The world seemed to change very quickly in the first quarter of 2020, and businesses worldwide found themselves trying to operate in the face of unprecedented upheaval. Uncertainty and continually shifting operational requirements look to be with us for some time. Yet, proving to be a powerful asset in weathering the new reality of work is Human Capital Management (HCM), which has the additional benefit of helping to achieve genuine business resiliency.
In South Africa right now, HR professionals are faced with a delicate balancing act. They need to ensure people are ready to return to the workplace while accommodating those employees who continue to work remotely – ensuring the latter remain integrated with the greater organisation.
Through internal social applications and other tools, today’s HCM systems facilitate connections across an organisation around self-chosen goals and projects, including volunteer efforts. This creates a crucial sense of belonging, camaraderie and more initiative in a work-from-home (WFM) setting.
Technology is incredibly useful in creating such connections, with the first prize being perfect alignment between the company’s objectives and employee goals. HR should provide a sense of purpose and certainty in uncertain times, and HCM portals integrated with broader business systems can be used to help workers grow professionally, by aligning their documented skill set with opportunities outside their current role. Individuals are contributing to the organisation while diversifying their proven capabilities and enhancing future employment prospects.
Such opportunities will be especially appealing to emergent Generation R, a subset of workers across all ages who have developed new skills, embraced new paradigms and adjusted their worldview during the lockdown. An organisation that offers flexibility, purpose-driven opportunities and empathy will find it much easier to retain these agile and motivated employees already geared for the future of work.
Business resilience demands that companies have the right people. While Gen-R may have already undergone a culture shift, HCM, as part of a broader cloud-based business system, is encouraging that fundamental mindset change in other employees. Working remotely, staff are using these systems more and seeing their usefulness. At the same time, they are inputting information about themselves that enables CHROs, and closely-linked CFOs, who oversee workforce costs, to make more accurate decisions.
Moving forward, business resilience requires acceptance across an organisation that business models are evolving. Hands-on interaction with the latest HCM tools spotlights the way emerging technologies are bringing together human and intelligent systems in co-existence that enhances efficiencies for organisations and individuals. A united, fully engaged workforce positively impacts the perception of a company, as customers gravitate to organisations that genuinely make work more “human.”
It is not just about perception, of course. Despite much talk around emerging technologies, a company’s workforce remains its most valuable asset, a rich source of intellectual capital. Contemporary cloud-based HCM tools protect and cultivate that resource.
Ronnie Toerien, Oracle HCM Sales Development & Strategy Leader – Africa