Diversity, Flexibility, Empowerment top HR priorities for firms: ETILC

As per the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), around 53 million Indian employees found themselves out of work because of the pandemic. While hybrid work eventually became the norm, companies found it challenging to improve WFH infrastructure and reduce digital disparity. While many organizations ensured that health and safety measures for all employees and families were met, there was an industry-wide call for better health infrastructure, technological development, and employee engagement models.

Owing to the change in operations, corporates have recalibrated their HR strategies. Many have shifted their focus to agility, flexibility, non-linearity, and innovation. By prioritizing the creation of a sustainable ecosystem, upgradation of skills, ensuring data security, supporting remote workers, and optimizing communication, HR has repositioned its path to sustain relevance. Furthermore, with the increasing mass vaccination, the idea of returning to the physical workplace is also being actively discussed.

Digital HR

Robotic Process Automation (RPA), VR, as well as AI, have been significantly integrated into screening processes, on-boarding, and recruitment. Organizations are also working towards leveraging emotional intelligence to the same end. In addition to this, the introduction of People Data Governance has been instrumental in utilizing analytics systems to track employee performance, productivity, and sources of motivation. Through this digitalization and visualization, companies can further develop useful insights and predictions related to hiring trends, attrition, and future management decisions.

Revamping L&D
According to a discussion by Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), with learning intelligence platforms leveraging technology for the cause of employee development, there has been an increase of 378% in the number of daily users of virtual learning. Almost 72% of Indians prefer e-learning over traditional classroom platforms. While technological and classroom learning is to be considered integral, emotional intelligence, experiential learning, as well as behavioral skills also need to be paid attention to. This is indispensable for creating an empathetic workforce.

Virtual Hiring and Talent Acquisition

With multiple lockdowns imposed, hiring and acquisition have also been vastly hindered, specially in tech companies. However, with the advent of virtual hiring and automated interviews, the hiring process has been moving towards recovery. Since attracting talent has become even more difficult, HR trends have seen the challenge of offering higher salaries and an increasing job decline rate. While the demand for good talent is much, the supply is limited. However, shifting focus to internal talent pools, remote candidates and a hybrid workforce has offered some relief and continues to do so.

A Hyper-personalized Employee Experience
As per the Oracle Workplace APAC 2021 report by SHRM, talent acquisition and retention is being revolutionized using hyper-personalized employee experience. There has been a shift to viewing employees under the human-centered lens instead of them being categorized as just workers. Organizations are endorsing peer-to-peer recognition along with an engaged and inclusive work environment. Radical flexibility, establishing deeper connections, and building a relational capital are being foregrounded.

India Inc Shares Their HR Priorities:

“As the team size grows, embedding firm’s culture and ethos in every employee can become challenging. Steps to address this include all-hands meetings to understand departmental achievements & requirements” Dhirendra Mahyavanshi, Co-Founder, Turtlemint

“Our endeavours to foster an inclusive and compassionate culture truly empower our employees, support their families, and help build a learning organization with high psychological safety. Over the past several months, our open culture has helped us ensure seamless business continuity and deep relationships.” Vani Manja, MD, Boehringer Ingelheim India

“We adopted tech platforms not only to create reach but also to develop a deeper understanding of customers, partners, and most importantly employees. We’re focused on localized empowerment and decision making, decentralization of core operations and developing sensitivity towards partner associations,”

-Vineet Chattree, MD, Svatantra Micro Housing Finance, Svatantra Microfin

“While we were using the WFH model even before the pandemic, remote working has helped us widen the talent pool and has helped us further enhance our appeal towards exclusivity and diversity.”

Rohit Karnatak, MD, Pinkerton India

“2021 was a watershed year. Innovative engagement initiatives involving families, leveraging tech for hiring, learning and development were a unique set of solutions.”

Sebi Joseph, President, Otis India

“DEI has become a part of the DNA within Parexel India. We’re focusing on driving these initiatives for our employees and for the patient population for conducting clinical trials. We have a gender-neutral POSH policy, a preferred hiring system for those who quit the company during the pandemic.”

Sanjay Vyas, EVP, India Country Head & MD & SBU Head Clinical Trial Supplies & Logistics, Parexel International

“We are continuously hiring from all geographic areas. We did not lay off any employees due to the pandemic. Respect and care is core value for Indian Oiltanking.”

Rajesh Ganesh, MD, Indian Oiltanking

“WFH has enabled us to build new skills as we benefited from connecting across time and geographic zones via video conferencing. Our leaders have upskilled by playing a heightened role with employees. The need is to be empathetic and prepare the workforce for the new normal”

Amit Sehgal, MD, India, Avantor

“The virtual work model has helped us upscale our digital capabilities to service dealers and customers, and the hybrid workplace allows our teams the flexibility in these times. To help bring a balance to the work from home phenomena, Bridgestone India introduced no-meeting periods to help employees organise their work priorities for the week and initiated programmes for overall well being.”

Parag Satpute, MD, Bridgestone India

“We believe our employees are central to our growth strategies, and every single employee plays an integral role in the organization’s growth journey. The growth opportunities and transparent environment create a highly engaged workforce supported by our 360-degree work-life integration programs.”

Alok Bansal, MD & Global Head,BFSI, Visionet Systems

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