When I started my career, we joined organisations where we could spend our lifetime and retire. Now, the scene has completely transformed. Nobody joins an organisation with the intent to retire from the same. People join organisations to propel their career as a launch pad.
In this context, the world of HR has transformed too. It has changed from “Hire to Retire”. Let us look at each phase of the employee life cycle and understand how the role of HR has changed over time.
Let us start at the recruitment stage. In most organisations, campus recruitment used to be the main source of recruitment since people joined and retired. Now, recruitment happens at all career steps of the organisation. Earlier it was a pen a paper process of recruitment. Now it is digital. We recruit through portals, apps and even social media. So the world of recruitment has completely transformed.
If we move to Induction and placement, most organisations do not have the luxury of time to induct an employee and in most cases the employee joins for a role and is not keen on the organisation deciding on which place you have to place the person.
If we move to learning and development, the concept of classroom training has given way to everywhere learning. This means that learning can be enabled in all forms. It could be e learning, app based learning, podcasts, videos or webinar’s. It could be supplemented by class room learning where it is absolutely necessary. The onus of training has gradually moved from the organisation to the individual. Organisations enable individuals to learn from all mediums possible and from everywhere.
If we move to performance management, the concept of yearly target setting, annual performance review are yore of the past. It is possibly monthly goals and could turn to weekly or daily ones in the near future and ongoing performance reviews. The concept of annual appraisal and salary reviews could be replaced by ongoing reviews and salary corrections linked to dynamics of the market place.
Employee engagement is stratified and targeted at different segments for maximum impact. It is no longer a one feed for all. It is an ongoing process and looks at retention more than engagement. Loyalty is no longer a virtue and attrition is no taboo to organisations.
Rewards and recognition is also not necessarily monetary. It is a mix of financial and non financial incentives. The schemes are also designed to suit the different generations and different segments of employees in the organisation. For eg, while the aged population may be happy with long term incentive, the youngsters prefer instant gratification.
The exit management process has also radically changed. Earlier organisations had a structured concept of exit interviews to understand why employees are leaving so that they can learn from such exits and improve their processes and system to retain employees better in the future. Now it is managed instantly. Just like appointments are made through social media, exits are announced through social media too. Both individuals and organisations are treating employees as tradeale commodities and it seems working although I am not sure how sustainable this model is going to be.
The world has changed and so has HR. It may be time to challenge some of these changes and adapt to many of them. While it is desirable to change with times, it may be useful to check if it syncs with organisational values from time to time.
Time to check is now.
S Ramesh Shankar
3rd June 2020