Top ways technology is revolutionizing the working of HR – The Times of India Blog

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Shubhanshu Srivastava is Founder & CTO, Crewscale.
A technological and cultural leap in the business landscape has been made and it is here to stay. Several businesses today want their employees to work remotely, giving them an option to have flexible schedules, better work-life balance, and freedom to work out of anywhere in the world. However, remote working also comes with an inevitable feature: the distance between employees and the company. This distance is becoming increasingly apparent from the way employees interact after work hours to the way they share their grievances with Human Resource (HR) team. 
HR teams execute several tasks apart from recruitment. Even more important than hiring, training, and supervising employees is keeping everyone in the office productive and happy. As Doug Conant, CEO of Campbell’s Soup, once rightly said, “To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.” More than ever, businesses need to prioritize employee engagement and come up with creative ideas to keep their employees motivated and satisfied. 
As constant changes in the business landscape are expanding the ambit of responsibilities of HR managers, technology is enabling HR to redefine its role, and in the process, is helping organizations to tap into a new and unexplored dimension in terms of employee engagement and culture. Here’s looking at three tech-led strategies that HR managers can use to better engage employees and create a productive, fulfilling, and stress-free culture:
1.Arrange online gaming sessions
When work hours get tiring and stress becomes a constant companion, companies can ask their employees to assemble and go on a gaming spree. They can begin by choosing a game that helps them combat boredom and motivates them to interact with their colleagues actively. With games such as Ludo, Scribbles, Psych, Chess, Monopoly, Among Us, and Uno shifting online, there is scope for organising more multiplayer gaming sessions.
Moreover, if employees are looking for a relaxing and feel-good session, HR teams can also leverage the virtual meeting platforms to organise sessions on more local games like Antakshri and Dumb Charades. Conducting such online activities also allows employees to learn and apply their leadership, problem-solving, and teamwork skills in different situations, thereby creating room for both personal and workplace development in the long run.
2. Encourage innovative thinking 
Often when employees are only focused on meeting the day’s deadlines, there is no opportunity for them to participate in other team-building or innovation-centric thinking exercises. With remote working, employees are more likely to stick to their work schedules and specifically engage with their workmates during work hours or online meetings. To address this latent isolation, HR teams can provide a platform for employees to engage with new ideas and have conversations that can lead to problem-solving and even innovations in the company’s culture.
Microsoft, for example, uses a social media channel called Yammer that allows employees to ask, listen, and engage with their executives on a gamut of topics ranging from industry trends to product goals. Moreover, the company also organises a virtual town hall meeting every month where the company’s future goals, innovations, and culture are discussed in an open forum. The meeting is broadcast live for all employees around the world and also made available for remote workers operating out of different time zones.
3. Build a platform for anonymous feedback
To ensure that employees continue to work enthusiastically, especially in a remote working setting, the HR team should ensure that the workers always have access to a platform where they can communicate and share their grievances anytime. In physical office settings, employees may hesitate to reach out to the HR manager or forego sharing their anxieties with colleagues for fear of being called out. 
With the sense of distance and safety enabled by WFH, HR teams have a natural advantage that they can tap into for encouraging employees to share their concerns and feedback anonymously over an integrated online platform or forum. Companies can choose to adopt a trusted third-party forum or build their own platform using white labeling, depending on the size of the workforce and monetary factors involved. 
Adopting such a platform will not only pave the way for honest conversations in the company but also allow authorities to identify personal or systematic failures. As soon as the problem is conveyed, the teams can consequently direct time and focus on actively resolving issues as and when they arise. 
Despite the challenges, remote working does provide room for businesses to engage and interact with their workforce in creative ways. According to Buffer’s recent report, 46% of companies are planning on permanently shifting to remote working in the future. That said, the quicker companies begin to smartly leverage technology to prioritize their employee engagement, the faster they will be able to build a collaborative community and unlock improved engagement, satisfaction, and happiness scores for all.
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Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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