Future workplace and reskilling
The future digital workplace
The future of learning & development
How to reskill your workforce: 8 insights
01. The future digital workplace
What will the future digital workplace look like, and how will this change HR? Chief HR Officers across the globe name several key priorities.
- Arunava A. Chakrabarty, Head - SaaS Business Development & Strategy, UK & Europe, Tata Consultancy Services
With a goal of transforming the HR business in a competitive and rapidly evolving market, adopting an accelerated change is the only option for CHROs. The need of the hour is to implement people processes leveraging the modern best practices of the digital SaaS platforms which help the CHROs to achieve their business goals and digital transformation objectives touching the lives of the colleagues.
The key CHRO objectives for driving the HR transformation journeys of their enterprises are: • Enhanced colleague experience to tap the potential of the next generation workforce • Driving a digital assistant led HR transformation for the ‘hire to retire’ business functions and make sure that the entire colleague base of joiners, movers and leavers embrace the new ways of working leading to the ‘future of work’ powered by colleague experience and customer experience
• Redesign the end-to-end HR business functions with standardization, simplification and automation of policies and processes • Consolidate HR systems with a future ready artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) enabled SaaS platform, having a highly intuitive user experience, which is mobile responsive with anywhere/anytime access and providing real-time business insights • Creating an immersive learning experience for colleagues so that learning becomes an essential mode to drive the motivation and collaboration amongst colleagues • Ensure the HR business partners are having an increased productivity with the ease of access to right information at the right moment leading to an agile future HR The goal of the HR business in today’s world is to move away from disparate HR systems across multiple HR functions, and manual non-standard complex people processes.
“The goal of the HR business in today’s world is to move away from disparate HR systems”
In my role, I have been working collaboratively with multiple CHROs in the UK & Europe region to define the digital transformation strategy and the future HR roadmap for their organizations. I was the driving force behind the grand success of the marquee HR transformation journey for a leading hi-tech company in continental Europe. This is an award-winning HR transformation program in the Benelux. Recently, I was involved in shaping up the end-to-end HR transformation journey powered by the Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud for a leading retailer in the UK, and driving the learning transformation journey powered by Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD) for another leading retailer in the UK.
In my recent engagement with a global manufacturing leader, I helped in shaping up the complete HR transformation journey wherein I handled the challenges of managing the expectations of the blue-collar as well as the white-collar colleagues. Based on my interactions with the HR business leaders of these conglomerates, I am highlighting the seven key elements that are helping to manage the expectations of tomorrow’s workforce and making sure that the future workforce has a sense of belonging to the organization.
Seven key elements
1. The new era of digital HR
Digital technologies are yielding greater efficiency results and streamlining operations. Massive reductions in manual processes are changing how an organization defines its HR strategy, structure, roles, budgets, and service commitments. The HR department of the future will keep focusing on people, talent, and culture.
2. Strategic focus on talent management
Hiring in today’s world has become more competitive. Employee expectations are changing. Today, millennials make up around half of the workforce. They are looking for a unique experience. They want everything to be delivered at their handheld. They want digital assistants to help them in their day-to-day activities. The candidate experience from hiring to onboarding plays a key role in terms of attracting and retaining the best talent from the global talent pool.
3. State of the art learning experience
Enhance colleague experience through a unified learning experience to drive a learning culture. Create a personalized and prescriptive learning solution that is easy to maintain. Ease content searching so colleagues can find content wherever they search. Deliver the micro and macro learning contents to the colleagues’ hand-held devices. Create an agile workforce, ready to reskill as per the demands of the evolving and changing industry expectations.
4. Leveraging collaboration tools
The recent pandemic has led to the evolution of the borderless enterprise. It’s all about driving a purpose led growth for future enterprises by embracing diversity and inclusion of the global workforce. This demands the creation of a unique colleague experience by integrating the Digital SaaS platform with MS Teams, Office 365, etc. to ensure a seamless adoption of the new age HR solution.
5. Predictive analytics and embedded reporting The value and importance of leveraging data is immense. Organizations need to be ahead of the curve on this. Predictive analytics play a key role in making sure that HR business partners are experiencing an increased productivity.
Hundreds of reporting templates already available in the SaaS platform ensure that the HR business community can configure and create their own reporting needs.
6. Buy-in at the executive board level
A big win is when the business case for HR digital transformation is approved at the executive board level in a way that everyone could understand and support. HR transformation needs to be much more than a technology ‘lift and shift’. People, processes and policies, and technology need to balance. The process is iterative. People need to be involved in all aspects, from the outset, starting with fundamental business requirements. It also needs to be clear who, exactly, is responsible for what, at each stage, to enforce a clear adoption process. The challenge is to progress with whatever flexibility is required to minimize business disruption, while delivering on the expected Business outcomes of the HR transformation program.
