By Lakshmi Murthy, CPO ITM Group of Institutions
HR function in the organization evolved over decades from mere time office function to occupying a seat on the board- being a strategic partner. For a function which is so critical, seems to be losing its charm and glory. People operations are becoming a monotonous task, to say it in context – robotic. No wonder robots and Artificial Intelligence is being leveraged for as sensitive a role as employee engagement. The only people in the organization, who are expected to be master of people skills, seem to be losing it. People management seems to be becoming a tedious job, wherein almost everyone (right from managers to HR professionals) is looking to outsource dealing with people issues. People management cannot be outsourced; it is an integral part of work and relationship at workplace.
One can relate to people only when People processes are fun to do and are not a pain. One has fun when it is game, an expectation to win sometime, an opportunity to give a fair tries maybe, and there is no fear – a fear of failure, ridicule!! . There is no denying the fact that games are engaging.
How does one make HR fun!! It works on the principle that people are intrinsically motivated; they do not need carrot and stick approach. Some examples are:
Since resumes no longer give a correct understanding of employee skill, interviews are conducted. But in spite of experimentation with all types of interview process, there are still wrong hires and mismatch in fitment. One way to identify the skills is to get the employee to do the job in a non-risk area. Create a game which has all the situations which the employee would face in their current role. Every write move, or response should give a reward or point and move the candidate to the next complex level. This will get as near a response as possible to the real-life situation as it is in a non-threat situation but still it is important for the candidate as he/she would like to get the job.
Setting goals, tracking them and rewarding employees for their achievement is a herculean task and one where a sizable number of employees always remain unhappy irrespective of the outcomes or any attempt to build fairness. Organizations are today moving away from the traditional yearend appraisal system, attempt is to move towards event-based feedback, performance planning and dealing increment from appraisal process. This is where gamification can help. A system to record and track daily task which role into the KRAs for the period and then a rating, rewards and feedback based on the achievement. These can be cascaded as organization goals, team challenges, and individual milestones. This will remove the burden of “doing appraisal” at the year end. Course correction of employee skills, work allocation etc. can be done near to the event.
Learning and Development
Self learning is the order of the day, especially in skill areas. Learning can be in small modules and as the employee makes progress in a particular skill, there could be an upgrade to the next level of skill. This can be driven by the requirement of particular skills in the organization, new project, attrition, new geography, tenure and performance of the employee. The modules can be calibrated in a manner that the team skills are matched and balanced. These can be triggered at the time of promotions in the similar process like an assessment centre or a development centre.