More Power to HR in 2019
It is not ‘more power’ to HR but more responsibility to HR in 2019. The role of HR is on the upswing, and 2019 and beyond will see phenomenal growth in the HR function. While hardware (product and technology) is easy to procure, culture, talent and reputation cannot be bought nor replicated. The people quotient will become more important for organisations to achieve a competitive edge on a sustainable basis. With the advent of technology data analytics and artificial intelligence in the HR function, its importance has increased.
There will be a churn of people in terms of demography and sources. The role of HR will be to meaningfully engage this large contingent of heterogenous employees. There is a beautiful book called, Amalgamation of Man and Machine, which highlights the arrival of a new era where man and machine will collaborate to create intelligence. This is a big shift and HR will play a significant role in its smooth running.
“Technology driven small bites of interactive learning using multiple faculties are going to be the new trend”
The biggest challenge for HR in your sector
In my sector, the biggest challenge is to attract top-class talent and retain them. In the pharma sector, due to regulation in the business, there is a lot of churn of people. Continuity and talent retention will pose a challenge to our sector. The fight is for the top 10 per cent to 20 per cent people in each discipline — regulatory, quality, and research and development. These are the three major domains in our industry. Millennials form 70 per cent of our workforce and the majority of their managers are GenX. Our challenge is to ensure that the two work together in a cohesive manner. The third challenge is to change the mindset of our managers to assimilate technology and not consider it as a threat.
HR’s role in maintaining profit margins in an environment of price control and increasing employee cost
‘When the going gets tough the tough get going.’ Organisations will have to learn to work on the principle of ‘lean’. A lean and efficient organisation structure, which is flatter and less hierarchical should be the aim. In 2019 and beyond, HR will recognise the power of the future generation. HR will leverage GenZ’s creativity, innovation and energy. The younger lot is a power house of ideas and HR will tap into that resource.
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New technology will change learning in 2019
We are using a lot of technology in our learning. There is something called oneminute learning and one-hour learning. Small bites of videos, anecdotes, stories, advices and stories are put on the company website/app. This is a great learning for our people, considering that their attention span has reduced significantly. Youngsters are very quick to absorb a small input, but lengthy (two to three days) training programmes do not attract them. Therefore, technology driven small bites of interactive learning using multiple faculties are going to be the new trend.
“Organisations will have to learn to work on the principle of ‘lean’. A lean and efficient organisation structure, which is flatter and less hierarchical should be the aim in 2019”
Perennial issues — weakened productivity, high turnover rates, and a lack of team collaboration and innovation
This is a touchy issue managers are facing with GenZ. Poor attention to detail, low quality orientation, inability to think through, and casual approach are other common problems that managers will face in 2019 and beyond. On the positive side, these kids are easy going, out-of-the- box thinkers and quick to accept challenges.
The challenge for HR is to decode GenZ as well as the millennials. As their drives and interests are different, they have to maintain a productive balance between two sets of very different people in the organisation.
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