How Has HR Transformed Businesses In Four Major Ways?

The digital collaboration will increase with employee experience being redefined on the firm foundation of technology


HR had always played a pivotal role in any organisation. And now the pandemic has made them assume an even greater role of being the key influencers in decision making. Armed with technology, they have now mastered the mantra of providing important insights that can propel the organisation forward.

So, how is HR aiding in business transformation?

Hybrid workplace – In the early part of 2021, only people engaged in critical activities that required them to work from the office returned to the workplace; the rest worked remotely. For example, part of the workforce in the banking and manufacturing sectors went back in the office, people in IT and related services continued to work remotely. To manage this kind of a hybrid workplace, HR used the hot-desking concept to keep watch over the curtailed employee strength in the office.

Since research showed that people were happy to be working remotely and their productivity levels had also gone up, HR reworked its policies to make them more favourable for all the employees. It also reduced the real estate space due to the workforce crunch, which helped cut costs for the organisation.

Employee experience redefined – For people engaged in customer-facing jobs or for the frontline workers, certain changes had to be done to ensure their safety. Therefore, bots and other technological supportive tools were introduced to aid the consumer journey.

While there had always been the emphasis on the good health of the employee, but the pandemic brought primary focus on both physical and mental health. Besides masks, sanitisers and other hygiene instruments, organisations ensured that people could reach out easily to a mental health counsellor if necessary. Some companies even appointed Chief Wellness Officers to overlook the wellbeing of all employees, emphasising the priority being given to health today.

People analytics – Providing connectivity and access to audio and video conferencing software were a few of the first steps taken by HR to ensure business continuity. To create interactive data experiences and aid in decision making, tools like PowerBI were introduced. There was a specific thrust on improving analytics capability, fuelled by advanced data mining and data literacy.

Empowered by technology, HR could evaluate business impact better and give the right kind of advice to the top management, related to employees. Their assessments were totally evidence-based. It improved efficiency of HR and promoted growth of the company.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) – When offices opened partially, it was noticed that many women went on leave or quit their jobs. Being the primary caregivers, women sacrificed their jobs to stay back home with their kids who had to deal with online classes. In other cases, women decided to take up part-time jobs or decided to freelance. HR then made the intelligent decision to introduce flexi-work timings to allow women and other caregivers to continue working; they decided to make provision for this gig economy.

Also, due to remote working, HR could hire people from across the globe, irrespective of their gender, physical structure, ethnicity, and economical condition. It helped HR to dip into a vast talent pool, unhampered by geography. And ultimately, this helped create a more inclusive community, where the only factor that held good was talent.

Thus, 2021 was clearly a year of reinvention for HR. It makes the roadmap quite clear for the future.

· Remote working will certainly stay and there will be an increase in remote learning to upskill or reskill to stay relevant with the times.

· Team building will be on top of the cards too, as a team that works together will certainly grow together.

· Digital collaboration will increase with employee experience being redefined on the firm foundation of technology.

· Data analytics will get smarter, and more and more tasks will be automated to help in decision making.

HR will continue to evolve and become more exciting. It will acquire an even greater role in helping organisations thrive.

(The given article has been authored by Pradeep Chavda, Human Resource Director, Sodexo India  and has been solely created for BW People website)


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