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'Engaging And Retaining Employees Top Challenges In HR Industry'

Prashant John, co-founder, Kwench Global Technologies talks about the challenges in HR industry along with data helping employers create a culture of enagagement


Over the past few years, the use of technology has grown multifold and has been the driving force that is helping organizations engage with its employees efficiently and improve productivity. 

Around the same lines, Prashant John, co-founder, Kwench Global Technologies talks about the challenges in HR industry along with data helping employers create a culture of enagagement. 

How will technology help in better employee engagement? 

The definition of ‘work’ is changing rapidly – especially with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and other revolutionary technologies that threaten to automate vast tracts of jobs. Employee engagement is now a topic that business leaders recognize as a key ingredient of organizational performance. The right technology can help a progressive organization create an inspired workplace.

The engagement market today has become a dynamic world of real-time survey systems, sentiment analysis software, organizational network analysis (ONA) tools, and products that actually automatically ask your peers for feedback to give you real-time coaching. As gamification makes practical day-to-day activities more compelling, using it appropriately can boost participation rates in e-learning courses and increase employee motivation.

How has the role of HR evolved in the past few years?

HR has moved from the role of a support function to take a place at the ‘revenue table.’ Employees are no longer seen as a mass. HR strategies are now able to better discern what truly drives employee motivation, productivity and have evolved accordingly.  With a generational shift in the workplace, new challenges have emerged. Topics that were previously never really mainstage are now core engagement topics – women empowerment, diversity at the workplace, work-life balance, green business practices – and the list keeps growing.

Modern HR teams can no longer limited to understanding labor law and compensation plans – they have to acquire and implement a vast range of skills from behavioral economics to statistical modeling. HR actions are now seen as having an impact on the top line and the bottom line and they are center-stage in the war to attract top talent.

What can help bridge the gap between the company and the employees? What are the engagement solutions?

The most important gap that lies between the employer and employees regarding engagement is a critical and rising issue in the workplace. The companies on a larger scale are yet to understand the importance of understanding its employees’ emotions and behavior. This understanding can enable the HR to effectively adopt strategies that are tailor-made for the employees, which in turn will make the employees feel like they are an integral part of the organization. True social recognition is through the overlap of giving, receiving and participating in recognition given to others. Leverage familiarity and comfort with social tools in day-to-day lives of employees to drive recognition at the workplace.

Can you talk about the challenges in the HR industry? 

Two of the top challenges we often hear about are attracting and retaining top talent; and engaging effectively with the workforce. Both of these challenges are in a way non-linear; there is no one single dimension that can be tweaked or fixed to get an optimal solution.

There are complex and ever-changing variables at play for both of these challenges. Organizations are now having to be extremely cognizant about their brand perception, business practices, ethics, work-life integration – things that potential employees often didn’t pay much attention to not so long ago.

The willingness to switch jobs faster, failure of the education system to supply quality resources at the levels required to be globally competitive all are challenges that the HR of modern companies face.

How can organizations start using workforce data to create a culture of engagement?

Organizations typically have access to a wealth of employee data – from the rudimentary biography to behavioral and psychographic information built over a period of time. With technology it is becoming easier to collect more data but there are multiple challenges that one must consider. Companies must consider privacy and ethics of the employee while requesting or monitoring to collect data.

Some data might be getting collected with the best intentions in mind, but it still might not be okay with the individual, like health information. Companies might intend to use information to assist and improve the health of the employee, but the employee might be fundamentally against providing such information to the employer.

But data willingly provided and correctly monitored today can provide a complete picture of the individual allowing organizations to run timely interventions, from customized work times and training to health interventions.

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HR Industry Engagement HR challenges workforce employees

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