“We have our intelligence and experience to put on a weighing scale,” SV Nathan

The economy will change rapidly and companies will have to find ways to handle the beast. In conversation with SV Nathan, partner and chief learning officer, Deloitte for HRKatha 2019 Forecast

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More Power to HR in 2019

Today more than ever, people are seeing a new side of HR and recognising its value in an organisation. In the years to come, the economy will change rapidly, and companies will have to find ways to handle the beast (economy). The only way to do it will be through its people. HR will play the quintessential role as guide, to help people cope and evolve successfully. 2019 is a year of transformation and anything to do with transformation will need people, and people will need HR specialists.

“The temp workforce is here to stay. I call it the ‘permanent temp workforce”

The biggest challenge for HR in your sector

The biggest challenge for HR in our sector is the advent of gig workers. They have been coming quietly, without us having to do much work in that area. These gig workers are not just college dropouts and unemployed young adults, but also Gen Xers, that is, people in the age bracket of 55 plus. These people, who come with great experience, are willing to work for 15 to 20 years. The challenge for HR is to harness this power and develop an eco system for their sourcing, and to keep them engaged. How we connect and disconnect with gig workers will be the biggest challenge in 2019.

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Role of HR in temp workforce

India is not unfamiliar with the concept of temp workforce. The Contract Labour regulation Act was passed way back in 1970. But ever since people have been unsure of contract working and whether it is legal or not. But HR is pretty much aware of how to deal with contract workers. In fact, HR should stand up for the temp workforce and make sure that people of position do not take advantage of them. The temp workforce is here to stay. I call it the ‘permanent temp workforce’.

“PLAN TO GO TO TIER-II AND TIER-III CITIES FOR HIRING. WE SHOULD BE OPEN TO HIRING PEOPLE WHO DO NOT SPEAK QUEEN’S ENGLISH”

 

Managing a diverse workforce

We used to have horses for courses, but it does not work anymore. Organisations will have to adopt the rule of inclusion. You have to create a level playing field and not neglect anyone. We are challenging ourselves to look beyond gender and persons with disabilities, and plan to go to tier-II and tier-III cities for hiring. We should be open to hiring people who do not speak Queen’s English.

C-Suite and HR to work together to create an adaptable and sustainable culture

C-suite is fully recognising the value of learning, specially in organisations such as ours. Our only edge is learning.We do not have a service or product to sell. We have our intelligence and experience to put on a weighing scale. C-suite is completely bought over; it’s a matter of executing what the C-suite is expecting of us. There is no business that can be completely blind or oblivious to the need of people having to re-tool themselves. In this rapidly- changing world, the only thing constant is re-invention. GenZ is making sure that the C-suite is making them future-ready. They are demanding training and seeking more learning and challenges.

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