Agile, Tech Savvy and Entrepreneurial

What according to you, Workforce of Future look Like?

The future workforce will be agile, tech savvy and entrepreneurial. They would like to be trusted with responsibilty and would have very clear expectations from their organisations and managers. With deeper penetration of technology at the workplace, I also see a future of less human contact and immense intolerance to processes, structure and hierarchy. However, this would also mean more transparency within organisations. Having been exposed to a more global culture, I foresee the future workforce to be moreinclusive with acceptance of all types of people; lesser biases and intolerance towards differences. The future generation is ambitious and passionate and they would be want to grow fast, earn more faster, enjoy more, pursue a career in line with their passions and retire at a much younger age.

When we look at the workforce of the future, what are top of the mind issues/priorities for key stakeholders – CEO, HR and employees?

Since the future workforce would have a very different mindset it will require out of box thinking by CEO and HR. There will be a need to relook at organization structure, processes and people to ensure that we have more flat organizations, simple processes and better facilities and policies for employees. The workforce of the future will be more tech savvy hence there would be a need to provide a digitized environment. For HR the bigger task would be to create a more open and transparent culture where employeesare comfortable and feel empowered and are able to explore their passion.

What has been your experience with digitisation, AI & Robotics in HR? Is India ready for such a huge transformation?

We have implemented several digital interventions in our organisation like Chatbots, simulation based trainings, app-based Learning Management Systems and so on. These interventions addressed specific needs within the organisation and has worked well for us. However, the costs of such digitisation has to justify the costs and that is the major challenge for such transformation in India. As labour is cheap in India, affordability would be a concern as compared to the West. Adoption of technology in HR had its inherit pros and cons. Too much of digitization, AI & Robotics takes away the vey essence of the department – the personal touch with employees. While there are many advantages like standard communication, quicker and timely response, faster closures of queries and activities, wider and faster reach, the disadvantage, in my opinion, is one and that is larger than all the advantages of adapting to technology – people connect being lost.

What are your views on “The Economic Times Workforce of the Future Summit” and how important do you feel is the need of organizing such summits?

I think this is a great initiative by the Economic Times. It will give the audience a deep insight into some of the most pertinent issues of the Human Resource Industry like technology vs people; new-age workforce; need for better recruitments and strategies for the same; retention of employees; dealing with the old and new gen workforce; Use of technology in HR and more. Such Summits should definitely be conducted more often so that people are abreast of the latest developments and best practices.

Nandini Mehta

AVP & Head Business HR, Max Fashions, Lifestyle International

For more information about the Workforce of the Future Summit, please visit: http://et-edge.com/conferences/workforce/

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