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Trends, Products, and Best Practices to Help You Create a Work Made Human Experience

Digital HR, Innovation, and the Future of Modern HCM

Nin Sandhu
Director, HCM Product Marketing

Now that the hustle and bustle of Oracle OpenWorld has ended, I want to share with you one of my favorite sessions of the week. It was a joint session with Stacia Garr from Deloitte and Gretchen Alarcon from Oracle on the latest trends in human capital management and how technology helps us connect the dots. As an avid techie, I’m always interested in seeing how innovative ideas and technology will reshape our future and the workplace.

Garr started the session by showing us how things have already rapidly changed. Her four key points:

  • Millennials now make up more than half the workforce.
  • Digital technology is everywhere, so it’s changing how we work.
  • The rate of change has accelerated, so business must become more agile in order to adapt.
  • There is a new social contract between companies and employees.

These disruptions have caused new and interesting challenges for many organizations, and here is a look at the top 10 Garr cited for 2016:

  • Organization design: the rise of teams
  • Culture: shape culture, drive strategy
  • Design thinking: crafting the employee experience
  • Digital HR: revolution, not evolution
  • HR: growing momentum toward a new mandate
  • People analytics: gaining speed
  • Learning: employees take change
  • Engagement: always on
  • Leadership awakened: generations, teams, science
  • The gig economy: distraction of disruption?

One of the challenges I found interesting was the concept of the “gig economy.” You may not be familiar with the term, but you’ve probably interacted with at least one of the services (such as Lyft and Uber) and that employ independent contractors. Alarcon defined the gig economy as “an environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.”

Oracle’s Alarcon indicated that this new gig economy isn’t some sort of fad—it’s here to stay, and it’s going to affect how organizations engage and connect with this workforce. I completely agree with that sentiment and believe there will be complex new challenges that those organizations will face.

On the subject of innovation, Alarcon highlighted things such as how we might perform HCM tasks through voice systems and automated chatbots. It’s all about creating a seamless employee experience using technology that we already use. Alarcon impressed the crowd by demonstrating how chatbots could one day be personalized enough to answer employee-specific questions such as, “What was my bonus this year?”

The chatbot was quick to reply, indicating a bonus of around $19,000— now, that’s a nice bonus!

Next, Alarcon spoke on the power of voice, and I was curious to see how this would work. We’re used to relying on systems such as the iPhone’s Siri for getting basic tasks done using our voice, but what does this look like with HCM? Because seeing is believing, here is a video of Alarcon demonstrating it. She showed that it’s possible to use your voice to interact with technology such as Amazon Echo and push commands into HCM systems. I was very impressed, and so was the audience.

To be clear, you can’t expect a product like this anytime soon, but Oracle is exploring technology like this within its UX Innovations Lab. Oracle is constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries of technology so that it can understand which technologies and experiences might eventually work their way down to Oracle solutions you may use in the future.

The world is changing and innovating so fast that the future workforce and workplace will need to adjust to new digital norms at a much faster pace than in the past. This means that worker satisfaction and engagement matter more than ever.

All of this links back to those top 10 challenges Garr and Alarcon talked about in their presentation. How do you as an HR leader create an employee experience that caters to digital natives? This is just one of the challenges organizations like yours will face, but having the right technology provider with a modern, flexible solution will make it easier for organizations like yours to rapidly adapt to these changes going forward.

I hope those of you who were able to attend this session enjoyed it as much as I did.

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