Key Trends Of HR Policies & How Organizations Are Focused

Date:   Tuesday , June 14, 2016

Headquartered in New York, IBM specializes in consulting, technology and R&D. It offers a broad range of technology and services equipped with world\'s most advanced servers and supercomputers.

The rise of technology, easy access to social media along with a dynamic millennial and ever-changing workforce has redefined the role of human resources. HR as a function has evolved over the years, and has now become a strategic partner in driving business outcomes. Progressive CHROs have their respective focus areas and will continue to strategize their efforts around: People (Leadership, Employee Engagement, Employee Experience, Employee Well-Being, Talent Management and Training), Technology (Digitization, Big Data and Analytics), Organization (Workplace Flexibility, Performance Management, Diversity and Inclusion) and Social Oriented HR (Culture & Engagement and CSR).

In recent years, there have been dramatic changes in how companies leverage technology to connect people to share experiences with each other. We have also seen shifts in communication, mentoring, reinventing performance based reviews, focus on welfare and wellness of employees, improving (new) employee experience to cyber security laws, protection of company and employee data, predictive data analysis and many other similar aspects.

While the above initiatives are critical, employee well-being is something which HR cannot afford to ignore. Finally, it is only a healthy happy employee working in an employee friendly environment who can be the most productive. Employee well-being also encompasses employee welfare. In layman terms, employee welfare includes services, benefits and facilities offered to employees by the employer.

Today\'s workforce which is increasingly globally dispersed, multi-generational and multicultural, feel encouraged and find themselves in an inclusive work culture motivating them to be innovative and continually push for transformational excellence. A recent PwC research states that millennials will account for nearly half the global workforce by 2020.

In order for companies to attract & retain talent, they will need to invest in mobile and social recruitment programs to hire the digital natives. Most MNCs have already started deploying such new age recruitment strategies. This has prompted modern workplaces to design and incorporate programmes around wellness, care for differently abled employees, safe work environment for women and benefits for the families of the employee.

However, it all boils down to how these are delivered and makes one organization stand out vis-a-vis others.

- Employee Wellness - This area involves companies to be committed to the overall employee well-being. These encompass specific employee focused programs around integrated health systems, food, safety, transport convenience and safety. Modern day work regime involves a number of health hazards. Many companies have programs centered around Yoga, Sleep Management Program, Stress Management, Diet & Nutrition, Vaccination Program, Maternity Care, Legal Counseling and Financial Counseling. This highlights how companies are doing their bit for their employees by giving them a healthy choice. IBM is well known for its employee wellness initiatives.

- Safe Work Environment - Women form a considerable part of the workforce today. Thereby, they come with specific needs and concerns. One of the areas of concern today is their safety. Companies across industries already have strengthened their systems to ensure the safety and security of their women employees. For example, at IBM we have constituted a \'Prevention of Sexual Harassment Committee - POSH\' with the commitment of ensuring all IBM premises as safe and harassment free workplace for employees, visitors, clients and contractors. Diversity, as a concept has evolved in the recent years and companies are striving to provide equal opportunity and affirmative action for employees.

- Senior Care Programs - The demanding career responsibilities in today\'s time leave several people in worry for their aged parents who reside in other cities. IBM has been a pioneer and devised the Senior Care program for their employees to manage work responsibilities and provide care for aging parents and/or parents in law. The Senior Care Program is offered to employees at a subsidized rate. Few example services under this program are:
- Escort service for elders for hospital/medical center visits.
- Nursing visits.
- Home visits by nurses.
- Service of sample collection from residence and the delivery of report hard copy.

- Care for Persons with Disabilities - Inclusive work environment care for differently abled employees. Facilities like fire alarms with both audio and visual display to assist PwDs during emergency, modification to the desk height as per the requirement of the employee, dedicated office cabs, dedicated parking space, dedicated PwD rest rooms, Braille signage, ramps, wide aisles especially at the entrance and the exit, audio in the lift for visually impaired, and also fire drills involving PwDs; these are small ways by which companies are creating a barrier free environment. IBM India won the National Award for \'Outstanding Work in the Creation of Barrier-Free Environment for Persons with Disabilities\'.

- Employee Recreation - It is important to encourage employee engagement in the workplace. An employee engagement platform works to strengthen company values by creating a robust community where employees have the opportunity to connect and interact with each other outside the workplace. Most fun clubs organize a variety of recreational, social and cultural activities driven entirely by the enthusiasm and volunteerism of the employees.

Modern organizations break down silos. Thus, it is imperative to strengthen an organization\'s values by creating a progressive culture where all employees have the opportunity to connect, further one\'s career goals, learn and mentor one another in an employee friendly organization. It is this community feeling and the assurance of having a learning environment which comes to define an organization as a great place to work - a stimuli for employees to connect and perform.