INNOVATIVE DISRUPTIONS IN HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT - (Published as article in the magazine - Business Manager - May 2016)

Human Resources and Skill Development
  • Arundhathi Baburaj
  • 04-11-2019
INNOVATIVE DISRUPTIONS IN HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT - (Published as article in the magazine - Business Manager - May 2016)

Winners do not do different things, they do things differently! Thus is an innovation, it does things different. Change is the only permanent thing in the universe - there is always change in technology. It is said that we live in a VUCA world – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous, where there Charles Darwin’s principle is applicable – Survival of the fittest. Disruption is the major theme prevalent in technological events in the past couple of years. A disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network by disrupting & displacing an existing/ earlier technology.

With this definition in mind, digitization and cloud systems are the first terms that come to our minds. However it is not about just these terms.

To tell a personal opinion, an innovation would be disruptive in a management (here, human resource management) when it makes the process simpler or easier than the previous one and aligns with the business strategy & sustainability together. Quoting, the simplest example would be the registration and applying for placements through emails or websites, which was a paper and pen procedure till the last decade. The disruption was to such an extent that term has become just ‘application’ or ‘registration’ rather than ‘online application’ / ‘online registration’. Such a disruption adds vales to the business strategy as well as adds to the concept of paperless office (sustainability).

It should be noted that, to be innovative and disruptive, we need o understand the environment first. The innovative disruption must be such that they heal the factors like – increased market volatility, increased domain complexity, need for faster response to subtle changes in the environment and decreasing personal experience (employee attrition, lack of experience etc). We must be agile and respond to the changes in the internal and external environment at any pace.

Considering the current trends in HRM, the HRMS (systems) do exist in the workplace that are solely operated by the HR managers. But the disruption is occuring when these systems are self maintained & self service tools for the employees and fit into the daily work processes with ease. There must be a transformation of the ‘HR management systems’ to ‘work management systems’.

The global smart phone users have crossed 1.6 billion, thus it’s high time that HR Systems must be accessible as mobile applications that makes it effortless and interactive.

There is a huge scope of innovative disruptions when knowledge management and business intelligence is combined. Researches are already in progress yet an optimum result has not been arrived at. Data driven applications and analytical solutions are the benefits out of this that increases the predictability. This will also result in efficient Learning Management Systems (LMS) where course contents are easily accessed making the process of learning and development in the organization more easy, accessible and productive resulting in the learning process being on the job and integrated with the work; eliminating one of the major challenges of training and development program – i.e. work / job and target pressure.

The solutions must be such that, they do not come from the top management of the organization. It must be a collaborative effort of knowledge management workers. Only such a practice can disrupt the hierarchical and organizational structures bringing about innovations.

The risk management is yet another lot to be explored arena for innovative disruptions under human resource management where there must be intense confidentiality in maintain data, information and records and also manage the risks associated with recruitment, turn over, attritions etc.

Talent management and creativity & innovation management are yet deeper areas where innovative disruptions can occur that can align to the business strategy for better output and productivity.

Recruitment analysis and measurement tools – which is a measured and monitored recruitment process. There is yet an effective method to be found out to measure the effectiveness of the recruitment process. The method should include cost benefit analysis, yield ratio, with focus on internal and external activities like time, longetivity, quality etc.

Eco friendly practices are always welcomed in this era of global warming. GHRM (Green HRM) is the integration of Environmental Management with Human Resource Management, where HRM policies are used to promote environmental sustainability and the wise and judicious use (conservation) of resources within business organizations. Wipro technologies, Suzlon Energy and ITC are some of the green HRM practicing companies in India.

Ethical issues – a mechanism to check the ethical issues happening at the workplace like discrimination based on gender, race, caste etc, exploitation of labourers, harassment etc.

The key element of an HR function must be kept in mind thinking from an organization point of view – resource allocation. There should be an equal concentration on bringing in innovators to the company rather than just carrying out the process of innovation.

With innovative disruption, HR department will work as a strategic partner with the company.

An observation made during course of this article writing is that, innovative disruptions in the company specific HR practices lead to a competitive advantage for the companies – like Accenture’s ‘Managing Your People as a Workforce of One’,  LinkedIn acquiring Bright to ‘aid in employment matching’ and  IBM acquiring Kenexa, to build out its ‘offering of talent software’. However, innovative disruptions must include not just company specific strategies, but also holistic strategies that change the phase of the entire concept of Human Resource Management as a whole.

An innovative disruption in HRM must let the ‘human resource’ constantly learn, unlearn & relearn the knowledge. Thus there must be a shift from the conventional definition of management from ‘getting things done by people’ to ‘developing people by work’. The end result of innovative disruptions in HR would be the diagnosis of challenges to fresh & novel people solutions to higher productivity and creative delivery. What must happen is NOT work - life balance but a work - life integration with holistic and cross functional employee experiences.

Hence, “Buddhir yasya, balam tasya”. Where there is thinking (innovation), there lies strength (productivity).