How Human Resources is going to evolve in the coming decade and beyond?
The ‘Black Mirror’ is taking over the world, and as we continue to move ahead in 2020, the technology-driven atmosphere is becoming the new normal. How should the HRs lead in this future? This question needs thorough contemplation. What lays ahead us is a worrisome recession and an altered work culture? To survive, the face of Human Resources and its functions need a paradigm shift.
A decade ago, we would not have imagined that social media would become such an integral part of our culture so much that most of the communication has started to happen through social media platforms. One of the speculations is that in the future enterprise social media platforms are bound to be the new channels of communication in organizations, and emails would become obsolete (Source:https://www.mangoapps.com/blog/why-social-networks-are-better-than-e-mails-for-enterprise-collaboration/).
Even a basic healthcare plan was enough for employees in the past, but now the more evolved, up-skilled and aware workforce desires individualized benefits and holistic health plans. Not just that, planning employee-centric benefits is becoming one of the critical functions of HRs.
Assessment and Feedback have moved from being an annual review template to a regular and continuous process. Work from Home is to stay, and managing a virtual workforce needs a more creative and fresh outlook.
We don’t have the traditional workforce anymore; who wants a stable career, routine promotions, yearly holidays, and a decent retirement plan. Millennials & GEN Z have started to join the workforce, and they don’t want to stay stuck with one organization forever. These young ones do not care about security. What they really desire are experiences. Hence, the gig economy is on the rise.
How to manage such a workforce, who works only on their terms and have multiple employers at the same time?
In a survey by Wiley Educational Services and Future Workplace, it was found that companies are now more open to hiring people with skills and non-traditional work ethics. College degrees do not decide an employee’s career anymore. Are HRs prepared for this type of evaluation in recruitment.
Along with these, Human Resources have to evolve within themselves as well. Their routine and administrative tasks have been taken over by Automation, leaving them all the space to focus on the human aspect of their job now. People Analytics has become an essential part of the Human Resources skill set now.
What skills and competencies would the future ask of HR?
If Covid-19 had not shaken up our world, we would have moved towards the Digital at a slower pace and more prepared. However, now it feels like somebody has pushed the fast-forward button on our lives, it is getting hard to stay at pace with these rapid changes. With less time to adapt to the changing scenario, it has become pertinent for HRs to expand their skill set. The following listed are some of the skills which are making human resources more competitive.
Power Skills – Soft Skills, Thinking Skills and Digital Skills
Human resources management comes with a varied set of challenges, and for that, you not only need effective soft skills but digital and thinking skills as well. They have to lead their staff, organize and manage business goals, profits, resources, and their workplace. For this, they need a more comprehensive skill set.
One of the central skills required of HRs is their ability to manage diversity at the workplace. It means understanding, cooperating with, valuing, and celebrating employees from diverse cultures, ethnicities, races, and countries. To this, the new addition is AI, and a good HR would know how to manage the two poles — humans and bots, always seen as the two opposites.
Being data literate can revolutionize the people management process. Rather than hiring specialists for Analytics, the organizations today demand analytics functions to be embedded into the HR functions. Therefore, HRs today must start including this into their resumes. You can always start by knowing essential statistical functions and the differences between correlation, prediction, and causation
Planning with a Human biased approach
Bringing the human back into HR is unavoidable. It has already been concluded that the diverse workforce today requires personalized engagement and for that HRs should know how to manage their administrative tasks and learn to delegate them to tech while focusing on more employee-centric functions like Personnel Management, Employee Wellbeing, Planning Benefits and Rewards, Career Planning and arranging upskilling platforms for Employees.
HRs are all-rounders today. They need to have the leadership qualities to set up the business goals, map resources, ensure quality and cost control, and achieve the targets. The HRs today must know to align their HR strategies with broader business goals.
People Analytics Skills
People analytics is now used not just to flag unusual things but also for multiple HR functions like workforce planning, talent management, and recruitment. This can help HRs and upper management understand various employee-related metrics and make engagement more personal.
Managing Digital Workforce
Challenges associated with employees in work from culture have changed in nature but not reduced. HRs still need a creative outlook to manage the virtual workforce more efficiently and with increased transparency. With a digital workforce, use of software to hasten processes is the key. For example, you may consider the use of a payroll software.
Barriers to HR Digitalisation and How to overcome them?
Anytime & Anywhere nature of services and manufacturing industry demands complete digitalization of the workspace and processes. Human Resources Digitalisation is also central to it. It requires all HR functions to become data-driven. Barriers to this Digital Transformation come not just in the initiation stage but further down the road as well, when the transformation is in progress and at the Governance level as well.
Resistance to Change
Many HR beliefs are still set in tradition, and their over-reliance on their prosperous past makes them susceptible to ignorant attitudes, hence making them resistant to making a change.
Missing impetus from the top
Every change requires a vision, a leader, and talent. Top management is usually the people who design such policies, and if they’re not making the shift, who else will?
