The Future Of HR: Align, Engage & Develop

Vinay Sharma, SVP - Asia Operations, AloricaAlorica is one the best CRM, BPO, customer service solution provider offering Customer Service Experiences, Healthcare Solutions, Financial Solutions, and Digital Services across various domains of industries.

Given the changing face of the workplace environment,it is clear that companies must go beyond traditional HR practices when aligning, engaging and developing employees. Critical to this transition is the focus on employee orientation and the integration of technology. When we use the phrase 'align, engage and develop,' while all have different meaning or functions, they all intertwine. Alignment for instance, is the connection between strategy and execution. Without alignment, results are left to chance. Employee Engagement on the other hand, is the space where employees feel a positive connection to the organization, where it is natural to go above & beyond from an employee’s outlined duties. Alignment and engagement are complimentary & necessary for sustainable high performance which is also the foundation of accelerated employee development.

So,what are some of the most unique ways that you can align, engage and develop your workforce? It first starts with redefining how your organization onboards new hires. Traditionally, from a timeline perspective, on-boarding has been from day one to a week one of an orientation. However, employees rarely ever retain all the materials that organizations provide during this time–Primarily because there is a seldom alignment in what the new hire is looking for versus what organizations think they need to be providing. This in effective change management approach often results in disconnected & disillusioned employees which is not only reflected in inadequate orientation, but often early attrition. Though geography and sociocultural elements may impact workforce orientation across different
countries and regions, the core fundamentals remain the same. Here are a few strategies that are transforming the workplace,as it relates to alignment, engagement and development in the business process outsourcing(BPO) industry.

"The future belongs to the organizations who put their employees at the center of everything they do"

Redefine the New Hire Onboarding Process
Onboarding is not a one-day activity, rather a series of milestones through the learning curve of a new employee. The key focus should be in simplifying the information flow, through the dissemination & retrieval of information during the first 60-90 days(and at times beyond) of the new hire lifecycle. It is critical to share the vision and the priorities of the organization and how the employee’s role supports the bigger picture – by defining what success looks like and providing bite-sized information for better absorption and application. Strategic onboarding includes using the principles of Lean Methodology to add key elements that accelerate a new hires journey to proficiency, while also eliminating non value-add steps from the learning path of a new hire. Alignment without an engaged workforce often produces shortterm results, whereas employee engagement without alignment can produce a flurry of activities that offer little to no results. A workforce that is aligned, engaged and supported with a succinct onboarding framework is most often agile, adaptable to change and high performing.

Leverage Technology & Gamification to Engage Employees
One of the key drivers of workplace fatigue is predominantly driven by outdated tools to engage and manage the millennial workforce. Organizations should change how they connect with its employees by leveraging technology such as virtual reality and augmented reality. Some examples of how these technologies can be used include the creation of visually rich orientation sessions, amplifying performance management through avatar based gamified platforms, to the use of virtual collaborative workspace hubs to redefine the traditional concept of learning curve. Successful organizations of the future will be the ones that define a learning strategy where humans and machines can co-learn and co-create.

Focus on the Pipeline
There is a need to redefine and go beyond using the nine-box model for identifying, promoting and developing talent. There is often a large impetus put on the high-potential employees with a heavy focus on retaining top talent. It is a good practice and maybe one which is critical, especially for an organization in a highly competitive landscape or one that is going through a significant transition. However, organizations should focus more on the process that can produce top talent on an on¬going basis - 'the people pipeline'– which will be the differentiator of the future.

We may be in the technology and digital era, but we are very much in the people business. Do the basics right, foster an environment of connection and care,and invest in making your employees successful. The future belongs to the organizations who put their employees at the center of everything they do.