As technology is pushing human evolution, businesses need to be acutely aware of the human angle in every new disruption unleashed by tech-enabled solutions. The Indian e-commerce market is expected to reach $100 billion replacing China as the top retail destination by 2022 and generate more than 1 million jobs. As we entered 2020, the human capital is proving to be the top differentiator in business strategy for new-age businesses.
“With digital innovations gaining ground, Indian e-commerce retail is facing powerful transformation fueled by huge investments and advances in technology. Innovations like Blockchain, Chatbots, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning are adding significant capabilities to execute critical business aspects in retail.”
Given this, top HR professionals won’t just face challenges emanating from the adoption of new technologies but also be held responsible for identifying new skill sets that will take center stage in the coming years. Keeping this in mind the top 5 HR trends, I expect to gain ground in the e-commerce segment this year are-
L&D teams would make use of more and more gamified training programs and communications to help the employees take-up new skills in a fun and engaging way. Gamification is fast becoming key to the Human Capital strategy, finding its way into recruiting, onboarding and training processes. I believe, crisp and engaging sequences of simple inquiries & responses will replace boring training manuals in 2020, freeing significant human resources for higher-level challenges.
Tech is enabling the large dispersed workforce to collaborate effectively and deliver business results; this will reduce largescale investments required in new workplaces and/or compulsion to outsource work to other organizations. Large cross-functional multi-location smart teams would deliver exponential improvements in business outcomes. In 2020, business leaders would show a stronger commitment to flexible working hours as well.
HR Ops Automation
Automation is already speeding up filling the vacant positions as we speak today. The next wave of automation will transform the HR Operations and sort-out mundane sounding queries like, “when is my payday?” or “how many holidays do I have?” However, this is not a threat to human resource professional, rather this will empower HR professionals to scaleup newer heights and deliver more value to the business as the real HR Business Partners by strengthening critical business processes for hiring, retaining and motivating employees.
Internal Social Media Networks
Social networks today are a huge part of almost everyone’s personal life, and now they are also gaining their presence felt in improving internal communications and productivity at workplaces. Especially e-commerce and tech-enabled new-age companies are leveraging social media effectively to engage their workforce, update them with new developments in the industry, organization and their customers. Social networks are fast replacing traditional communication systems as they enable simple, fluid and direct communication with complete transparency in real-time and also help evaluate how communication is being comprehended at the granular level.
All said and done, workforce diversification has been gaining ground for the last few years, and this is going to gain a faster pace in 2020. Organizations today are fully geared for cohabitation of research scholars, specialized business consultants, telecommuting knowledge workers and semi-skilled feet on the street, under the same business umbrella. HR professionals would focus on accomplishing business goals and create new-age HR structures, leaving behind classic straight jacket pyramids.
All this being said there are three elements that must be considered. In the first place, human behavior is not so easy to predict, secondly, the question is to what extent managers, employees, and HR professionals behave in a rational way and thirdly AI developments are going fast, but there are many tasks where AI has great difficulty to come close to the performance of human beings. And as all the startups and the established companies are in a process of constant evolution, this straightforwardly implies that the digital transformation will proceed on the agenda as a key to talent management and retention. An agile adaptation and efficiency in collaborative models will be required in every field which will be challenging.
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