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2016's trendsetters


So, it's a wrap on 2015 and 2016 is here with a bang! India Inc too, is looking forward to a great year ahead with renewed hope and enthusiasm. Here's a look at the trends that will define India Inc in 2016


2015 turned out to be an exciting year for India Inc with many industries strengthening their story of growth. A few developments in the corporate domain turned out to be highly noteworthy and certain HR trends made immense contribution to the way the industries function. Here are some industry stalwarts talking about the trends that will define India Inc in 2016.

HR's role getting stronger
Richard Lobo, head HR, Infosys: In 2015, the role of HR in the organisation became increasingly important, as the workforce moved towards becoming more global, diverse and multi-faceted. Employee retention depended on how well HR attuned itself to the needs of this dynamic group, mostly dominated by millennials. In 2016, the role of HR seems to be poised for greater partnership with business and other facets of the organisation.

Role mergers
R Anand, global head, People Practices at HCL Technologies: The new digital economy will drive the experimentation in 2016 as it will call for a combination of skill sets and people. The focus will be on a heterogeneous talent pool rather than a single skill set.

An 'app-ening' year
Sucharita Palepu, global head - People Policies and Practices, Tech Mahindra:
Mobile applications have established themselves as a more powerful alternative and this year, organisations will invest in building mobile applications that will manage the entire employee life cycle. Whether it is for recruitment, on-boarding, performance feedback, compensation and benefits, travel and expense management, and leave  - mobile apps will play a huge role in engaging with employees.

Workplace flexibility
Rituparna Chakraborty, president, Indian Staffing Federation: Talent acquisition mechanisms are set to favour flexi-staffing and reflecting the need for work-life balance, workplace flexibility would become more of the norm than the exception.

Contingent workforce on a rise
Anand: There will be more partnership across companies - ranging from freelancing to partnership or co-ordination between organisational boundaries for highly-skilled workforce - specialists and experts.

Overhaul of performance feedback process
Palepu: The performance feedback process will continue to witness change with the focus shifting from annual and semi-annual appraisal discussions to more frequent performance check-ins.

Exciting year for HR in IT
Lobo: With the modernisation of the workplace will come the need to relook at policies and processes to increase flexibility and engagement. 2016 promises to be an exciting year for HR in IT, with opportunities to move into spaces yet unexplored in technology, digital and employee experience.

Focus on using predictive analysis
Palepu: While there has been an increased emphasis on the availability of talent analytics in the recent past, its effective usage still eludes a lot of organisations. 2016 will see organisations focus on using predictive analysis for identification of high potentials, ensuring best job moves and role fits, etc.

Change in rewards trend
Anand: The nature of benchmarking will change as it will get sharper to cater to a new combination of skill sets and their demand-supply; the market increase will have higher weight compared to merit increase. Variables will get segmented. There will be project and success-based bonus rather than individual performance-based bonus. The collective project bonus will be based on key milestones and client experience.

Talent engagement gains management attention
Chakraborty: Proactive methods of engaging talent and building strong employer brand equity through technology would be a priority area.

Culture, the differentiator
Palepu: In 2016, organisations will increasingly look at leveraging their culture as a differentiator as part of their employer branding efforts. The focus will be on representing their culture the way it is and articulating not just what they do, but why and how they do it. This will not only boost recruiting efforts in terms of creating an attractive employer brand, but also ensure that there is a culture fit for folks who come on board, which will further help in increasing retention and engagement. Gaming apps will prove to be an effective medium to ensure greater understanding and internalisation of organisation culture.

HR managers transform into data leaders
Chakraborty: Data and analytical tools are coming in handy for HR managers to make better, fact-based decisions and more HR managers would be transforming into data leaders, gaining better board attention.

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