2017 HR Goals: Are You Connecting Better With Your Employees?

March 6, 201711:37 am1948 views

2016 greatly accelerated the pace of digital disruptions and shook not only the tech industry, but also left human resource practitioners with a lot to think about for 2017.

The biggest influence saw new technologies automating more jobs, which created a huge talent shortage within organizations due to new skillsets necessary to navigate these platforms.

Job satisfaction across the board, especially with millennials, has also been a constant struggle within organizations. Singapore has the unhappiest workforce in the Asia Pacific region. Employees are frustrated with bad leadership, lack of career development and training, recognition, engagement, and overall culture.

HR is feeling the heat in the war for talent and organizations cannot afford to lose out on top talent due to poor engagement both in-person, and on the digital front. So what does this mean for HR in the near future?

Companies need to better understand employees to truly engage with them in a way that meets their personal job expectations, while also being digitally relevant and catering to the mobile applications that people use in their everyday lives as consumers.

Here are 4 key objectives for HR to work towards:

  • To maintain engaged and enthusiastic employees

Just looking for meaningful work and salary isn’t the sole motivator here – as compared to empowerment and investment. Employees want to be recognized for their hard work, to feel empowered and connected with the company.

In order to keep the workforce constantly engaged, there is a need to invest in reward and recognition initiatives, regular bonding activities, and more importantly, leadership training programs. These should be hygiene factors within organizations. After all, talent is touted to be one of the most valuable resources any business can have.

To get this going, HR leaders need to view and treat employees as customers, plan and tailor experiences for them. If innovative collaborative platforms or flexible work options motivate employees, then the organization should learn and figure out how to support them in the most feasible way.

At the same time, for employees to feel a sense of connection, managers and team members should be physically present and maintain open communication. Though mobility is helping businesses ease processes and enhance interactions, the human connection cannot be replaced by digital platforms.

Spending time and getting to know the team can help managers better understand their members, and enable them to more readily give recognition to performing individuals. More open and innovative work spaces that foster creativity and collaboration will go a long way towards facilitating such interactions.

HR leaders need to find the perfect balance between physical interactions and digital connections, and engage employees in ways they prefer. All these efforts will not go in vain; employees will be aligned with the company’s direction, and encouraged to grow not only as an individual, but also as an organization.

  • Informed and insightful workforce

It is the people that drive the organization. Having a clear picture on how each individual is progressing and their impact on the company’s overall performance needs to be analyzed in order to make informed decisions.

You need dynamic reporting capabilities that empower HR leaders with real-time workforce insights. Workforce health and performance mapped against company results data will give leaders greater clarity on what impacts the bottom line. This helps address complex questions to make better informed decisions for greater operational and productive efficiency.

Organizational analytics not only keeps track of current workforce health, but also charts predictive people analytics to plan future employee engagement initiatives for sustained growth.

See: 5 Simple Ways to Strengthen Employee Relationships at Work

There are dozens of employee engagement strategies. The Oracle Women Leadership (OWL) program aims to empower women in tech, driving gender equality in the workplace, passion and career progression through a myriad of methods. This initiative includes a string of interesting approaches; from workshops on digitization in the business to even lunch talks on gender equality and diversity at work.

Kavita Duggal, who has worked for almost 22 years in Oracle and is still going strong in her strategic role, has been an OWL community leader for 5 years.“I have been fortunate enough to organize and participate in many meaningful activities which helped to drive the Oracle Singapore team towards being a more inclusive workplace. Personally, I learn something new from each event and the positive feedback from our participants gives me a sense of personal satisfaction and achievement. Recently, we even won an award for being the best company to work for in Asia. This definitely strengthens my drive and passion to continuously work towards creating an environment to support and empower our female leaders.”

Both employees and employers need to have clear insights into the workforce, to feel like they belong – and a stable system helps ensure so.

  • Suit and tie digital system

When it comes to recruitment, 62 percent see the employer brand as a top priority to attract and retain employees. The way initiatives are communicated throughout the business, and how employees engage with their day-to-day HR matters, all differ from organization to organization.

In 2017, it is essential to have your own organizational HR system that suits your employees and the way they engage with HR best practices. If you don’t, start now! The language used and the way HR best practices and systems are conveyed, influence the office culture, and impacts employee engagement. Keeping the user in mind, create what works best for your employees.

From time to time, systems change as the people and direction within the organization does. Hosting these systems on the cloud will enable companies to customize every layer, extend it to enable all kinds of business processes that are unique to each company, and deploy it smoothly with less hassles. 

  • HR as a Profit-Driver Not Cost-Centre

HR has long been seen as a cost centre, with training and development, recognition and rewards, racking up operational costs. However, digital HR solutions are turning HR into an indispensable profit-driver.

Top-performing HR organizations embrace digital HR and understand how the workforce contributes to add value that touches every business decision. These organizations empower line managers to accomplish their goals and help employees be successful in contributing to the business with digital HR tools in the cloud.

HR quotes to keep at your fingertips for 2017:

Employee engagement isn’t just about providing a modern UI. A truly engaging HR strategy enables employees to organize their work life and take control of their jobs, their development and their career. 

Provide meaningful access to quality business and workforce data. HR data in a silo only gives you half the picture. Digital HR cloud solutions designed from the ground up deliver the full enterprise-wide picture for the past, present and future of your business. 

Be unique. Make sure your solution provides out of the box best practice cloud capabilities and the flexibility to personalize, brand, and extend your cloud experience to make sense for your business. 

Digital vs. physical. Balance face time and screen time in order to give employees the right amount of freedom and empowerment, coupled with a sense of belonging and engagement. 

Digital HR management is synonymous with the cloud and people analytics helps drive better talent management and engagement, helping businesses boost productivity, innovation, and performance. Organizations need to keep up with the times of advancing technology, while staying in sync with the hearts and minds of employees.

Author credit: Alison Sibree, Vice President of Human Resources – APAC and Japan, Oracle Corporation

Also read: In Conversation with Dr Jim Harter at Gallup: Decoding the Employee Engagement Paradox

Image credit: Freepik

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