‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ – this age old saying aptly captures the essence of the dilemma faced by today’s industrial sector and has caused the corporate leaders to review their work policies. In times where social distancing & employee health concerns are outpacing the basics of traditional Human Resource concerns like productivity & human relationships, it is becoming difficult to run an office floor packed with hundreds and thousands of employees. HRMS technology and processes, which have witnessed a global digital disruption owing to the growing needs of millennials & digital technology, are now in a state of accelerated disruption. The industry is now hunting for innovative ideas to maintain balance between drastically changing workplaces and expected work results.
Changing times require a drastic shift in work policies and processes. One of the foremost challenges that companies face is managing their employees. This challenge might become exponentially difficult when an employee’s work, efficiency measurements, and location become erratic owing to health priorities, economic uncertainties, and changing social norms.
How can organizations tackle something that comes with a sense of high uncertainty while continuing to innovate & deliver human resource goals along with productivity growth?
The answer lies in making best use of the technologies that the HR space has to offer. Leading HRMS innovators have already developed tools that are helping companies overcome the current and futuristic challenges while allowing them to continue being productive. Pocket HRMS is a primary example of such innovation which provides digital touchless biometric security and artificial intelligence powered chatbot solutions. This has empowered organizations with the right toolset to help them take the necessary measures to handle the present dynamic work environment obstacles.
Reactionary measures, where organizations worked on solutions long after the problem was detected, are a thing of the past. The current generation of leaders are known to take Visionary Measures – foreseeing and anticipating problems in advance, brainstorming about future obstacles, and developing scalable solutions. When it comes to the unpredictable task of managing employees in a normal working environment, the HR department is already faced with a continuously challenging problem. In the event of an unprecedented & unpredictable calamity, an organization that is unprepared for such upheavals can find their entire HR Management spiral out of control and become a nightmare.
These growing concerns in conjunction with the ongoing pandemic-forced disruptions, when carefully analyzed, provide a bigger picture of the HR industry’s future curve. Looking ahead of this curve, there are certain aspects that have the potential to become the HR industry’s focus points across the globe in the coming years. In our opinion, we would like to point out three major disruptions in the prevalent HRMS practices, which will be accelerated in the coming months and years where HR professionals will need to modify their policies and mindsets accordingly:
- Health First HR: A more inclusive focus on overall employee well-being.
- Distributed Decentralized HR: A new Human Resources Management structure that is distributed as well as decentralized.
- HR-2-Home: Access HR wherever, whenever required by the employees.
Health First HR
The most prominent goal for organizations is to strike a balance between office productivity and workforce morale. The HR team utilizes various means and strategies to achieve this goal consistently. However, there has been a steady shift towards a different direction of HR management, which focuses on employee health and wellness. The reason is the growing interest among employees to take care of their wellbeing owing to the increased awareness about hygiene, health management, and personal well-being as well as its direct impact on the productivity and growth of the organization.
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the key concept of health tracking. smHRt HR managers have started foreseeing this need and are getting themselves ready to tackle this new-age challenge with the help of innovative HRMS tools that focus on employee health as one of the most important datapoints to monitor. Employee Health Monitoring has the potential to change the way HR management structure their workplace policies.
Due to Covid-19, short-term health monitoring like temperature, general health parameters, psychometric and health precautionary measures will be given highest priority by HR professionals. This need has already been bolstered due to both government regulatory compliances and the overall business continuity requirements of an organization. This will give rise to a Health First HR approach, which will become an integral gear in the HR strategy mechanism. Concepts like Mental Hygiene, Mental Thermometer, which monitors happiness quotient, physical health dashboards, and others that provide a cognitive insight of employees will serve as a crucial barometer to help measure human resource management capabilities of an organization.
In order to smoothen the back-to-work transition, employers are looking for digital HR features that can help promote social distancing and contactless employee management. Global HRMS leaders like Sage HRMS, BambooHR, Orange HRMS and more, have already incorporated various digital means of managing employees by utilizing an approach that highlights touchless employee attendance management and social distancing. In India, the market has rapidly evolved along the same lines. Pocket HRMS, one of the most prominent HRMS vendors in the country, has adopted a new innovative way to do this by introducing Selfie Attendance with Facial Recognition. This provides employers with the biometric security of facial recognition while also encouraging contactless mechanisms for their employees.
