Doing away with ‘one size fits all approach’ with employees in the digital era
Increasingly employees expect personalisation in transactions related to HR matters. With their experience as consumers, there has been a dramatic shift in terms of how they make buying decisions, how they are serviced as per their specific requirements by the buyers before, during and after purchase as well as how they are provided with adequate and appropriate information to prompt them to consider their offerings. Employees therefore expect similar customised service within their own organisations that adds to their overall experience leading to retention. Therefore it is imperative to recognise the significance of personalisation at every stage of interaction with the employees and make a conscious plan to reflect this from the very first point of engagement with them with the use of appropriate tools for ‘mass customisation’.
We are beginning to find some organisations making an attempt towards this direction by using AI and chat bots to provide prompt and customised response to their queries related to compensation structure, tax deductions or leave policy. However most of other HR areas are still largely organisation-focused and not employee-focused. For instance, at the time of recruitment of critical talent, websites and other collaterals of organisation provide generic content to the potential recruits.
One-size-fits-all approach is also observed frequently in the training arena. Based on performance appraisals carried out, overall requirements for training are captured and L&D function is provided with an overall list of training areas for specific group of employees. These programmes may meet 60-70 % of the requirements if planned well. However, individual-specific training needs can never be addressed through common training programmes.
The content may need customisation, granular attention to pedagogy in some cases and sharper assessment techniques for some others. While planning for talent development, individual aspirations and career goals also require to be factored in order to get the buy-in of the employees while balancing their alignment with the organisation goals. Therefore, HR managers need to plan to move away from using standalone classroom based training or common content made available through standard Learning Management Systems to implementing digital learning platforms designed specially to address employee specific career paths, curated content and integration with performance management systems supported by rich analytics on employee performance trajectory.
Many organisations have been resorting to implementing coaching support for critical talent or for managers being readied for key responsibilities. By and large coaching has been centered around business outcomes which can be enhanced by working upon individual competencies and psychological or inter personal dimensions.
We now have the ability to make coaching service data-driven and HR managers need to plan for analytics from every aspect of functioning of the employee to pool together the insights which would enable coaching to become much more effective in enabling the employees to work upon their performance metrics. In summary, the combination of data-driven approach, form-factor independent access and the ability to capture individual experience and traits will enable HR managers to customise the employee journey and thus build positive engagement with the organisation.
The writer is chairperson, Global Talent Track, a corporate training solutions company