals will be needed to counter the risk of leaving.

Competing organisations and their strategies to retain top talent can be understood with the help of technology. The application of technology to the culture of your organisation will need strategic, creative thinking.

Cost control / war on waste. While insights can be provided with data mining, its presentation to the management will need human intervention.

“Employers’ increased awareness of the need for diversity, equal opportunities and support will give more power to HR”

Perennial Issues – weakened productivity, high turnover rates, and a lack of team collaboration and innovation

Matters such as weakened productivity are age-old issues for HR. These can be dealt with if HR collaborates with the finance, business and operational leaders, identifies appropriate measures, understands the related roles and implements interventions.

Productivity can be improved by:

Engaging employees at the workplace (employee motivation).

Ensuring leadership capability to handle teams and their performances.

High turnover rates /attrition decreases the overall efficiency of the company. It is an important quality indicator used to assess the health of an organisation.

Attrition can be controlled by:

 – A comprehensive engagement plan to keep employees happy.

 – A strong culture.

 – Opportunities for career growth.

 – Prioritising camaraderie and providing promotions and hikes to build employee loyalty.

Team collaboration and innovation can be achieved by:

 – Inclusion of diverse workforce with complimenting ideas for innovation.

 – Handholding of new team members and helping in smooth sailing in the organisation.

 – Rewarding and recognising achievements and performances.

Managing diverse workforce

Diversity management is an evolving concept. It can be managed by:

 – An inclusive work culture with open and clear communication.

 – A workplace culture free from harassment and glass ceiling for women to be discouraged.

 – A motivated, engaged and committed workforce. Atypical working, flexibility, efficiency over working hours, remote working, hiring based on personality and not just qualification, and people analytics (mental wellbeing) will have to be focused on.

HRKatha 2019 Forecast is powered by Sodexo

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