Is your HR kit tech-proof, future-ready and emergency-friendly? Keep ticking
TERMS like Butterfly Effect or Domino Effect are no more just intellectual hubris to carry on at hi-flier conferences. They greet HR honchos every morning at the parking lot and wave a ‘see you tomorrow’ every evening in the elevator.
It’s a reality. Face it. No matter how far a new disruption’s squawks from, and irrespective of whose cradle a new trend is blinking its new-born eyes in, sooner or later it is going to land in your lap. Be ready to baby-sit every seemingly unconnected wave in technology, diapers and all.
Good HR managers have either survived such teething nights well or they have learnt their adages the hard way. Nothing in HR is isolated anymore; every new and harmless-looking dribble of technology can end up cascading on your shirt.
From the rise of social networking to the demise of attendance registers, HR fraternity has confronted technology’s ripples in unmistakable terms by now.
Plus, why you just cannot ignore the infectious power of technology breakthroughs; is because they just emerge and spread like virus among your workforce, your potential employee pool, your competition’s talent dynamics and your customer expectation grids.
All you can and should do is to make sure your HR box is immunized well for any imminent technology contagion doing the rounds. So while you may think you have everything covered back there, it won’t harm to do a quick drill of some formidable technology waves that would be filling the tide very soon.
1. Gamification charm, Check?
Your marketing counterpart must have already filled you in with the new tryst with games many business departments are padding up for. Business has always been a game, but a new game-changer has clawed its way in. Games are no more things that employee’s kids or nephews and nieces play. When your granny is as excited about her Farmville score as your boss is, how can you not tap the power of birds of this new feather? Try to have a walk around and you will find how companies of all shades and departments of all colors are joining the flock in devising new fun, engaging, goal-oriented ways of keeping their workforces happily tuned in. Gamification is not just a tick-in-the-box. Even if your rival is using this model to cut new models of employee coloration and injecting competition-redefined, the beauty about games is that you can always draw a lead by playing around with content, formats and cool-elements in more than one way.
2. BYOD spell, Check?
Yes, stop yawning. You must have been force-fed this sermon a zillion times by now on how employee-owned/preferred gadgets is marking offices with new form-factors today. But the question is that have you collaborated and conjured up with your IT colleagues smartly enough? Well, shouldn’t your organization be ready to have the right boundaries and balance in place on issues like privacy, data bucket-isation, flexibility for employee’s tastes, cost factors, security side-effects and all the enchilada that BYOD comes with? Isn’t it crucial that IT and HR are on the same page and yet able to strike that enviable concoction of keeping employees happy and business risk-free in the same stroke?
3. App Store and choice-game, Check?
No, it’s not something that only the Apples or Googles or sports-industry has to worry about. You are in the same league. Be prepared for employees expecting a whole bunch of applications tailor-made and stylishly-stitched for them when they come to work. That too as a hygiene factor. Applications are way past monolithic, employer-bought era. Today and tomorrow is all about employees having small, agile, personalized, nimble-footed for changes, aesthetic and usability-driven cafeteria experience of work applications. Get set to cooking for their big forks.
4. Thinking inside-the-Boxes, Check?
BOX is the new Cricket and Google Drive is the new Gucci. This new slew of consumer-styled storage and collaboration options has been hogging a lot of limelight in gossip circles and fashion statements these days. It really matters that the way documents, work-teams, projects, file-storage at your organization works echoes what’s in vogue out there. Make sure it’s safe and smooth without hurting your employees’ latest style-sheet. It’s time you stop wearing Crocs on this runway.
5. Shadows behind your back, Check?
Parents think they buy what goes in their fridge and in their porch. Well, ignorance is bliss in some ways. But definitely not something you should be living in this age where employees have everything, and yes almost everything, at their fingertips. Think of any project application, any workplace tool, any marketing or research widget and before you know it, chances are it’s already sitting and strutting around your employee’s desk (if there is one that is, in today’s era of remote-working or BYOD). Head-in-the-sand can be a good idea but it won’t keep you happy for long so be ready to confront that rogue IT and consequentially, rogue HR is tempting your employees strongly.
6. Predictive Periscopes, Check?
Attrition-control before it happens. Rotation before the needle turns. Succession planning for toddlers. All this is coming out of fantasy-zone for HR guys. Analytics, data-drilling, insights-parsing and a string of advanced tools have made it possible to spot a red flag in your vast dashboard, sitting on the top tree branch. Doesn’t matter whether you are on land or in water, these tools help you dice future from any angle. Pre- is the new X ‘now’.
7. Arm-chair HR, check?
What segues from the earlier trend naturally is the mention of hordes of names like Oculus, Oovoo, Skype’s new versions and what not. Video-conferencing is being unshackled from that odd-rainy-day-huddle it was used for. It is going to make vast, staggeringly-cost-effective, incredibly-environmentally-friendly inroads across all HR processes. From video-screenings-of-applicants to George-Clooney-styled pink-slip talk or tough-appraisal-discussions, conferencing is going to be the de rigueur of sorts for HR department. Make the most of it and shed some side-baggage that comes along with it.
These seven points are a mere glimpse and HR function has to be ready for many more harmless wings flapping across far-seated tech-terrains. Just accept that some storms actually start in tiny tea cups.