Relearning and unlearning in the present context is a key to the success in managing staff with new technology and new management tools.
--BY RASHMI PANT
Earlier, we were addressing the issue of human resources which was typically limited to the recruitment and selection process only. But with the change in different aspects, a concept of human capacity management is taking the ground. Indeed, it is the right concept to build up a suitable replacement for the existing paradigm. While it may seem like just a change in the terminology, there are essentially numerous different ideas at work. In order to support this change one must recognise semantically that referring to workers/employees as “resources” suggests that they are a limited source of labour or energy which can be subjugated, used up and then replaced over in favour of newer or better resources. Apparently, the use of this terminology doesn’t necessarily mean that how workers/employees are viewed or perceived at all, and yet, for many academics and scholars, this connotation is good enough to consider the term “human resources” as an old-fashioned idiom that should be discharged.
Human capacity, on the other hand, usually means something different. Where resources are perceived as scarce or limited, capacity is not, at least, not in general terms. In addition, capacity implies aptitude and fosters a learning culture, which can help an organisation identify the value of its workforce/employees. Furthermore, capacity can be used to help staff members to further grow intellectually which will help any workforce to achieve optimum utilisation in their working environment. Subsequently, for many organizations, seeing employees from the scope of human capacity as iteratively learning mechanism, who can work or qualify in any given assignment or responsibility rather than naive human resources, shall definitely improve an ongoing relationship with the management and will help to create a culture where working people are perceived as valuable assets who are faithful like an apostle and are capable to create growth and wealth for your organisation.
While on the other hand Information technology (IT) is significantly impacting society and people’s daily lives in profound ways, and it is developing at an exponential speed as well. The effect of advancements in the usage of information is so theatrical that businesses are changing the way they conduct their operation. The use of technology to do business is quite pervasive in both larger and smaller scale organisations that e-commerce has rapidly created a new genre in the market whilst making an entire industry more challenging. Meanwhile, computer-mediated work style is ensuing in ‘virtual’ workstation where people can now easily work from their own home or any hot spots, the possible implications for human capacity management are indeed mind-bending. The change to the HR department that digital technology will eventually bring shall be pervasive and omnidirectional throughout every organisation.
Meanwhile, this rapid innovation in the field of technology has apparently changed the method for banking as well. The way the banking sector has managed its human capacity in terms of understanding of various bank offerings and processes, knowledge of core banking system, various technology platforms such as Alternate Delivery Channels, understanding trend in customers’ demand/requirements and communication skills, and technology has changed the landscape of entire banking sector through the scope of human capacity management. In addition, as the technology in banking sector becomes more integral and competitive, the role of human capacity management is vital. The bank work-force should be trained more and made friendly in operating technology. Reskilling of staff members is required at different corporate level for the banks and financial institutions to make a required change from predominantly back office to frontline office. Soft skill training besides hard skill training to the banking employee is definitely required as well. The human capacity management priority and capability to ensure their bank staff members is always prepared and perseverance on the various processes, and procedures associated with learning and utilising different technological trends and platforms is underrated and unequivocally important as ever.
As mentioned above, given this exponential growth in digitisation capacity, the possibilities for how artificial intelligence and digital platforms can serve within the HR industry in the near future is still unexplored territory. Hence, one might speculate from this progress that the investment in HR technology has literally expanded, and this trend seems to continue increasing. Nonetheless, it is quite difficult to predict the future. Therefore, to be able to challenge the digital transformations occurring, it is essential that organisations remain proactive and reflect the digitisation trend and its atmosphere within the scope of HR.
Keeping all these things in perception, it is equally important as well to understand how the latest upgradation in technology sector has significantly impacted the HR sector. Some of those implications are as follows:
● The swing from ‘touch labour’ to ‘knowledge workers’ has led to retraining of staff members on higher responsibilities
● Knowledge-based training has become much more significant
● Human Resource Information System (HRIS) has become an effective weapon to reduce administrative costs, increase output, improve response times and improve both decision-making and customer service
● IT has ensued in automating daily activities, relieving administrative loads, minimising cost and improving productivity in the HR department as well
● As routine HR activities are completed efficiently through digitisation, HR managers can focus more effectively on the organization's strategic plan such as speculating organisational needs, planning for career and enhancement of employees' capacity and evaluating the overall impact of organisational policies
In conclusion, as human capacity management is increasingly becoming more associated with ever-growing information technology with lots of potential in the days ahead, “HR-related applications do need to become further customer-centric, and follow the doctrines that our customer's demand”. To survive and flourish within this dynamic environment, an organisation must possess a digital platform throughout its business model, and a digital transformation of both business and its employees is absolutely mandatory.
(Pant is Chief Operating Officer of Prabhu Bank Ltd.)