The Digital Panorama

It is said that Baby Boomers were loyal to the company, but the Millennials are steadfast about their calling. The “Gen Y”, who have the world at their fingertips and information at their beck and call are looking to make an impact on their community, and, regard their work as an extension of their personal space. And, with all round connectivity the old adage of separation of work and life does not hold water any more.

 

The waves of digital disruption are felt across business functions, and, HR is no exception. Organisations are grappling with myriad people issues like multi‑generational workforce, work life balance, enhanced mobility and changing digital job descriptions. Therefore, a digitally savvy and nimble human resource function is pivotal for managing the diverse, hyper-connected workforce. So, how can HR extract and retain the hidden potential of a tech-savvy Millennial for corporate betterment, and remain relevant in the changing work-scope at the same time?

 

Moving ahead of the disruption curve

 

Technology has completely re-invented the way employees engage with their organisations. An McKinsey Research revealed that 61% of businesses have already implemented AI initiatives in 2017, with 71% having an innovation strategy to push new technologies across organisational functions. 50% of the organisations in the US deployed more than 6 collaboration tools for an anywhere connect. It is therefore imperative that the human resource department becomes more responsive by moving away from traditional transactional work-scope. In fact, HR should plan future disruptions by investing on digital and immersive tools that facilitate talent acquisition, remote workforces and employee engagement.

 

In Quotes “An McKinsey Research revealed that 61% of businesses have already implemented AI initiatives in 2017, with 71% having an innovation strategy to push new technologies across organisational functions. 50% of the organisations in the US deployed more than 6 collaboration tools for an anywhere connect.”

 

Making way for careers

 

Career management and enrichment is the emerging HR opportunity with shifting perceptions about work-life balance, social justice, and skill development. For example, Millennials are choosing to align with organisations that meet their values, disposition, and ideals. With talent at a premium, mass attrition and poaching are part of the HR lexicon.  Another area of concern is the displacement and redundancy brought about by automation. According to the State Automation report, 4.6 million sales jobs are at risk in the US. Diversity is a big challenge, with only 6.4% of women and 13% coloured people in leadership positions. New age ideas like entrepreneurship at work, flexi-work, parental spaces and creative usage of technology like collaborative tools, visualization, artificial intelligence, and mobility will bring in an ambience of inclusion and balance at work. As an add-on to the newer ways of working, there is an emergence of the “gig economy”, a trend of using online platforms to find small jobs. As per the prediction by Accenture and Deloitte, 30% of the workforce in the United Kingdom will be freelancing or gig working by 2020. In the US, this will rise to be as high as 50% by 2020.

 

“Millennials are constantly challenging the status quo across all touch points.”

 

Transforming the Talent Life Cycle

 

Millennials are constantly challenging the status quo across all touch points. Digitisation has completely re-invented talent acquisition with human resources championing recruitment as a branding exercise. Recently, a Fortune 500 company used Twitter as its interview arena to attract global talent. Businesses are investing big on workplace gamification for training and engagement. The global gamification industry is worth over $5.5 Billion today. Companies like Cisco found that their employee certification witnessed a quantum jump with over 12500 courses taken after gamification. Several companies are driving hackathons, collaborative tools, and learning platforms to acquire and retain talent. These innovations drive creation of talent incubators that pulsate with energy and ideas to transcend market disruption.

 

Bringing forth digital leaders

 

Today’s organisations are not a collective of bosses and followers. Organisations prefer flat hierarchies where leaders emerge from across the board and collaborate with each other to bring forth innovation. This agile network of leaders and collaborators remain rooted to the market through digital technology to push customer focused innovation. Human Resources should be able to identify and equip these leaders with essential skills, tools and platforms to remain competitively relevant at all times. This involves:

 

1. Bringing together a diverse team

2. Providing them with tools for collaboration and communication

3. Creating an environment that facilitates risk-taking and experimentation without fear

4. Championing mobility and flexibility for work-life balance

5. Removing barriers for leaders for quick decision making

6. Facilitating visibility and real-time feedback

 

Human resource teams are leveraging technological, analytical and intuitive tools to become nimble and responsive. Cloud-based HCM solutions, insight-based analytics, democratized dashboards will enable HR professionals to create a learning, collaborative and interactive talent-scape for agile organisations. The HR function can gain relevance by moving away from the routine and the mundane towards a strategic and agile platform that stays ahead of the technology learning curve.

 

In Quotes “Human resources are leveraging technological, analytical and intuitive tools to become nimble and responsive. Cloud-based HCM solutions, insight-based analytics, democratized dashboards will enable HR professionals to create a learning, collaborative and interactive talent-scape for agile organisations.

Visweswara Rao is SVP & Chief HR Officer at CSS Corp. He wields an experience of 23+ years spanning change management, leadership engagement, and development and has worked in Axiscades, British Telecom, CSC, Deloitte, and Satyam Computer Services. Visweswara has also led M&A and integration initiatives, and established scalable recruitment models, and built and implemented talent engagement and retention strategies.

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