Is it sufficient to follow global technological and social trends to cope with the shift in employment and careers? How are we balancing human strengths and technology to help determine the outcome of disruptive change?
Technological advances are playing an increasingly important role in organizations. Business areas, including HR and talent management, are replacing and renewing their technological solutions with resources that work more efficiently and scale more rapidly. But is the effort paying off? Are the platforms as productive as expected?
Criteria for developing the requirements, evaluating them, and choosing the right HR-related technology solution should be evaluated before that solution is chosen. The first piece to consider is that HR and talent management can no longer focus only on the traditional needs of just one area. The shift in the business’s front-end function has to make employees’ work and careers better, which entails a broader vision that encompasses adaptation to the different needs and profiles of employees.
Big data and analytics delivers this meaningful cross set of findings. These tools and methodologies tell us what matters and provide insight (evidence and feedback) into our actions, helping HR and talent management continuously improve.
In this new era, it is essential not just to build more productive companies but to undertake a comprehensive range of responsibilities related to employees and society. Businesses must face the challenges of a disengaged and unhappy workforce, help their employees upskill with technological innovations, design more fulfilling places to work, and make the most of our advantages as humans.
Still, many companies struggle with applying emerging technology to traditional business models and processes that originated during the Industrial Revolution. In fact, research has shown that productivity (overall economic performance) in OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries is slowing. It is essential to rethink how the work should be done, how the human-robot tandem should be implemented and what its purpose should be.
And these must also become the functions of a renewed talent management area, one that is concerned and engaged with how to respond to workers’ needs and how to unleash the power of talent in an increasingly digital and stressful environment.
It is clear and mandatory that HR and talent management activities should be linked to the digital transformation strategy, but that means much more than just digitizing existing processes or automating HR. It is an extraordinary opportunity to rethink what we are doing and how we can enhance our roles. This means moving away from ubiquitous integrated management to a more experimental, agile, and flexible way of responding to the new challenges of driving the sustainable economic and social growth that society demands.
HR and talent leaders should take on how technology is changing work because it has a huge impact on the global workforce. HR must be an active designer on how, where, and when technology will be implemented. We must not forget that employees should be highly trained and capable of making good use of it to maximize its benefits.
But as technology also contributes to employment precariousness, how can HR organize itself to achieve a more positive future? Where a company not only delivers tangible benefits to their customers but to the people who work for it? The answer must be guided by experimentation with the focus on improvement and constant reinvention, which means creating spaces to help employees learn new skills and gain experiences that can help moving to other roles with a lower propensity to automate.
In turn, experimentation demands a less hierarchical organization, with more people working autonomously, coming up with new ideas, and taking decisions. With a more dispersed and flexible workforce, this is possible only if they share a set of values. This is why culture becomes so relevant as it fills the gaps of a more unstructured approach.
HR and talent management leaders must have the ability to shape how the culture looks and feels. And culture values are partly responsible for attracting and retaining talent. They determine the experience and the journey people have with the organization. This new model needs to rely on trust.
Edgar Schein’s three levels of organizational culture is worth revising to understand the great effect the culture have on people behaviors. And talking about behaviors, is your HR department stressing intrinsic improvement to ensure your organization work better for employees and society? How?