Integrated technology can transform HR: A lesson from Pokemon Go


Will mere automation/platform-based intervention bring in efficacy and consistency, and ensure repeatability?

“Hey dude, I got Charmander while I was walking down from my apartment a while ago!” Heard this excited voice from the back seat of my car and another more excited one overruled it saying, “That’s nothing man, while getting into this car I caught Caterpie”.

Indeed my teenaged son was exchanging his achievements on Pokémon GO with his pal. This location-based, augmented reality game that has taken the print and electronic media by storm, probably makes for the most bizarre news item in recent times. In this game, the player locates, captures, battles and trains (LCBT) cetain virtual ‘creatures’.

As an HR professional, I too wish this technology could be extended to the human capital of organisations. What all we can do with this kind of technological enablement is unimaginable.

Here is a list of a few things that we can achieve:
• Locate absconding and absent employees
• Capture job satisfaction and dissatisfaction issues
• Battle disengagement and misalignment problems
• Train high-performance and high-potential human capital

The list will be unending.

While a significant amount of automation has already been implemented within the ambit of human resources, I feel there are many areas that are still untouched. For example, many organisations have invested in automation of their Performance Management Systems (PMS). However seldom is any actionable intelligence derived from these ‘so called’ automated performance management systems, besides ratings. The training needs identified or sought by employees do not reach the development team automatically and the captured data (even if it’s captured as a tick mark) is not acted upon! This totally defeats the purpose of technological intervention.

Mangesh Bhide

That brings me to the million dollar question— Will mere automation/platform-based intervention bring in efficacy and consistency, and ensure repeatability?

While the efforts so far have certainly made usage easy, minimised efforts and reduced the time taken to complete otherwise time-consuming tasks, I think we still need to do a better job of ‘understanding’ the ‘intertwined’ employee lifecycle within the organisation, for each category of employee.

So, we need to do the following:
• Invest in a competency library that ‘locates’ internal talent before we activate external talent hiring.
• Provide ongoing and online forums (not just during annual surveys) where employees’ voices can be ‘captured’ and hygiene as well as other career concerns can be ‘battled out’
• Ensure that technologically the previous steps act as an input to the next step and collectively they result in actionable intelligence that drives the ‘training and development’ of potential human capital, which leads to succession planning.

With the help of integrated technology/platforms, HR professionals can certainly enliven human capital in an organisation, just the way players locate, capture, battle and train (LCBT) the virtual creatures in the game – Pokémon GO!

So go on, and locate hidden potential in your organisation, capture their grievances, battle out hindrances so that they can deliver to their fullest, and train them to make your organisation ready for every challenge ahead!

(The author is head-HR, Reliance Jio.)


  1. Good article. Yes I agree all process or employee life cycle can be automated however as a process if we do not follow , automation becomes a fiasco. Being alert to employee needs and voices will help us to locate and combat.

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