Top 07 HR Technology Trends for 2021
Although 2020 turned out not nearly as planned, it gave us something we didn’t expect. It challenged us as HR professionals to break away from known boundaries and workplace norms to explore newer possibilities of our changed working realities with novel technological solutions at play. This has sparked excitement for the New Year where we can continue to build from our learnings to deliver world-class experiences for our people, with technology as our partner. Here is what’s in my list of Top 7 HR Technology Trends to look out for in 2021
1. Building a Digital Workplace
With the advent of COVID, most of us have already adopted to seamlessly working from home and enjoying the freedom &flexibility that comes with remote work, thanks to organizations investment in the right tools for communication and engagement. What we will see more in 2021 is this amplifying to foster productivity with the adoption of tools for effective & meaningful collaboration, both as an individual or a team. This is what would contribute significantly in building a digital workplace that thrives with engagement transforming to become more purpose-driven within the organization.
2. Redesign Employee Experience
Building positive & meaningful employee experiences to enable them through an adaptive work environment while reimagining their need for tomorrow is imperative for every strategic HR practitioner. Technology will only further this experience by redesigning core HR, channeling the way for better foresight in recreating processes for a distributed work environment. For example in performance management, technology can integrate real-time & continuous feedback while throwing insights into oversight performance, management behaviors and provide recommendations to coach employees and leaders in the right direction.
3. Tools to Engage a Gig Workforce
An additional outcome of the current working scenario has led to people looking for not just meaningful employment but autonomy to work on their own terms & conditions, leveraging multiple skills & competencies while enjoying this flexibility. Although the gig economy has been around for a while, these conditions have triggered a sharp spike in this talent pool and organizations are leaning towards having a diverse mix of contractors, freelancers, and full-time employees for better business outcomes. This will demand HR to invest in the right tools &solutions that bring these diverse workers on one platform and not only manage them, but also provide them with meaningful engagement, avenues to interact & exchange ideas, and transparency to areas where they can contribute during their limited stint in the organization.
4. Evolving Learning Culture
The average shelf life of relevant skills diminishing exponentially and the only way to stay ahead of the curve is by learning to learn new things. Creating just learning platforms with curated learnings is unrealistic and ineffective if your technology does not provide for personalized & customized learning based on the individual’s career aspiration and development plans. Learning technology needs to be smart enough to capture these aspirations and push byte size and long-term learning in line with the evolving nature of consumerism while also incentivizing learning to keep learners engaged.
5. AI (Artificial Intelligence) in HR
Most new-age HR technologies are no stranger to Artificial Intelligence, with whose help caused further disruption in HR practices, rather than incremental improvements. AI-powered HR tools are extremely useful in augmenting analytics, leading to more intelligent data-driven decisions. For example, AI-powered recruitment tools can be programmed to be bias-free by eliminating demographic information such as race, gender, and age in the screening processes.
6. Wider Adoption of NLP Solutions
Although NLP is still a new concept in the world of HR, this is one branch of AI that will be more sought after in the foreseeable future. As a business function that depends heavily on the way people communicate, HR can use NLP to make better-informed decisions. For example, in the space of employee experience, this can be used to provide advanced insights on sentiment analysis and identifying areas of conflict or disengagement that can be used to measure and design strategic employee engagement initiatives that drive purposeful engagement.
7. Technology Leveraged for Holistic Wellness
Holistic wellness has been the ‘buzz’ topic for a while and gained more traction during the pandemic. While HR colleagues have worked tirelessly in investing and delivering on wellness initiatives for employees – playing the hero can be exhausting. That’s where investing in technology with a more integrated approach in terms of physical, mental, and emotional health is imperative. Along with gamification & incentivization of physical wellbeing, there will be greater consumption of tools & solutions contributing to the holistic wellbeing of employees.
2020 threw us a curveball nobody saw coming, but we surely hit back hard towards the home run. The New Year will only accelerate this journey of making big bets on investing in the best solutions that will deliver experiences that truly matter while enabling a workforce for the future.