Thursday, July 18, 2024

Effective human capital management in a ‘new economy’ workforce

By John Hansen

Over the last 10 to 15 years, the Philippine labor force has undergone dramatic transformation as the country went from being agriculture and manufacturing driven to that focused on the knowledge-based economy, particularly on the BPO industry.

The current workforce consists mostly of young and tech-savvy professionals who have swapped their farming and factory tools with computers and headsets. However, there are still the traditional workers who continue to provide the labor requirements that the country needs to keep other aspects of the economy moving ahead.

This has resulted in a diverse workforce with employee attitudes and preferences that are vastly different, that will continue to change significantly over the course of time.

An organization that is not equipped to manage these changes will very likely find dysfunctional team dynamics developing, causing misunderstandings, lower morale and productivity, and consequently result in higher dissatisfaction and staff turnover.

To address this challenge, companies will need to implement effective human capital management solutions that can provide value to every person in the organization regardless of their generation.

As every generation has different career needs and characteristics, a one-size-fits-all approach will no longer apply ? instead, implementing specific strategies for each generation will be more effective in addressing the needs of the workforce.

It is critical to start a dialogue within the organization about generational differences and ensure that management is constantly educated about dealing with a diverse workforce.

When managers understand how each group interacts and operates, they can then develop strategies that are specific to each generation and effectively leverage the respective characteristics to attain the best results for business.

A diverse workforce has also resulted in trends like bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and social computing in the workplace, many of which are mainly driven by IT-savvy young professionals.

As a growing cohort of digital natives joins the workforce, we can expect these trends to grow further. Research by IDC shows that by 2012, 40 percent of workers in Asia Pacific are expected to be mobile, hence companies will have no alternative but to embrace this shift in employee behavior while adopting tools that can ensure business critical data remains secure.

Increased mobility and the use of social media allow employees to work remotely, and can help teams collaborate more efficiently, in turn raising productivity and enhancing operational efficiency.

A point of contention with some organizations due to privacy and privilege concerns, these trends can nonetheless benefit organizations from an innovation and knowledge transfer standpoint.

However, equally important is the regulation of these interactions. Management groups need to educate employees on the appropriate use of mobile devices and social media at work as well as ensure that there are policies in place that clearly inform the workforce of what is acceptable professional behavior.

The diversity of today?s workforce may present several HR challenges, but with the right strategies, policies and tools in place, organizations can see greater innovation and improved productivity resulting from the variety of skill sets and characteristics of the different generational groups, ultimately leading to better talent retention and overall business success.

The author is the senior director for HCM product management and strategy for Asia Pacific at Oracle Corporation


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