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The future requires new thinking, new structures, and new strategies

What according to you, Workforce of Future look Like?

The workplace of the Future will be agile with business transformation being an ongoing process at the organization. It will be defined by technological disruptions, millennials being the largest workforce, enhanced speed of innovation and the rise of gig economy.

It will not be defined by physical boundaries but by a shared sense of purpose, a culture of collaboration with humans and machines working together, where human beings will focus more on innovation and not work which is repetitive and can be digitized.

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

The future requires new thinking, new structures, and new strategies. Everything is changing from what the work will be, who does the work and where is the work done. Automative work will be done by smart machines and the gig economy will enable contingent workers as the largest contributor to workforce. The boundaries of workplace will continue to enlarge with flexibility as a norm across organizations.

Building a strong sense of Purpose to the organization: With the gig economy, the power of the individual is growing. In the future the individual wants to work with companies that have a strong sense of purpose. The organizations who have a differentiated purpose thalt aligns with individuals’ values will be able to attract and retain the best talent.

Reviewing the overall Talent models: As alternative sources of talent grow, if offers more options in designing the overall workforce talent strategy. At the same time, it presents a challenge of building an ongoing relationship with every segment of the workforce ecosystem. The new talent models will have to offer a solution to manage individual preferences and priorities while managing expectations of diverse workforce and enhanced segmentation.

Building a culture for seamless collaboration: With the rise of flexi-working and co-workers spending increasingly lesser face time with each other, a strong culture of collaboration will be a norm for organization success. The need to nurture unique human skills such as empathy, emotional intelligence, creativity, critical thinking, people management and situational adaptability is being felt across.

Re-skilling the organization and the individual: As the work changes, re-skilling will be on top of the organization’s and the individual’s focus areas. The future is promising for those who can learn and skill others. Organizations are building platforms to constantly re-skill their leaders and the workforce. Individuals who are constantly learning and investing in self will have a competitive advantage in the gig economy.

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

Digitisation, AI & Robotics in HR is enabling us to go back to basics and focus on what we deliver the best – ‘the human touch’. While automation is helping us with repetitive work, our teams are able to dedicate more time for strategic initiatives and are contributing value and talent to business in newfound ways. A lot of our employee service linked work and capability development work is technologically enabled.

With our vast talent pool and edge in technology, India is not only going to ace this transformation but lead the way. Our pace of technology adaption in other spheres of life (viz. telecom) has been phenomenal. We are sitting at the cusp of evolution at the workplace and the ecosystem in India will enable that. The area that we will have to work with policy-makers is on defining laws and guidelines governing the new age work-force which must be easy to implement and enables business as well as talent.

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?

This is the need of the hour, and an important platform for industry to connect and collaborate as we navigate the future together. Our challenges are similar, our concerns are similar. Summits like this are helping us build on each other’s expertise and create the ecosystem for the workforce of future.


Ritu Kochhar

Head-Human Resources, Perfetti Van Melle, India

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

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