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Putting the human back into HR

‘The future of work lies in AI, robots, and automation’. You could certainly be forgiven for thinking this, given the headlines over the last couple of years. And it’s true – but only partially.

Yes, new technologies are changing how we work, making businesses more efficient, and feeding growth. But it’s people that develop, improve, and manage these technologies – and take care of areas that can’t be handled by machines. People hold the power of innovation, and harnessing innovation should mean working better with people. As we bring more sophisticated tech into the workplace, HR teams could show us how to do this.

The HR team at Indian telecoms company, Bharti Airtel, has already done so. Using our cloud technologies to modernise applications and people practices across 17 countries, they were able to save time and cut HR workloads. They were then able to divert that time towards individualised support for the 22,000-strong workforce – and bring a human touch to their work.

But how exactly can new technologies and data help HR teams to be more ‘human’ and better support employees?

  • Learning – with AI-driven training programs, you can push learning content to employees, based on their own, specific needs, as well as the future needs of the business.
  • Workforce management – advanced analytics can help you spot opportunities for particular people within different teams, based on their skills and experience: You help those teams to innovate and succeed, and the individual has more opportunities to develop in new ways.
  • More time for HR – automation in areas like job application triage or review management can cut the time your HR team spends on time-consuming processes. Then they can focus on more strategic work and more tailored support for employees.
  • More power to managers – by gaining access to HR data, the managers who work with employees day in, day out, are better equipped to monitor training, goals, and performance. And through predictive analytics and Machine Learning, issues can be flagged before they arise, so managers can act pre-emptively and look after their managees in a more personal way.

The power of innovation lies in the hands of people, which is why HR teams should be the driving force behind progress, innovation, and business success.

Our latest research examines ‘The Innovation Agenda’, looking at all the ways organisations are working to harness innovation effectively. Read more here.

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