7. Organizational change management
Change is an ongoing process, not a destination. The purpose is to select a SaaS platform for both standardization of industry best practices and ongoing innovation to fully understand and address the evolving needs of the HR business. HR transformation journey is about creating a culture that accepts ongoing change. In today’s ecosystem, the technology and people’s expectations are evolving at rocket speed. Embracing the industry’s best practices and standardized systems helps customers to be better positioned to strategically manage change over time, across both the internal organization and externally. I highlight that the CHROs would need to embrace the TCS’ thought leadership framework Workforce 4.0, wherein every organization need to have the empowered, connected, diverse and talent-oriented workforce in order to establish the ‘future of work’ for their enterprises.
Future business benefits of a HR transformation journey
The business benefits resulting from a HR transformation journey would lead to a future digital workplace helping the CHROs to create the enterprises of tomorrow having: • Enhanced colleague experience • A high degree of operational efficiency • The ability to attract and retain the best-in-class talent • Faster talent acquisition with reduced time to onboard • Improved change velocity, agility, flexibility, and the right to information to drive the company’s business growth by serving the customers better and more efficiently by a well-motivated, highly satisfied, and digitally equipped workforce Based on my journey of shaping the HR transformation initiatives for our marquee customers, I can say that colleague experience is the foundational element for establishing the future digital workplace. Enhanced colleague experience leads to enhanced customer experience which in turn leads to enhanced business benefits helping the organizations to stay relevant and grow in today’s disruptive ecosystem.
02. The future of learning & development
Response to the pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has forced organizations to adapt and learn. In this webcast, CIPD Central London invites two HR professionals who have a played a key role in their organizations’ learning response to lockdown and remote working.
03. How to reskill your workforce:
No lack of training programs and coaching trajectories, but what’s actually an effective way to reskill your workforce? In Increasing Learning & Development’s Impact through Accreditation: How to Drive-up Training Quality, Employee Satisfaction, and ROI (2020) researchers offer their insights and tips.
1. Be rigorous
While organizations worldwide spend billions of dollars on workforce education, there remain few measures of quality consistency within the training world. However, accreditation can ensure quality control. Accreditation is a process of independent attestation to the adherence of standards that meet the requirements of a profession. It’s a planning and control process that ensures quality, professional competence, and accountability.
2. Align learning with mission and values
The key for accreditation is to create a direct alignment of learning and training to the organization’s mission and values. Importantly, both mission and values not only provide direction, but also unify people and claim authority for the learning to be conducted within the organization. Learning and training plans which are aligned with the organization’s overall business plan guide managers and staff to design training that benefits all members.
3. Structure for accountability
A long-standing debate has existed about whether to place the learning and development function within HR, within an operating division, or as a stand-alone separate unit. The placement of learning and development within the organization sends a clear message to all members.
This organizational placement will signal the intent for employee development — be it as one of compliance and cost control (training placed within an operations or finance unit), as an added benefit to workers internally (training placed within the HR unit), or as a strategic learning effort to help the organization excel in its endeavors (training established as a stand-alone learning unit).
The placement of the learning and development function as its own operating unit can be an indication of the leadership and management’s view that employee learning has a strategic value, and a sense that direct ‘ownership’ of the training effort is present.
4. Adjust to the target group
Thinking and behavior are complex processes, which are inherently different between adults. To create effective training for all the adult workers in your organization, an understanding of your employees as learners is essential. This means among other things that you take into account the current abilities or competencies your employees have, and also consider demographic characteristics.
5. Formulate a clear goal
As in all endeavors, establishing a goal and setting objectives to meet that goal are two different procedures. A training goal is a general statement about the intended overall organizational change which new learning by employees will accomplish. The goal is written as a simplified statement that either points toward a resolution of the performance problem or promotes a new endeavor that the organization is undertaking to execute a new strategy, such as: ‘Sales personnel will consistently offer...’, or ‘Employees will be able to discern differences between...’.
6. Specify the learning method
A training program is one of many ways to improve employee performance so that the work can be done more effectively or efficiently. Working more effectively means greater collaboration, higher product quality, or increased customer satisfaction. Working more efficiently means a faster pace, fewer steps, or reduced errors. To make such improvements, how do you know when a training program is needed versus other ways to improve performance, such as skill refinement, memory jogging, or coaching? Before determining the training solution, what is most needed must first be specified.
7. Establish a learning environment with care
A learning and development program’s management is the designated authority that establishes and directs the full education process. Management establishes the learning environment, be it physical or electronic, and directs supporting resources to the learning programs. Support resources further include registration methods, signs, seating, visual aids, tools and equipment, refreshments when appropriate, evaluation methods, and follow-up.
8. And finally, evaluate
Regardless of process or practice, full program evaluation has a purpose to document how the education provided to workers meets the overall needs of the organization and its employees on a broad scale. This is done by examining each of the learning and development department’s offerings according to a set standard and summarizing the results against selected criteria.
William J. Rothwell, Sandra L. Williams, Aileen G. Zabellero, Increasing Learning & Development’s Impact through Accreditation: How to Drive-up Training Quality, Employee Satisfaction, and ROI. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.