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‘Digital natives’ - In conversation with Oracle APAC Vice President HCM

4 September 2015 05:24 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Aaron Green

What are some of the emerging trends in the HRM domain?
In order to thrive in this competitive world, businesses need talented people. CEOs now, more than ever, view their workforce as a critical differentiator.
Fresh talent: Economic growth often requires fresh talent. Business growth and an increase in workforce go hand in hand, which means that the future is shaping up to be a renewed battle for talent.

Talent and performance management: The key to closing the skills gap is talent management and managing performance. Technology has a critical role to play here to attract the right people. Moreover, truly integrated talent management strategy allows us to provide constant feedback, goal setting, rewards and corrective measures.

Employee experience: Amid global competition for talent, the employee experience has become as vital. The idea of tailored employee experience that aligns with the employer value proposition creates an energetic and loyal workplace.

Social: As CHROs and CIOs look for ways to modernise HR capabilities, they embrace solutions that employees already know and love, like social apps. Social can be in-context of an HR business process, such as collaboration on individual or team goals, performance assessments. Embedding social throughout the HR lifecycle and on mobile devices allows HR executives to have a real-time pulse of the organisation.

Data: One goal of HCM transformation must be to manage all of that data in a way that can be shared with other parts of the enterprise, providing better visibility into business performance.

What is the smartest way of embracing social media?
The best practices for bringing social into the organisation are straightforward, but not always easy. The first step is to eliminate barriers to adoption. The employees need to be encouraged to use social media. Lack of participation will reduce the value of social media. Employees should be able to access what they need. Another key practice is to measure actual business results to assess efforts. HR wants technologies to leverage the power of social networking and tie it to a measurable RoI, such as a social strategy for employee referrals. It ensures that the results are in line with the efforts being put in and is absolutely necessary to achieve the goal of being a socially-enabled organisation. Finally, to acquire and install the right technology. Right technology provides insights into developing better business strategies and executes tasks more effectively. 

Generation Z is here. How would describe gen Z workforce? Is this generation ready to grill itself and work well on the job?
The digital natives, or generation Z’s defining characteristic is in their name. These are people born into a post-millennial era that has witnessed some of the world’s biggest tech innovations. Social, mobile, cloud and multimedia are coded into their DNA. According to research by Sparks & Honey, people of this generation spend 41 percent of their free time with computers or mobile devices. There is an unprecedented opportunity to foster this generation of collaborative, tech-savvy, imaginative and enthusiastic employees — but only by using the right combination of engagement strategies and technology tools to offer the digital natives an outstanding employment experience. 

What expectations do you have from the new-age workforce?
The digital natives are here, whether your organisation is ready or not. And while this new breed will bring uncertainty and change, that disruption can be a big positive force. There is an extraordinary opportunity to nurture a new generation of engaged, tech-savvy, creative and evangelical workers. We see gen Z bringing in a lot of positive energy and innovative ideas. We expect them to usher in a new era, where traditional hierarchies aren’t of great consequence. This generation will not strive for oldest employee awards; they look for public and peer recognition.

Do you believe this is the right time for firms to embrace reverse mentoring?
Traditional mentoring has always been part of any successful organisation. However, rapidly changing technology has given a twist to this concept. Today senior executives are looking at the young generation for understanding new technology. Reverse mentoring has started finding its way into enterprises. Experienced executives are turning to their juniors to learn about the latest technologies, new and collaborative tools that make work life easier. At the same time, this process can help the gen Z with valuable experience while having conversations with their seniors. We are seeing adoptions increase within firms and expect this method to benefit more and more senior managers.

What factors make reverse mentoring a success?
Firstly, we need to define expectations and rules. All participants should be on the same page about what to expect from this programme. The pyramid and hierarchies during the process get completely reversed so there should be some ground rules in place. Second element is the trust factor. Each party should trust the other, as they would be moving out of their comfort zone and venturing into new territories. Willingness to learn is another crucial factor. The mentor and the mentee need to want to learn from each other. Transparency in communication and the freedom to voice their feelings and thoughts in an effective and clear way is critical. They should be able to see and understand each other’s perspectives.
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