“Technology is the ground on which digital highways must be built for millennial talent” Adil Malia

Most CXOs are too busy handling their current business survival challenges to think of working on futuristic business readiness, Adil Malia, CEO, The Firm for HR 2020 Forecast

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Technology, data, employee experience: What’s high on agenda

We are on the cusp. Transitioning from one phase to another poses its own unique challenges, which most practitioners tend to miss out. It is not this or that, transitions are about successfully managing both. You have to protect the practices, systems and practitioners of the bygone era on one hand and on the other usher in changes, new learnings, new practices, and different practitioners with new knowledge of the changing age.

Understanding the offerings of people with a connection to businesses through technological advancements in digital times will be the critical view (widescreen) for the HR drivers. The driver must continue to look at the rearview mirror comprising of older workforce, technological immigrants, legacy organisational practices (which lack diversity and are non-exclusive) and power-based rigid decision-making cultures.

A synoptic sketch for the future is simple: Technology is the ground on which digital highways must be built for millennial talent to get meaningfully connected and positively engaged to partner along with business to create value.

The future of ‘Teal’ organisations

Some alert and market-facing organisations have developed their agendas for action in this direction. However, not much work has been actually done in this area even in these companies. Everything is still very superficial. The other CXOs have not worked even at the agenda levels. They are too busy handling their current business survival challenges to think of working on futuristic business readiness.

The next CHRO – the learning officer, the talent officer, the HRBP or the engagement officer

This question is clearly framed around smart wordsmithery. Learning officer, talent officer, engagement officer or HRBP – who has a better claim to the ‘Throne of Thorns’.

Actually, with smart logic and linguistic sharpness, a smart lawyer could argue the case, either ways!

But I have a firm view on this. I believe that for individuals as well as corporates, the future survival and success will be an outcome of ‘learning’ capability. This takes into consideration the dynamic nature of markets, emergence of fast speed new technologies, new talent insights into engaging value propositions and search for different consumer insights for future markets to create value.

Thus, chances of winning accordingly will belong to a leader who understands ‘learning’ as it ought to be understood at the individual and at the corporate level. In the authentic learning context, till there is authentic learning, there cannot be any talent management, people engagement or business partnership.

Please however, do not misunderstand me. Learning here is not to be misunderstood with the traditional Talent & Development (T&D) managers, who have fashionably been now redesigned as ‘learning officers’ by companies.

Robotic Process Automation – HR to play a more decisive role

AI anchored humanoids, chatbots, robotics are all artifacts of future technologies. New technology will take-over the high-end deep analytics and the low-end mechanical servicing of employees.

However, empathising, emotionally connecting, bespoke engaging, coaching, guiding and offering clean corporate governance – the real ‘heart to heart services’ that companies provide its people through the HR function needs to be of greater depth.

While technological applications can make services faster and better for employees, organisations have to handle emotional and sensitive issues through their HR departments.

Moving to weekly or bi-monthly pay – cutting ice with new-gen

HR can experiment with monthly, bi-monthly, weekly or daily pay cycles if backed by research and insightful understanding of millennial talent. However, the more challenging issue at hand is now working with a ‘gig’-economy, improving work-life balance, and progressing towards a 4-day workweek. HR will soon need to take a call to address this requirement by millennials and gig workers and that summarises an agenda in hand as far as pays are concerned.

(This article was first published in HRKatha print edition)

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