COVID-19 has created mind-boggling disruptions in industries around the world. Now more than ever, HR is playing a lead role in guiding organisations through these unprecedented changes, by quickly adapting to regulatory changes, ensuring the health and safety of workers, and answering the myriad of questions employees have.
Given the dislocation and dissociation that have come as a result of remote working, and the technology-based solutions that have made the new mode of working possible, more than ever it is vital that we ensure employees feel that work is a human experience.
We’re calling this new experience Work Made Human, and it is built on three principles: putting humanity at the forefront of your employee experience, improving your ability to adapt to change, and creating a culture where ingenuity can help your organisation pivot.
Each of these principles is amplified by technology – not the other way around – and hence they place emphasis on the human element. After all, it is your people who will be the source of the ideas that will help take your organisation through the current crisis.
Let’s look at one example of where technology can support people to be more human at work. Digital assistants such as Siri and Alexa have become a big part of people’s lives, answering questions and performing tasks to make their lives easier and free them up for more meaningful pursuits.
Increasingly we are seeing similar use of artificial intelligence in the workplace to help workers to interact with HCM technology as easily as they would when talking with another person. Digital assistants are a great example of technology helping workers be more productive and removing bottlenecks from processes, while also freeing HR staff to focus on higher-value and more human-centric work.
Systems and tools that free HR people up to be people are more critical now than ever before. Workers are concerned about their health and expect their employers to protect them – physically and mentally – so having a way to keep track of health incidents and answer employee concerns can help you put the human experience at the forefront. For this reason Oracle is providing our Oracle Workforce Health and Safety solution to all Oracle HR Cloud customers at no charge, for as long as required to deal with the current crisis.
Keeping busy during uncertain times can be critical to worker wellbeing, and one of the best ways to do that is to spend time acquiring new skills. From an employer’s perspective, reskilling programs can also prove vital to ensure the organisation has the new capabilities it needs to reach maximum effectiveness once the current crisis passes. It is important therefor that organisations utilise their learning and development tools to identify those skills they will need and the staff that are best suited to being reskilled, and then create pathways to bring about this outcome.
These truly are unprecedented times, especially for HR professionals who are being looked upon by workers to provide answers you often don’t have yet. But what we do know is that the right application of technology can help to free up the time needed to provide the human response that workers are craving. As I said earlier, it’s all about technology supporting people.
How are you making work human? What strategies are you using to give people the time they need to be people? We’d love to hear from you.