“The big challenge for HR will be to make the middle management productive,” Balachandar N

One of the biggest challenge will be automation of jobs and creation of new jobs for which right kind of people are not available, Balachandar N, group director - HR, coffee day group on HRKatha 2019 Forecast.

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More power to HR in 2019

There are many upcoming challenges for HR to face in the coming year. These will not only keep HR personnel on their toes but also ensure they are more relevant for an organisation. There are multiple layers at which the challenges will appear.

At a global level, concerns around immigration are posing a challenge on the job and employment front. The immigration issues in the US-India and Brexit-India corridors are creating a challenge for the mobility of the people. This will drastically impact the IT and tech companies in terms of hiring people locally in their respective countries, which will increase their cost burden. At the local level, state governments will get aggressive about wages. Sectors, such as manufacturing, retail, consumer goods and so on that employ people at the base of the pyramid on a large scale, may witness wage increases by 30 to 40 per cent. These are some of the regulatory changes that can be expected at the base of the pyramid and in the area of global mobility.

“There is so much resistance to new technology and developments in people that HR will have to focus on reskilling their employees. It is going to be a tough year for HR”

Second is the impact on the middle management. Recently, it has been realised that the middle management has ended up as a mere communication channel between the top and bottom management levels, and is hardly adding any value to the organisations. A huge amount of stress is building up on this middle management. All companies, just like the new e-commerce firms, are looking to hire people below 40. The big challenge for HR will be to deal with the middle management and make them productive.

The third challenge will come from technology, which will impact jobs in two ways. One, jobs will disappear with automation taking over. Two, new roles will be created for which the right people are not available.

The fourth challenge will be lack of personal learning and failure to re-invent amongst the employees. There is so much resistance to new technology and developments in people that HR will have to focus on re-skilling their employees. It is going to be a tough year for HR.

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

The biggest challenge for HR in your sector

The biggest challenge in our sector will be to improve the productivity of the employees and customer service, with the rise in costs. With the minimum wages set to increase, the costs will also increase. We are going to deal with this by restructuring, that is, by creating bigger jobs with lesser people. High quality of skill development and costumer service measuring will help us improve customer service.

Managing a diverse workforce

While managing a diverse workforce, the only rule is to learn to connect with people, be it a 60-year old man or a 22- year old youth. The ability to connect with the multi-generation workforce, flex our style of work and be sensitive will be the need of the hour for HR.

“Sectors, such as manufacturing, retail, consumer goods and so on that employ people at the base of the pyramid on a large scale, may witness wage increases by 30 to 40 per cent”

Developing new skillsets for the future workforce

The plan of action will be technology-based learning. Re-skilling is a continuous activity and we are investing in ‘learning on the go’ and becoming investors for re-skilling.

The real HR will stand up and get closer to people

In the times to come, HR will get closer to the people in spite of all the noise around technology. Many conferences and conversations have been talking about humanisation of the workplace failing which machines will take over the functions of HR. Therefore, advancement in technology will definitely make HR come closer to people.

HRKatha 2019 Forecast is powered by Sodexo

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