The 2020s will likely be regarded as a revolutionary time for the global workforce. Historic events and massive changes, all within a two-year time frame, are reshaping the complex connections between employers, people, and their roles.
For HR leaders, it looks like an uphill battle. As the global workforce is still adjusting to the shocks produced by the sudden shift to remote working, mass resignations, talent scarcity, and economic uncertainty, the challenges that lay before HR teams may indeed look daunting.
Yet tough times can also be the breeding ground of opportunity. In this article, we will zoom in on some of the biggest pain points in the world of human resources and how some of them can be overcome with the smart use of technology like business process automation.
Effective HR leadership
Fast-paced changes demand quick adaptation, and the impact tends to be higher in structures with rigid leadership. But too much has been going on recently to sit back and wait out the storm. Companies that want to successfully navigate these shifts are prompted to open the door to new practices. Yet many have started forcing employees back into the company office, putting themselves at high risk of losing valuable talent.
The effectiveness of remote work has been demonstrated, contrary to the initial predictions during the pandemic. Professionals have embraced their new-found flexibility, many having left large, expensive cities, and unwilling to go back.
For HR leaders, this is a strong signal to no longer enforce workplace boundaries and restrictions, but rather to cultivate a human approach to business, focused on enabling self-expression and supporting real-life employee needs. Leaders’ roles are increasingly shifting from operational to strategic. To make this transition successful, qualities that were once nice to have, like empathy and authenticity, have become must-haves.
Unsurprisingly, talent scarcity remains one of the biggest challenges HR departments must tackle in the coming months. High unemployment rates, older generations leaving the workforce, and inexperienced college graduates are just a few of the factors that make finding the right talent difficult.
Employees want more from their jobs. Although competitive pay remains a decisive factor, it is now part of a bigger conversation. Experienced people are gradually filtering out companies based on criteria such as company culture, value, and potential for growth. Additional benefits, like the aforementioned flexibility, will also play an important part in onboarding negotiations.
Atomatik’s business process automation solution can support HR professionals in their struggle to hire high-value employees. By automating tasks like resume screening and candidate follow-up, HR teams can shift their efforts towards building stronger relationships with candidates and giving them an engaging recruiting experience.
Employee Learning & Development
Millennials and Gen Z are highly dismissive of dead-end jobs. Both generations, particularly the latter, are looking for more meaning in their roles and a predictable, compelling career path. Yet according to a recent study by Gartner, 44% of employees feel like their companies are not providing enough opportunities for advancement.
As hard skills have a shorter shelf-life, “soft skills” like collaboration and critical thinking are gaining importance from the younger side of the workforce. Competitive HR departments looking to attract and retain will need to support their employees with educational resources and tools tailored to the personal role. Quick upskilling and reskilling are becoming the norm. For the learning and development specialists in HR teams, determining how an employee learns, what skillset they currently possess, and how information can be best transferred will be a priority.
Seminars, courses, and conferences will likely remain important instruments to ensure employee growth and retention. Automating HR processes can make this challenge much easier to handle, as it can help HR specialists with predicting skill gaps and envisioning clear development paths.
Well-being, diversity, and inclusion
As Gen Z is entering the workforce in greater numbers, they are collectively changing the way older generations relate to work. They’re asking employers to put more priority than ever on flexibility, and personalized ways to fit their jobs into their lifestyle.
They are also one of the most diverse generations in recent decades and they’re holding companies to a high standard when it comes to inclusion. Organizations that will create an attractive environment for a diverse workforce will most likely see increased productivity as a direct result of personnel well-being. They will also succeed in the battle for talent.
Perfecting hybrid work
Fine-tuning new ways of working that combine home and office work, and mitigating risks have also been a challenge in the past couple of years. Remote work has blurred the lines between work and home life. Although productivity levels have remained high, recent research shows a tendency among remote workers to be less engaged than their colleagues who spend time in the office. It can be difficult for home-based employees to feel connected to their work and team. For HR, this can be an issue in building and maintaining a high level of trust and visibility.
Atomatik’s process automation platform can be a powerful tool for overcoming these obstacles. Automating routine tasks and reducing administrative obligations will free up time and energy, allowing employees to contribute to their companies in more meaningful ways.
Hiring experienced workers is hard enough in an ever-growing competitive market. Keeping them is harder. Already a tough case for HR, it is predicted that millennials and Gen Z employees will not stay in a role for more than 2 years. Keeping energy and motivation levels high has been difficult for many leaders, especially in the months when they only relied on Zoom coffees and Internet-based team events.
Monitoring these levels, however, is essential for having a clear overview of how employees feel about their roles and the company. Annual surveys used to be the go-to tool for these assessments, but they often painted a blurry, outdated picture. HR teams need to collect more regular insight and must do so without adding an extra layer of stress.
Automating feedback collection can be done with Atomatik, easily weaving light-touch surveys into employees’ work lives. Accurate data on well-being can be a good predictor of retention levels or risks of resignations. Analysis of the feedback and active reflection can happen in parallel when automation is employed.
It is a challenging, yet exciting time for HR teams. After a crisis-filled 2020 with many fires to be put out, 2021 and 2022 came as a time of rethinking actions to the core. This year will be the start of building on lessons, real-time feedback, and deeper connections between human resources and the workforce. A year of consolidating and expanding HR’s position as a driver of innovation and profitability.
Businesses depend on people, and people depend on HR. Often the driver for human resources specialists is their satisfaction from working with people and helping them. But their work gets drastically slowed down by numerous manual processes, starting from the recruitment phase, all the way to offboarding. This impedes their ability to carry out the activities that bring them closer to the people in the organization, leading to strain as mundane tasks pile up alongside critical tasks.
Tasks like manual data input and transfer are vital, yet error-prone and low in satisfaction levels. Delegating them to a digital worker eliminates the risk of inaccurate data, as digital workers can perform endless streams of identical tasks without getting tired or uninterested. HR processes that would conventionally take hours or even days, can be completed automatically in just a fraction of the time.
Atomatik was developed with human resource teams in mind. By assigning repetitive, manual tasks to digital workers, Atomatik enables them to focus more on strategic work, employee experience, and valuable interactions. We’ve elaborated more on the combined efforts of people and digital workers in this article.
If you’re interested to know we can help HR departments do better work faster and easier than ever, book a call with our sales team.