Laws regarding data protection
Cybersecurity and data protection laws play a considerable role in delayed digitalization. Like some countries makes it mandatory for organizations to store their data into the cloud system located within the borders. MSMEs do not have the money and resources to create in-house data stores.
Cost Concerns and other Resources
Lack of resources, huge costs can act as setbacks for the digital reinvention of Human Resources. This is significant in the case of MSMEs, which clearly have lagged behind in HR digitization due to lack of funding.
Unsystematic use of Digital Technologies
Digital Metamorphosis has to be objective-based and not random. All the stakeholders must be included in making the strategy for digital transformation with high ROI. Also, many times the focus is on short term goals, and this short-sightedness can cost loads.
Lack of Unified Systems
Businesses usually work in silos and do not want to reinvent. For instance, they can hire a separate analytics team but will not include analytic professionals in the HR team. This separation creates barriers for digital transformation, which requires a more unified system and culture.
The objectives of digitalization should be clear and business-oriented and not driven by peer-pressure. This is a significant transformation, and it needs research to be planned and implemented
Employees today demand experiences from their job and workspace. How can HRs give employees that? With digitalization, all the HR processes will be automated, including Employee engagement. Making the engagement more personalized, workspace more transparent is going to give the workplace the right culture.
The need for HR is to adapt to this changing nature of the workforce and times by embracing digital solutions with open arms.
Move from Centric approach to Personalization
Going Digital does not only mean employing the latest technological applications and tools. This is a disruptive approach as new tech is being invented every day. Can you really keep up with that pace? It is essential to stay updated, but proper digital metamorphosis needs a holistic approach, and every innovation in business strategy should be goal specific. Also, this process should not be a top-management decision; in fact, every stakeholder should be involved in the discussion.
A significant misfortune that is often witnessed today is the wrong approach towards Digitalisation. Maximum HR practitioners feel that AI technology is here to replace them. The fear is ignorant and the result of misinterpreted outlook towards digitalization. The right step for modernization at the workplace is to look for human-led and technology-enabled Human Resources.
Popular Future Trends in Human Resources
Mental Well Being
Mental fitness has become the center of every employee wellness discussion. PwC conducted a study along with the University of South California for a detailed examination of the mental health issues of their employees. They have identified specific ways to improve these problems with their PwC Habit Bank. It includes reasonable solutions for employees to stay healthy in holistic terms. It suggests lifestyle changes like winding up work long before bedtime, improving deep sleep, staying hydrated, sharing sleep schedules with the team, for every extra hour of work, an extra hour of sleep, not skipping your lunch, shorter meetings and making your bedroom electronics-free.
For workplaces in 2020, we need a mental wellness culture embedded into the organization at every level.
AI & RPA for HR
With AI, HRs can resolve issues quickly, delegate administrative jobs to new tools like making payrolls, connecting with multiple employees parallel, ensuring employee satisfaction, getting a single interface for all employee-specific demands, predictive analysis for making employee-centric solutions and building an efficient work environment.
Weigh in your silver workforce
According to the UN’s World Population Ageing report, by 2050, 40.1% of Singapore’s population will be over 60. In 2020, the number for the same stands roughly at 17%. These people cannot be pushed out of the workforce, HRs must invent ways to support their silver workers. You can start by being supportive, accounting their experience as a decisive factor, and motivating them to adapt to newer skills even if they are slow in pace.
Redesign jobs for more productivity
Employees are making efforts to make their skills future-proof. Human resources should do the same for their employees by redesigning jobs, making them change susceptible, and providing avenues for them to reskill for these redesigned jobs. This will increase productivity and will work positively for employee well being.
Humans and Bots, the new competitors at work
The future will depend on how the two new dominant races- humans and Machines would co-survive at work.
Ethical AI is also an aspect where HRs should ensure that AI is being utilized responsibly. For instance, California’s Bot Transparency Bill requires firms to disclose when customer calls are being answered by bots.
Practising ethics in tech would reduce the mutual distrust between machines and humans, making it possible to work cohesively.
People Analytics for Personalized Assessments, Recruitment, Management and Feedbacks
For strategic Human Resource Management, using Analytics is a must. You can’t always rely on your gut feeling as an HR. Analytics will make all your employee-related decisions data-driven, more trustable, and workable.
Create Enabling Work Environment
When one thinks of an ideal workplace, a fitness gym, a crèche, and a common room come into mind. That’s not enough! Employees today desire enablers like access to natural light, privacy, and premium air quality. And, with work from Home, demands of the work environment have further changed and enlarged.
These trends are just the beginning; as the future unfolds, we will see new arenas open up for Human Resources. These opportunities will have to be complemented with constant upskilling on the part of HRs, a more people-centric style of working, and an open mind to remain future-ready.
For further discussion, you can always drop a message and we’ll connect. Also, if you need help with your employee health benefits plan, feel free to contact me.