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TechHR 2020 conference: Takeaways

TechHR conference is Asia's largest HR and Work Tech conference. It was attended by more than 10,000 delegates from 42 countries and had 90 eminent speakers.

I liked this conference because it was focused on the problems of people analytics in organizations across the world and verticals. Technology as a solution and enablers to these problems was discussed and there very case studies, real-life learnings, and thought leadership from eminent speakers.

I am sharing five key takeaways (its hard to pick five), from the conference:

1. Work from anywhere” is reality. 

One reality that echoed was this. For many years, and in pockets, there were discussions, beliefs, and change agents talking about this. Time tested technology, culture of the organization, improper training of technology tool, proper productivity measure process and above all, the need to work from anywhere were hindrances to make “work from anywhere” a reality.

It took a critical catastrophe to catapult the change by a decade. 

People, processes, and technology across the globe and organization responded to this catastrophe to align. With more than 98% of people “working from anywhere” in almost every organization for the last six months, the fact, belief, and culture are established that “work from anywhere” is reality.

Very likely, if you are reading this in 2020, you are working from a location which is not usual for you, true? 


2. Writing, thinking, and communicating: three skills for every employee.

Machines and employees will work together more and more as the use of technology will increase in organizations and employees will become adept. Automation of repetitive simple tasks and workflows will drive productivity, scale, and quality outcomes. For example, chatbots are handing 5Million client queries per day for one of the largest banks. Artificial Intelligence is one of the technologies empowering automation, insights, and data-driven decisions.

AI will be slightly more than machine, but slightly less than humans. 

Three skills that were highlighted important for each employee for the long term were writing, thinking, and communicating. For example, AI/Chatbot can understand the statement, but not sarcasm. When machines will receive a sarcastic statement, they will reach out to humans to help them. Humans will have to think about the context and communicate to clients, peers, or machines to ensure that the outcomes are improved and correct.

Have you observed the chatbot response to your sarcastic comment?

3. Selfless collaboration accelerates success.

Outcome driven tasks will be daily, quarterly and yearly activities done by employees. Silos of functions, boxes of ideas, and four walls of space called office will no more be limits to an organization's success. Agile alignment of outcomes to the tasks and activities will ensure the successful individual, team, and organization to drive excellent client experience.

Goal defines the means.

Collaboration with employees (across functions) and clients by leveraging machines and data will be a critical acumen for employees. The more selfless collaboration will be, the more agile will the outcome be. Horizontal and vertical collaboration both will play a critical role to drive the alignment of goals and outcomes.

Aren't you using a chatgroup in a collaboration tool like WhatsApp/Slack/Teams to drive agile outcomes already?

4. Grow mindset from “employee engagement” to “employee experience”.

360 degree wholistic well being of an employee is fundamental to organizations' success. 360 degree means emotional, physical, and financial well being of employees. Intangible indicators about the employee experience are hard and impossible to be captured by the machine. Hence, a mindset change might be required. The mindset of "employee experience" is a must.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle

Technology and Tools adoption in the organization to capture 360 degree insights and information about employees experience is need of the hour. Ad-hoc, build, define, and nurture is four different categories under which organizations fall as far as employee experience mindset maturity is concerned. For example, onboard and employee into an organisation from anywhere in the world will drastically reduce onboarding time and create an impactful first impact on organization employee's experience centricity.

What is the onboarding experience of your employee in the organization?

5. Define the office differently.

Just like different phones are for different people, different offices are for different work. Before the digital revolution of the employee listening tools, it was cumbersome to measure outcomes, effectiveness, and efficiency for leading and lagging indicators to take forward-looking decisions. Acceptance, availability, and adaptability of digital tools by employees, clients, and organizations are defining the office.

Less is more.

Digital tools empower you to do more with less. To do more not just from the office, but from anywhere. Identifying personas, their tasks in detail and securely providing them applications from a simplified and unified technology platform will set the stepping stone for changing the needs of an office.

Does the digital tool empower your employees to work from the device of their choice, without VPN?

In conclusion, the continuous improvement journey of each organization is different, but the goals are the same. Adapt to accelerate, stay focused.

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