More Power to HR in 2019
Power to the HR department will not be bestowed upon by other departments. HR can only become more powerful by becoming strategic business partners and drivers of performance. HR departments are no longer the support functions that they once used to be. They are more of business and productivity partners in new-age organisations. They should be at the forefront of shaping organisations which are future ready. In this context, the HR professionals will have to shed the age-long role of process managers and become the custodians of organisational productivity and culture.
HR teams should lead the way in embracing agile work ways, wherein an organisation is structured as a network of teams working together for achieving common goals. The leadership of the organisations lies at the center of this network. In this age of information, the traditional hierarchical ways of working need to give way to modern agile ones. HR has to move forward and adopt technology to not only streamline and automate processes, but to enhance efficiency.
The power of HR in 2019 will depend on how well they partner with the business to drive efficiency and translate that into organisational success.
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The biggest challenge for HR in your sector
The biggest challenge facing HR today is talent acquisition and retention of several non-traditional jobs. Departments within organisations have become very specialised and this specialisation has led to search for very specific talent.
The problem is that all businesses are competing to hire talented professionals from the same talent pool. Agility in hiring, reducing the time to hire and getting the right candidate are the keys to ensuring that your organisation stays ahead in this war. Extensive talent mapping of the industry, with focus on adjacent industries to ensure that it has access to the right and broader talent pool will be key.
“The power of HR in 2019 will depend on how well they partner with the business to drive efficiency and translate that into organisational success”
Role of HR in the temp workforce
The temporary workforce in India may be small but is definitely here to stay. One of the factors that drives this phenomenon is the age of the workforce in India. About 65 per cent of our population is below 35 years of age. Millennials are not as driven by the concept of ‘job security’ as the previous generation. They are looking for opportunities, which are flexible. Temp staffing provides for exactly the flexibility that they are looking for. This is also beneficial for companies as they can easily fulfill their staffing requirements for short-term/ one-time projects.
We should, however, be cognizant that being temp is not completely acceptable in the social context, and at times becomes an impediment to acquiring a full-time job. It will take some time before being a temp comes to be accepted as a norm. Having said this, we should closely watch the workforce market to see where the temp staffing approach is heading. The key to accelerate it will be progressive reforms in labor laws. And it will definitely get more acceptance in the future.
“It will take some time before being a temp comes to be accepted as a norm. Having said this, we should closely watch the workforce market to see where the temp staffing approach is heading. The key to accelerate it will be progressive reforms in labour laws. And it will definitely get more acceptance in the future”
Unionisation of employees: a big challenge in 2019
With the increased awareness of the rights and responsibilities of employees, union formation will increase but in a much more refined and effective manner. It will not be restricted to traditional industry sectors but will expand to technology and other associated industries, where people assemble to work. India has one of the largest numbers of trade unions, but these have been unable to take up and resolve the issues effectively leading to dissatisfaction amongst the workers.
Typically, unions have been aligned to specific political ideologies and have been led by the leaders of the associated parties, who have not been able to protect the interest of employees leading to significant dissatisfaction. With access to information about their rights, the dependence on traditional approaches of resolving issues is undergoing a shift. Redressal mechanisms, such as right to information, provisions under the Trade Union Act, grievance committees and other statutory remedies will lead to increase in reporting of issues and concerns by the employees and enhanced expectation of solutions in a much more time bound and transparent manner.
In the age of social media, information travels very fast. Employees are able to form like-minded groups and represent their cases in a much more effective manner. This has also broken down barriers and as a result, the access to decision makers is not out of bounds for the aggrieved.
To manage employment-related issues HR must open barrier-less communication channels where there can be a direct two-way communication between the aggrieved employee and designated trouble shooter from the management. This will not only resolve issues right at the initial stage, but also prevent unions from taking advantage and unnecessarily magnifying a small issue into a larger cause.
“India has one of the largest numbers of trade unions, but these have been unable to take up and resolve the issues effectively leading to dissatisfaction amongst the workers”
Developing new skill sets for the future workforce
Learning and development interventions must focus on developing future leaders for the company. Some key skill sets for the future workforce are leadership, communication and problem solving. Another key area, which can give an edge to the organisation over the competition is the ability to draw meaningful insights and action items from the big data available. In this context, knowledge of new-age analytics techniques is a must for the future workforce.
We need to drive the culture of learning in the organisation and this has to be driven by informal learning methods. Learning has to be crisp and available on mobile. The millennial population has a relatively small attention span. AI tools will ensure customised/tailored learning for people. AI algorithms are becoming better at suggesting the right learning material for employees. The ‘one size fits all’ approach has to be shelved. In addition, gamification of learning and development programmes can be useful even for the most reluctant learner. Besides, we need to invest in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of employees. Once we have a clear understanding of the strong and weak areas of employees, we can effectively leverage their strengths and plug their weaknesses.
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