Originally Posted: Economic Times
This spring marks a year since organisational processes and goals changed overnight. While we witness the largest remote working experiment in history, companies are managing today’s complex challenges in varied ways; some companies moved towards hybrid working models, while others shook off traditional approaches to HR by adopting digitisation.
The ‘future of work’ has very much arrived, and while all eyes might be on HR and talent leaders, the focus is to put people at the forefront, manage new workplace dynamics, ensure the efficacy of long-term remote work, focus on employee flexibility and virtually maintain company culture. This new paradigm shift has resulted in organisations preparing for the future.
Beyond checking boxes: The future of hybrid working
With India right in the midst of experiencing a deadly second wave of coronavirus, it has become clear that remote work is here to stay and we should evaluate this time to evolve our hybrid workplaces to build capabilities for businesses to thrive.
The hybrid workplace essentially gives employees and businesses the choice to explore further flexibility encouraging them to work wherever they feel most comfortable or productive. It has led to us recreating the way we work and rethinking how work gets done, and where it gets done. According to a recent survey conducted by Citrix Systems, 52% of employees prefer hybrid models for work post-pandemic.
If the hybrid working model is the future of work, companies need to think about creating a culture of openness by empowering employees to make decisions, focusing on new skill development, rethinking employee wellness, and investing in innovative technology solutions.
A connected and collaborative workforce
The future of a hybrid modern workplace depends on how companies can also create a more connected distributed workforce. With employees spread across various locations and roles, it is important to use online collaborative tools to define a new way of working together and ensure that everyone is included and engaged. In such a scenario, what is the role of data, analytics, and collaboration tools to re-examine traditional ways of working and create a more connected workforce? How can digital collaboration in the workplace improve workflows going forward?
In today’s agile world, businesses cannot afford slow and siloed workforce management processes. Hence, the HRMS solutions, apps, and virtual collaboration tools and processes can help collate all data in one place such as workplace communication, content management, collaboration, etc. This can fuel better productivity, knowledge sharing, interaction, access to information, and employee efficiency.
HR must lead the way towards building a data-driven workplace
The world of work is radically changing. From digital nomads to collaborative tools to people analytics - how and where we work is changing beyond all recognition. In this evolving environment, people analytics can help organisations find the right balance between technology, automation, and its human role.
Information is key, and data can be used to gain insights, improve productivity and optimise work experiences. However, it is not about mining enough data, but also about making sense of the data available. While there is no one correct way of developing capabilities, and no one-size-fits-all solutions, it is important to identify the right ingredients that will work the best for your organisation.
Creating a well-formed people analytics framework
Setting up a well-formed people analytics framework can help organisations make data-driven decisions in an environment where it has become critical to monitor and measure organisational productivity. Advanced analytics, coupled with AI/ML capabilities can also help organisations when it comes to recruitment, performance management, retention, attrition, joining probability, churn probability, managing payrolls, and even roadmap planning. Especially useful given today’s global health situation, a people analytics framework can help take smarter decisions pertaining to employees’ physical and mental health and wellness, gauge the efficacy of remote work processes, and better plan workforce programmes.
Looking through a personalisation-lens
A move towards people analytics can provide personalised recommendations through an experience-lens, as well as provide actionable insights into employee sentiment using behavioural analysis. This can enable organisations to better understand employees and recommend more personalised solutions for individual employees. Additionally, people analytics can also provide insights regarding past, present, and future scenarios - allowing companies to use predictions to reinvent traditional approaches to HR.
Furthermore, AI/ML provides a birds-eye view of what is going on in an organisation - by taking into account positive, neutral, and negative feedback. HR chatbots, for example, can help provide personalised feedback - and in the process make managers better managers. Based on an employee’s skills and performance, it can infer (in real-time) areas of improvement and provide relevant insights towards better workforce management. Real-time analytics means businesses can take immediate action to capitalise on opportunities.
Right from workforce forecasting to scheduling, proactively planning for recruitment and training that can aid HR managers in employee retention analysis, predictive risk management to skill-based sourcing, employee profiling to segmentation, contextual mapping to performance and productivity indices, people analytics can add immediate value for business growth.
The future role of HR will be determined by how it delivers value to a business by becoming a significant part of business strategy. By taking into account leadership and talent growth, HR needs to keep reinventing, renewing, democratising, and adapting based on the need of the hour. So far, we have barely scratched the surface of what is possible with people analytics.
The author, Jinal Doshi, is HR SME at Vega-HR.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETHRWorld does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETHRWorld will not be responsible for any damage caused to any person or organisation directly or indirectly.
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