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Colloquium: Focus group discussion on "creating a flexible and magnetic workforce in the era of disruption"

The Human Resources Club in SIBM Hyderabad under the event Colloquium organized a focused group discussion on “creating a flexible and magnetic workforce in the era of disruption”. The participants for the group discussion were HR students from 2nd year of the MBA program of SIBM-Hyderabad. The session began with the discussion on how the pandemic has changed the entire workplace -workforce dynamic and has been posing new challenges for the HR professional. This led the discussion to an important aspect of today's uncertain times- satellite workstations that has become a necessary requirement in the hybrid work structure to ensure convenience for a company’s remote employees, cut down on busy commutes and also decrease the number of employees in the main office at any given time (social distancing).

The discussion also stressed on the need for not just flexible but also agile employee and work policies. Flexible not just in terms of cost cutting but also to attract new talent thereby expanding the talent pool. The panel went on to discuss the importance of creating a systematic view of every function in the workplace considering the ambiguity that surrounds us now. The discussion went on to the topic of AI incorporation in HR which made the session even more engaging as the panel further started discussing how rapidly HR has been evolving over the years despite many saying that there would be no future for HR and it would end by 2020.

The panel stated that while creating a flexible workforce, it is necessary to have a rigorous onboarding process and manage talent as the job roles and the complexity of those roles are changing with time. Adding to that, the panel suggested that psychometric tests can be done to check the emotional intelligence of candidates as mental health is another challenge the HR department has to combat especially post pandemic. The panel went on to explain the need for strong employee engagement and compensation strategies to attract and retain talent when the work from home culture is taking a toll on the work life balance. Other relevant topics that were discussed and which hold immense importance were - Focus on the evolving role of HR, learning opportunities provided by the company apart from compensation, customised learning and 'Asynchronous Communication'. Various challenges like comprehension strategy, no distinction between personal and professional life, compensation of various factors, parameters to measure the employee’s efficiency, strategic compensation and there should be such a culture that is conducive for all the backgrounds were discussed.

The panelists also emphasized on the job roles that were affected by the pandemic namely, Performance manager and recruitment manager as the workplace has transformed to online/hybrid that makes it difficult to recruit, assess and manage employees. The interesting discussion ended with the panel concluding that the flexible and magnetic force can have tremendous impact on employees especially when they get to choose where and when to work as it enhances engagement, reduces stress ensuring optimum productivity. It was an enriching session with smooth exchange of opinions and knowledge and the audience mainly comprising the 1st year HR students got to learn and expand their knowledge regarding the HR roles and functions in the industry. The session concluded with all the members taking a group picture.

Pictures from the Focus group Discussion session

Panelists engaged in the interesting discussion

Panelists and the audience took a group picture after the session