Why HR Leaders’s Focus Must Pivot Back from Tech to Human

Image Courtesy: Pexels
Written by Suraj jaiswal

The vision of HR needs to be more human-centric than tech-centric.

Amazon would disagree. 

Gone are the days when talent management emphasized on the measure of productivity of humans – today the emphasis is more on the productivity of technology used to measure performance across HR management tools. More importance is given to cost-efficiency and cost optimization than building the capabilities of humans. And the pandemic has further driven the cause. So caught HR has been under the pressure of evolution that it has forgotten why the revolution began in the first place; why HR was formed. Technology might free HR leaders from more tasking jobs, but is also blinding them from seeing the bigger picture. The vision of HR needs to be more human-centric than tech-centric.  

ALSO READ: How To Keep Pandemic-Induced Drinking at Work in Check

In the age of hybrid working

Today’s the age of hybrid working. The efficacy of an employee is a direct measurement of the number of hours clocked in or KPI scores. The way employees work or connect with the organization is not the same anymore.

Take the case for Amazon’s Robotic HR, where a major part of decision-making is made by an algorithm. We all remember Stephen Normandin’s case from 2021, a 63-year-old army veteran who one day received a termination mail from his post of package-delivering driver. “I’m an old-school kind of guy, and I give every job 110 per cent. This really upset me because we’re talking about my reputation. They say I didn’t do the job when I know damn well I did,” said a stunned Normandin.

Leaving the decision entirely on machines – with little to zero human oversight – may manage to upset employees at scale. 

Engaging more, deeply and directly

A leading retailer told McKinsey, “As HR, we have to approach our employees much more deliberately. If we really want the best in the field, we need to know what they actually want. If every employee feels discernibly better about their work, that really will deliver higher performance for clients and employers overall.” 

Delivering an exceptional employee experience requires you to not just address the pain points, but to identify new moments of excitement, energy, and education too. 

Making resources feel at home

It really starts with how you portray your organization’s internal culture. Besides work, the core system that maintains the performance of the entire organization must also focus on driving inspiration and engagement throughout the workforce. The pivot from being a motivational leader during lead-closing months to an empathic coach during times of uncertainty is required. Teams must not only spend time explaining and training resources but also listening, understanding, and agreeing. HR leaders can easily change their organization. All they need is to start by focusing on culture, value, and purpose. 

The CHRO, HRM, or any leader in this distinguished category of HR will most likely automate and outsource, but what must also be done consistently is not forget the “why” behind their creation. The new conversations must not shadow the old ones that have been used to build the foundation of your organization. And the real pivot will happen that day when every employee is as excited to be at work as they are excited to have a beer with friends during the weekend. 

Leave a Comment