Vikas Shirodkar, Director at Basil HR Advisory Services

“Business, as usual, is dead, HR has to be system thinkers” – Vikas Shirodkar, Director at Basil HR Advisory Services

Technology is changing the way we work. What do you think will be some most significant H.R. processes which will evolve due to emerging H.R. Technology which will impact work and the workplace?

The learning and development process would be 1st to change. It would now be more machine-based learning, more technology-driven training, would be more self-based learning. Till now, people think training means putting the group of people together, learn better, and ask questions. Currently, there are digitals platforms like zoom; one can create digital classrooms. So I think this learning development is going to change very radically.

Second, The mindset of how to collaborate, things like brainstorming. We feel that we need people to get together to discuss and talk about things. There are now so many platforms available for brainstorming sessions also.

Other things would be the way HR work using HR tech. The onboarding joining process, induction, all should be managed with the help of technologies without coming face to face.

HR needs to focus on being the gatekeeper/coordinator, being the person who sees that things happen. HR needs to be technologically savvy. For example, In LMS or the learning management system, if you have assigned specific learning tasks to the employee. It has to be followed up. Somebody has to see if it is happening on time. Whether the person is taking all the tests which are required for the concerned certification. HR needs to set up new processes that are digitally savvy enough to be able to control and monitor them. I see that as a very major change for them.


What will the new HR. skillsets look like in the age of A.I. and automation? And how will it help the organization?Understanding and mastering technology is where the HR needs to concentrate in the coming years. There will be people who will be still responsible for the induction process, for the appraisal process or the potential identification process. And for these processes, if HR wish to digitize, they need to master the technology.

Second, HR has to be system thinkers. They need to do some amount of design thinking in terms of how things can be done differently? How can things be done more efficiently? How can this be done with less, Face-To-Face time? HR has to think differently.

The third thing is emotional stability, emotional resilience, emotional intelligence, emotional capability. There will always be certain conflicts or certain below the table issues that they should be able to sense bring it out in the open discuss how to resolve it.


How do you think the COVID epidemic will change the way businesses work in the future?

In the recent webinars that I have attended, Many leaders in there are using the terminology ” A New Normal.”Business, as usual, is dead a new normal will emerge, now what that new normal is, we are still in the process to understand. How it is going to change the way we do things, we still need to figure out. But the fact of the matter is how we used to do business before that model is dead now.

The straightforward impact will be the amount of travel with lot less face-to-face meetings , commuting to work daily, having an off-site meeting, all this is going to reduce significantly. We must contend with the fact that we will have to face the screen be able to get the work done. That one physical movement is one big thing that is going to change. Second, work for home, will need to be far clear in terms of how do we draw the lines.

Before, there was a clear bifurcation between work and home, that bifurcation is now going to get dissolve. And the lack of clear lines between the two, may end up with more stress for the employees. The workdays are going to get longer.

Third, it will become much more metrics-driven, In the past we were meeting with our boss face to face share scope of work, now that will be taken over by a system where the employee has to be necessarily answerable and have to follow far more strict metrics. It is going to be more mechanistic; it is going to be system driven.

The fourth change would be faster independent decision making by the employees , this is going to be best for the organisation. This will really make employees happier because they will be their own boss to an extent and as long as they are within the parameters, within the guidelines, things can move much faster.


Would there be any impact on key people’s decisions like hiring, performance review compensation?

As it will be more metrics driven, people will get their goals, have defined objectives, there will be clear measurement in place. It will become easier for the manager because there will be much more database to analyse the performance. This will help for all the review meetings, quarterly review meetings annual review performance. Compensation decisions will get easier with the data.

For hiring, there will be more and more dependence on psychological tests, assessment tools that will get driven through the system.

These tools will help the organisation to find the capabilities of an individual. Going forward these tools will start getting used more and more. Hiring will be more the data-driven, it will be a more systems driven, it will be more quantitative.


Does Succession planning has now become more important the most imperative activity for sustainable future of HR, especially when companies are not considering new hiring working on optimizing the available resource, what’s your view on it?

Succession planning very important is very critical because one of the things which COVID has taught the organization’s is really knowing their people, what their capabilities are, how you can think about them differently.

This is the time when organisation need to really take out all their Succession planning records and look at what they thought for every role see if they have the categorization of the potential successors. Finally today the resource that you have is what is inside your organization, the outsider will come get prepared will take over, but it will take more of your time.

I would advise any organization even if the internal person may not be a hundred percent fit but even 75% or 80% fit, I would say, take a risk with him. At least he is a known person you know the person’s skill abilities, this is the time when it is much more sensible to bet on your internal people. By doing this, you’ll significantly impact the retention in your organizations. Succession planning becomes all the more critical in a crisis.

My advice to future leaders would be, focus on self-development. As this COVID is giving us an excellent opportunity to revaluate and rethink and utilize this time very positively to try to gain new skills.

Try to understand these roles, which you would like to move into. Understand what those capabilities are, competencies required, find out learn how I can gain those competencies.

This is a superb time for the individual to upgrade and upskill themselves and prepare for the future. Don’t be happy with whatever you already know.



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