By Sharad Deshpande

Explosion of data and methods to collect, collate and draw meaningful and timely insights have had a significant impact on every function within an organization over the last decade. This is true, be it in Sales, Marketing, HR, Finance, Customer Support, Product Engineering and the like. Sales, for example, has become far more sophisticated today with the capability now being available to easily map and understand prospect accounts, identify network connections, collect external data points from public sources that have a bearing on the business and thereby refine engagements leading to greater chances of an early closure.

Over the same period, the evolving technical capabilities has enabled HR across progressive companies to go beyond the operational aspects of a traditional HR function, to one that now has the capability to bring in critical, timely and actionable insights about the most important asset of an organization – its employees. These insights enable businesses to make smarter and well informed decisions. On the other hand, the changing nature of the multi generational workforce, has mandated the HR to bring in transparent processes to improve Employee Experience and Engagement. This spans across various touch points that employees experience within the company – be it in Compensation & Benefits, Performance Assessments and Feedback, Wellness, Engagement, Learning and Development, Grievance handling, work-life balance, career planning, recruitment among others. The outlier organizations have gone forward in gamifying experiences to improve their Employer branding while enabling helping raise the performance bar.

The 2020 Global Talent Trends – published by LinkedIn Talent Solutions, gives an excellent peek into what to expect over the coming years. To summarize, it calls out four key trends shaping HR:

  1. Employee Experience: 77% of the organizations focused on this to improve retention.
  2. People Analytics: More than 2 fold increase over the last 5 years in HR professionals with Analytical skill sets to enable greater value addition
  3. Internal recruiting: 41% improvement in employee tenures with evolved internal hiring processes that map skill availability, grading, utilization and career planning
  4. Multi-generational Workforce: Greater than 50% of the organizations are working through redrafting policies to effectively handle a diverse workforce

Charting out an effective transformation path for your HR function from as-is to to-be state, begins with an assessment to understand how evolved are the processes, policies and practices. This should be followed with an understanding and agreement of where you would like to be. The entire change management process should be well planned with sufficient emphasis on employee communications so as to ensure desired outcomes.

In the SMB space, many organizations still seemed to focus around basic process automation (payroll, for example), often with discrete point solutions. All the above trends will impact businesses, irrespective of their size. It is therefore imperative, whether you are a small, medium or large organization, to take a holistic look at your HR function and chart your transformation journey. Employee Experience Management and Analytics will be good to begin with, followed by internal recruitment and Employee engagement. Selecting the right Technology partner who shares the vision and can partner with you along the way is also imperative for the success of the entire transformation effort.

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