Being able to monitor your HR Software in real-time, promoting employee wellness, and continuously analyzing your Health First HR’s performance metrics would become crucial in leading any organization towards a healthier working environment and ultimately to much higher productivity levels.
Distributed Decentralized HR
2020 was supposed to be the culmination of the incredible digital progress we have made in the past decade ushering the four corners of technology viz. social, mobility, analytics, & cloud (SMAC) across various industries and their organizations. It was going to mark the beginning of a new decade, which would have brought about dynamic shifts in working methodologies and ways in which companies interact with their human resources. However, nobody could foretell that the year would be known for imposing of restrictions in the otherwise normal functioning of organizations to enforce social distancing among other government policies. The biggest change, which accelerated due to this, is the adoption of work-from-home policies. Although, this concept is not a new one its popularity has skyrocketed and is now followed faithfully across the globe. It has taken the corporate sector by surprise where almost all the employees no longer need to be in the office. Fortunately, the arrival of various cloud based HRMS tools has made managing company workforce more streamlined and easier.
This has put HRs in a peculiar yet interesting position. They no longer need to be at the headquarters, office, or even have a dedicated department for managing their workforce. A decade ago, managing employees away from the office seemed impractical, ambitious, and a bit futuristic. However, 2020 has brought about an HR-evolution of sorts and revolutionized the way an HR works, forever. The power of cloud based HRMS has opened a door to new possibilities of being device and location agnostic. Thus, a new concept is taking shape – Distributed Decentralized HR.
The future holds the possibility for HR managers to be distributed over multiple regions of tier II cities, or even HR leaders in remote locations, to be able to efficiently manage employees and handle queries flawlessly. The need for a centralized human resource management structure is decreasing steadily and paving the way to becoming a truly decentralized HR department.
While employee health monitoring and HR decentralization are two concepts that have the potential to transform the HR space, there is also a third which arises from these two concepts i.e. HR-2-Home.
The growing popularity of work from home has brought mutual advantages for employees and employers alike, with many companies now modifying work policies to become more adaptable to working from home. Residential locations and their distance from office are no longer a constraint for employees. This shift, in turn, has broadened the horizons of HR professionals due to the opportunity of expanded reach and diversification that it offers. Today, more and more jobs are moving to a home setup and the traditional way of office work is slowly losing its foothold across the corporate sector.
Although, this method of working has existed for quite some time, it has seen a rapid surge in usage due to COVID-19 and its benefits are becoming clearer day by day. The introduction of new human resource management tools like self-service portals, HR chatbots, notifications, internal social network and sharing to name a few, are empowering employees to be more capable of handling their work queries. Even team coordination is made seamless with apps that enable attendance monitoring, project management, time tracking, and much more via web portals as well as smartphones.
However, there are certain things that can become a cause for concern if left unchecked. This novel way of working has made it easy to work from anywhere. But it leaves room for human error, mismanagement, and misuse. Therefore, we require better innovations that can tackle obstacles to monitoring work efficiency and subject them to adaptable productivity metrics. These metrics need to be identified, properly defined, and applied uniformly for optimal work performance results.
Let us take the example of a very popular quote and see how this applies to the concept of HR-2-Home. When we say “The customer is always right” what we mean is that business has always been customer reliant. The business goes where the customer goes. Over the last decade, there is a steady change in the customer’s perspective as services became location agnostic. Nowadays, almost anything can be delivered to the customer at home since that is the new location. Now, when it comes to HRs managing their employees, this is no longer a futuristic approach but a fact. It is possible for companies to flawlessly interact with their employees with the help of HRMS software and bring their HR to the employee’s new workplace – Home. The future of HR-2-Home approach will require HR professionals to be digitally aligned. This will allow effective delivery of services like resolving queries surrounding appraisals, goal settings, self-help, team building, training, career progression, etc. HR counselling at employees’ home or their preferred workplace location would also be achieved.
These three key concepts have the potential to change the future of HRMS. While the future itself remains unpredictable, foreseeable changes can lead to the biggest revolution in the HR space since the introduction of cloud services with new frontiers opening through adoption of mobility, artificial intelligence, bots, and machine learning. The real challenge is to realize the depth of these obstacles and the opportunities they present. Innovative and dynamic solutions for these concepts have the capacity to do more than just take HR management to the next level. It can facilitate an unprecedented balance between employee health, corporate efficiency, and global reach.
A true HR-evolution is just being accelerated!