The way businesses operate as well as the way they treat their human capital is constantly evolving. The evolution, slow and steady in the early part of the last century, has kicked in with much higher acceleration in recent decades, largely driven by the pervasive use of technology and changing facets of workforce. Technology in business itself has transformed from being just an ‘agent of automation’ to a ‘catalyst’ today, or more aptly a ‘driver’ of business growth. With this evolution, the way organisations look at the workforce has also gone from just personnel management, where the focus was disciplined maintenance of industrial horde to driving happiness, efficiency and productivity of their human capital, largely comprising of the digitally aware and connected iGeneration.
Today, the ARMs of human capital Acquisition, Retention and Maintenance are no longer time and effort intensive. The key differentiators are socially relevant and engaging ways of managing iGens, which incorporates their aspirations of social media relevance, multi-tasking, learning styles driven by audio/visual media and constant communication at the workplace. Though non-iGens still comprise a considerable part of the workforce, they have evolved as well to ensure that they remain relevant in today’s information age. Large chunk of Facebook users today are non-millennials, smart-phone and internet penetration has happened for people across age groups and generations, and while learning styles have not changed, the pedagogy and medium of information consumption has changed for everyone.
While there are no hard and fast rules, as each organisation needs to tailor its approach basis their specific eco-system, there are a few pointers that can help organisations and HR teams to strike the right balance in their philosophy and approach:
iGeneration likes Technology
Every employee transaction with the organisation is scalable and reliable when enabled through technology which iGen is intuitively wired to adopt readily such Making use of things like App-driven HRMS that enable attendance, leave, and eLearning modules for training, gamified on-boarding. A good question to ask could be if something needs to be done, how can I use Technology to do it?
iGeneration likes things ‘Individualised’
Personalisation is the mantra for defining employee experience. Personalised outreach to candidates during hiring, benefits that are customised to various lifestages and interests of employees, rewards and recognition programmes that are tailored to business and jobs people do, rather than a blanket “star of the month.” Personalise learning through individualised development plan and not blanket trainings that cater to the lowest common denominator, celebration of personal milestones like marriage, anniversaries, child-birth, enabling hobby clubs in office so that they can interact with like-minded people and so on. Go that extra mile and add a personal touch to every touch-point in the employee life-cycle.
iGeneration likes social media
Give more and more reasons to employees to add an element of work-life to their social media presence. There are multiple ways of doing this - involving people in CSR activities so that they experience pride about posting on their timelines, drive engagement activities that incorporate people’s social presence, run likes on FB/Insta campaigns for contests, create micro-communities for people on social media platforms etc.
iGeneration likes Information
There is nothing called over communication. Today’s workforce likes to be ‘in the know.’ Actively look for opportunities to communicate to, listen to and engage with the people through dialogue. Have frequent townhalls, AMA (Ask Me Anything) forums with leadership team, open discussion forums for employees, newsletters, emailers about organisation performance, display boards of vision, mission & values and various other things that help them feel connected to the organisation and each other. If HR can help the ‘I’ in iGeneration to be happy and successful in their organisation, no force on earth can stem business growth and success from happening!
Is HR solely responsible for cultural change?
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