The dynamic nature of business environment makes the year 2019 more challenging for business enterprises. To thrive in the radically changing business environment, enterprises need to take stock of their existing technologies and policies in order to augment it in line with the changing industry and technological demands. The management leaders also need to zoom out of their routine work and look at the changes that has taken place in their respective domain and also take notice of the evolving job landscape. Human Resource Management is likely to take center stage this year due to the following reasons:
Need for personalized HR policies
It is time managers do away with their cookie cutter approach in hiring, training and developing employees. Choice, flexibility and control is what employees want in their work and management will need to tailor their policies to employees’ needs, talents and interests. Millennials account for a significant and a growing percentage of labor force therefore it is imperative for organizations to tweak their policies to retain them and reduce the cost of managing talent. The inability of organizations to keep their employees engaged is one of the important reasons for low retention. Offering flexibility and regular feedback with a customized HR policy can help enterprises to create a good experience for their employees. As one-size doesn’t -fit-all is the new trend, treating employees as individuals rather than a part of a group is the new normal.
# MeToo Campaign
The #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment and abuse swept through Hollywood in 2017 and in South Asian countries like India and Nepal picking it up in 2018 has forced enterprises to strengthen its HR policies. The campaign has redrawn the lines of what is acceptable workplace behavior especially for men who feed on the sense of easy entitlement over women colleagues. It is time enterprises draft stricter policies with institutional commitment to enforce the same. Organizing training programmes to sensitize as well as to create awareness about the meaning of sexual harassment would be a baby step towards creating a safe and secured workplace.
Technology has ruled our lives and businesses too. It has disrupted every aspect of how businesses are done and HR is no exception. The mechanical approach to manage businesses and employees has given way to automated activities for better accuracy, cost reduction or simply to enhance user experience. Technologies such as artificial Intelligence, chat bots and data analytics will help automating certain processes and will aid in HR problem solving and decision making. Technology adds in the measurability factor which provides less scope for human biasness, prejudices and removes any unfair ‘human’ determining influence. Therefore, the efficiency and effectiveness of enterprises will now depend on how soon it adopts these tools, leverages them and integrates them in the system.
Diversity in workplace
With workplace being increasingly global, companies need to discuss diversity and inclusion more seriously. World of work is evolving every year, and so is the HR landscape. Diversity encompasses gender, race, ethnic groups, age, religion, sexual orientation, etc. and having a diverse workforce offers a competitive edge to the business. However, it is imperative for enterprises to provide an inclusive environment to accommodate and accept individual differences. In order for diversity to be seen as an institutional priority and a positive aspect of workplace culture, the differences between individuals need to be managed and nurtured. This includes using technology for blind hiring, sensitizing all employees on how to coexist, more inclusive onboarding processes, etc. along with policies and practices in place to protect employee rights. Workforce diversity should be seen as an asset than as a divisive issue and it is time leaders commit themselves in creating an inclusive work environment.
Change or perish
Winston Churchill, the former British Prime Minister was very right in saying “To improve is to change and to be perfect is to change often.” It holds true for the enterprise level as well. Therefore, before embarking on the transformation journey management needs to firstly accept that the change in the work environment is inevitable which means they have no choice than to embrace the change and secondly set an example that inspires other to follow by advocating the change. Rather than shying away it would be wise to think about how can they leverage uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity in the modern business environment. The early they do this, the easier would be the change process.