Looking Ahead – Trends Map for HR

By Aashish Singh

CEO and Co-Founder HRLogica Talent Solutions LLP.

The 90s saw the beginnings of the great software revolution. Diverse groups of enthusiastic innovators, with high aspirations and the courage to dream big, set out to create organizations with great value systems. Ones which encouraged, rewarded innovation and thought leadership. Now, as we reap in the rewards of those innovators, we redeem the faith, celebrate the passion, hard work and commitment of every one who has been a part of this momentous IT journey.

Organizations have matured and grown, have seen unprecedented transformations and written/ rewritten several success stories. The organization who have weathered the storms successfully have been proactive in aligning the HR strategy to the business strategy, creating employment opportunities along this journey, thus contributing significantly to the economic reforms of the society.

This is also a good time to evaluate how Human Resources (HR) has changed over the years. We have seen technology usher in a lot of changes in the way HR collates data, uses it for the employee lifecycle management and correlates it to business success. Transactional HR has slowly given way to the millennial buzzword ‘Transformational HR.’ Organizational structures have incorporated efficiency boosting, workable concepts like ‘two in a box’ virtual teams, designing of career architecture, workforce management etc. Change management has been effectively used to make the organization ready for the new business opportunities. Talent management analytics has changed the dynamics of workforce.

So here are my 25 HR focal mantras for the future:

1. Organization Design: The design of an organization needs to be aligned to the core business that it operates in and has to ensure that the organization runs efficiently and effectively.

2. Talent Acquisition: Hiring the right candidate should take precedence over hiring the best candidate. The concept of creating the correct job profile in order to ensure hiring of right candidate. Concept of ‘global scouts’ who identify the right talent from any labor pool around the world to match the business needs.

3. Learning Culture: We live in an age where the concept of – two-year half-life – is apt. That means in two years, half the existing technical skills may become redundant, hence creating a culture in which employees who constantly upgrade and hone their skills become exponentially important and the organization is required to provide a conducive environment.

4. Talent Management: Getting the right person for the right role to ensure that it becomes the best fit is the key mantra to success in talent management. To ensure that you have the right talent for your future requirement becomes the key for future success of the organization.

5. Performance management: Thanks to automation, measuring performance is becoming easier and mapping it to the outcome and hence rewards and career should be the key to performance management.

6. Employee Value Proposition: A strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP) will help retain top performers and attract the best external talent. There is a renewed interest in research that redefines employee value proposition in a modern working world, thus linking it to talent acquisition.

7. Employer Branding: Creating the pull factor for the required talent group and to ensure that the existing talent feels bound by the brand pull is the basis to success of talent branding. It needs to be more employee and candidate focused.

8. Aligning HR and Business: Implementing holistic metrics that track the business impact of HR and not just standard HR efficiency and effectiveness metrics, will be the key to success.

9. Employee Engagement: Talent architects and talent advocates, connect employee aspirations to the business goals, thus driving employee engagement.

10. Cultural Environment: HR needs to rethink and retool how they deliver an enhanced employee experience and support new ways of working by creating a culture that promotes innovation, enhances productivity and brings in efficiency. One important shift will be the change of focus from work-life balance to work-life integration.

11. Transparency: Transparency brings in trust – the concept that some good organizations are following is known as 99:100:100 which means 99% of information is available to 100% of employees at 100% of time.

12. Corporate Social Responsibility: Research conducted by Cone Millennial Cause group, detailed in The 2020 Workplace, found that 13-25 year olds wanted to work for a company that cares about how it impacts and contributes to society. More than half of them said that they would refuse to work for an irresponsible corporation. The future mantra are the 4Ps that denote process, people, profit and planet.

13. Rewards and Recognition: Innovations in total rewards and gamification will play a very important part in reward strategy of the future. We will see a lot of innovation around health care and work-life integration practices.

14. Global Workforce: A confluence of disruptive forces will transform work and working in the next 10 years, most of them involving globalization, hence we are looking at a stage where globalized workforce will form the masses of employment availability. HR needs to be ready to work with this model.

15. Mobility: With a global work force, ease of mobility will be the key to success, as organizations which have excellent mobility practices, will be able to support the workforce requirements of the future.

16. HR Practices and Policies: Globalization and macroeconomic shifts mean, the 2020 workforce will be made up of a wider group of ages and nationalities than ever before. In order to succeed, companies will need to have a broader understanding of their people and the markets in which they operate, hence aligning the HR practices to workforce will be key.

17. Diversity Practices: Diverse work teams will be a reality in organizations – diversity will become more of a business concern than a social concern and be more closely linked to competitive strategies. Diverse populations will make more money and spend more money and this increase in wealth will empower diversity.

18. Compensation Strategy: Compensation strategy, as always will pay a very important role in talent acquisition and retention, organizations with agile mobility comp practices will have an edge over others.

19. Employee Feedback: Action plan around employee feedback will be a very important. Employees want to know that actions will be taken based on their feedback, which makes them feel empowered.

20. Social Media Strategy: We have been hearing of SMAC- Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud, for a long time, but now, with the availability of strong Internet across the globe, the practice of social platforms is being used by organizations in TA, employer branding, learning and development among others. Some organizations use MOOC (massive open online courses) to ensure constant upgradation of skills.

21. Statutory Compliance: Statutory compliance provides confidence to investors, management, employees and the compliance will be tracked through software. With mobility of workforce increasing and more and more social security agreements being signed across nations, the global workforce will be more united.

22. Collaboration: Overall key to success will be collaboration and developing leaders, not managers. With millennials in the workforce, management will become automated, and managers will have to become problem solvers and career architects.

23. Excellence: Organization/employees that strive for excellence will be successful, excellence in disruption will be the future and all organization that challenge the existing tech/process will lead the business world.

24. Contingent Workers: Organizations will acquire right-fit talent at fixed cost for specific projects and avoid permanent employment, while part-time/temp employees/freelancers will have an option of choosing the work project that will be of their interest hence more productive.

25. Integrity: There is no concept of grey in integrity, an organization can build a culture of integrity by imbibing certain behaviors as customers will have high faith in organizations with ethics and integrity. It is the responsibility of each employee to ensure that we collectively create an organization with integrity at the core.

These 25 HR mantras thus encapsulated, should be the basis of the human resources strategy for the future. Cutting through the HR mumbo jumbo and creating an engaged, committed workforce, implementing clear quantifiable measures, identifying milestones and adding to the ‘human element’ of what organizations are hoping to achieve in the future, is and should be the guiding force for the years to come.

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