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What’s to be done about the surge in ‘quiet quitting’?

Article by Harshvendra Soin, Global Chief People Officer and Head of Marketing - Tech Mahindra

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and against the background of the Great Resignation, businesses have had to adopt a more efficient way of working. The conventional office-based routine is becoming a thing of the past, and hybrid working is the new norm.

People are walking away from jobs they either do not find rewarding or don’t align with their own values. Furthermore, ‘quiet quitting’ is the latest trend sweeping the country, where employees work the bare minimum to their job demands, not going beyond what is expected of them.

The emergence of this trend coincides with an increasingly difficult time for organisations to engage and retain employees. A recent Gallup Global Workplace Report for 2022 found that only 9% of UK workers were engaged or enthusiastic about their work, putting it in 33rd place out of 38 European countries.

There is a pressing need for HR leaders to bring solutions before it’s too late. According to a Randstad UK study, 69% of employees are confident about changing jobs in the next few months, with 24% planning a move within three to six months.

In this scenario, emerging technologies can mitigate the issues that caused this situation to begin with.

Powering through the current challenges with technology
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that a lack of opportunity to grow and progress is one of the top 5 stresses at work. Employees will be more motivated to stay with a company if the employer clearly communicates development opportunities from the moment they are recruited.

While HR leaders must examine their processes, they also need to explore how technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can streamline HR systems, protect important data, act as success coaches for employees, and in turn, improve productivity, avoid burnout, and offer a better work-life balance. Implementing these emerging technologies is essential to the success of an organisation.

Augmented analytics
Data reporting by some HR departments is inadequate due to the use of outdated platforms. Automating HR management can improve operations, decrease inaccuracies with data, and simplify the use of data on a day-to-day basis.

There is plenty of data available. The challenge is figuring out what to focus on and what the data is telling you. HR leaders can use augmented analytics to deliver easy-to-understand insights on pressing data-related challenges such as prioritisation, data literacy, and scalability beyond dashboards.

Not only will this help them resolve the bottom-line challenges, but it will also help them monitor performance. Using sensing technologies can also help HR leaders better understand employee experience, whether it comes from aggregate sentiment data or machine learning-based analysis.

The other emerging technology critical for HR leaders will be prediction capabilities, which are driven by machine learning and advanced analytics. Through these approaches, HR leaders can enable greater processing and gain insights that can be used for scenario analysis and adaptive planning. This will ensure that everyone is better prepared to cope with rapid change in the future.

By using gamification, employers can engage their staff and make their experience more meaningful. Even though many companies are gamifying user experiences, using technology to improve employee learning or incentivising KPIs or goals might lead to increased productivity.

People learn skills like failure management, teamwork, and collaboration remotely through gamified experiences. The process can even help breakdown silos between employees from different departments or cultures.

Automated cybersecurity systems
We are becoming more reliant on technology every year, and sensitive information such as client and customer information is being stored online in the cloud. HR departments play an instrumental role in managing breaches and data disclosures.

The importance of HR departments having cutting-edge cyber-security systems cannot be emphasized enough given that such attacks can lead to significant financial damage, legal reputation damage, and loss of consumer trust.

Artificial intelligence provides cybersecurity professionals with much-needed analysis and threat identification to reduce breach risks and improve security. The use of AI-based cybersecurity systems can provide up-to-date information on global and industry-specific threats, allowing businesses to make critical decisions based on what could be used against them. The benefits of AI and ML are just at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their usage in our day-to-day operations at work.

What the future holds
Employee satisfaction has and will continue to be the cornerstone of HR transformation. A consumer-grade experience will keep workers engaged, enhance workflows, and possibly even aid in their learning.

In the current climate, it is also critical for leaders not to overload employees with unreasonable workloads or encourage a culture with long working hours. In addition, HR can help employees maintain a healthy work-life balance by making sure they use up all their holiday days or by closing the office a little earlier before the holidays to allow for family time.

Although there are numerous methods to do this, the examples provided above can assist Organisations and HR professionals in maximising the potential of the new workforce and retaining them.

    Harshvendra Soin is the Global Chief People Officer and Head of Marketing at Tech Mahindra. Harsh has been associated with Tech Mahindra since 2012. He brings with him a rich experience of more than 26 years in the industry. Before his current role, he was heading the Canada Enterprise Business as Senior Vice President and Country Head at Tech Mahindra (Canada). He was also the Global Leadership Acquisition & Development, and Head - Business HR for APAC & IMEA (Telecom & Enterprise) for Tech Mahindra. He has been a recipient of many prestigious awards including the HR Leadership Award – Asia Pacific HRM Congress, Ascent - Most Powerful HR Professionals of India Award – World HRD Congress. Other awards include the Talent Magnet Award - Conscious Business Leader Award 2016 by LinkedIn.

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