The new world of work demands new ways of business and employee management. While technology has been a key driver for digital transformation, compelling organizations to invest in HR solutions, the hybrid workplace shines the spotlight on employee needs like never before.
Here are some innovative strategies and best practices to improve performance management, employee engagement, and experience shared in a webcast conducted by ASSOCHAM and Work Vision 2021. The panelists for the webcast on 'Humanizing HR Technology – Innovations in the Hybrid Workplace’ were Amulya Sah, CHRO, Team Computers and Prashant Rai, Senior VP, HR at Arohan Financial. The session was moderated by Capt Ved Singh, Director, Implementation and RCS at Darwinbox.
Here are some of the pressing questions the session answered:
1. How did EX change post pandemic?
Being a very on-field organization, Arohan Financial couldn’t go completely remote during the pandemic. Most of the people had to be on the field to work. Only the regional and zonal officers were in the hybrid work mode. So, the biggest transformation they saw post pandemic was how they had to approach the onboarding of new hires.
With majority of their workforce hailing from remote areas of India, the biggest challenge for the HR team was to transform the physical interactions into digital which was not easy because the candidates were not naturally tech savvy. “We did two things. We collaborated with multiple aggregators to help us in onboarding. And secondly, we trained our own people on how to use the various digital platforms. We wanted to ensure technology would accelerate our processes”, said Prashant Rai.
This meant that even the new hires had to be trained on how to use these new, digital platforms.
2. How did the orgs deal with the shockwaves of pandemic?
The lockdown of cities hit businesses like a tsunami. At Team Computers, the first few months were about making arrangements to send their people home, have the necessary infrastructure in place to work from home and ensure business as usual.
This also accelerated their digital transformation significantly. For workplace, the HR team enabled work chat. For sales, they used BI chatbots. And for their HR processes, they partnered with Darwinbox. Earlier, HR operations that were taking very long, now just take a few minutes. “Earlier reports would take 2-3 hours to make, now it just takes 5 minutes to pull up a report from the system”, said Amulya Sah.
“Another challenge for us was how do we train our managers in all these myriad digital platforms that we were using for collaboration, cooperation and communication. So, from last 6-7 months we have been training our people on things like email etiquettes, presentation skills etc. Because we are a 35-year-old company, we don’t have a lot of people who are digitally savvy. But now everyone understands that hybrid is here to stay and are learning to cope”, added Amulya.
3. How did HR recalibrate EX and performance strategy?
Interestingly, the team at Arohan Financial started the Aarohan Radio which garnered huge responses from their employees. They would broadcast any office wide news, change in policies or updates, while also having fun. This way people remained engaged. Since the pandemic also resulted in a lot of stress, they helped employees with counselling sessions or connecting them with doctors for answering any query they had around COVID-19.
“We also made sure we were always connected and had fun in the virtual mode. This was the humanization aspect... of connection. And technology helped us in enabling some of these initiatives. It took the culture out of the building and made us realize that it really lies with the people”, added Prashant Rai.
According to Rai, one of the biggest shifts the HR fraternity is seeing now is adoption of an evidence-based approach to their work. And technology is a big enabler of that. It is helping HRs take majority of the people decisions based on data and analytics instead of gut feeling or intuition. Earlier, HR was looked at as a ‘soft’ function and that is now changing with time.
4. What is the ROI of HR technology?
According to Amulya, the RPA that they implemented for their compliances and the use of AI to parse resumes have saved immense time for their teams, which is money saved, directly translating into ROI.
On the other hand, for Prashant’s organization, by nature of their services, they face a fair amount of fraud activities and issue of unsecured loans. By having in place technology that helps them keep a database of KYC details and with imaging features like facial recognition etc., they are able to curtail the fraudulent activities to a large extent.
The one thing that all panelists agreed on was that digital transformation today, especially in the HR field, is like oxygen. Lack of which will lead to certain death of organizations.
Catch the full webinar here: