The chatbot-human facilitator to bridge the gap between technology and people is one of the top items on the HR wish-list of India Inc. It also includes other HR-centric profiles to deal with the new realities of a hybrid workforce and the changing dynamics of employee wellbeing that bring in a new set of challenges.
The wish list is based on an ET-Aon study of 438 companies on corporate India’s people priorities and challenges for 2023. For the study, 50 companies were also interviewed on how they saw these roles panning out in the future. The companies are currently looking to build these roles, which are likely to become fully mainstream in about three years, the research finds.
The chatbot-human facilitator is expected to innovate to ensure that the technology does not alienate employees. Most organisations have already started implementing chatbots for query resolution and support. As the technology evolves, they are expected to use chatbots and AI tools for more areas of HR.
“At a time of accelerated digital disruption, companies need to engage employees in their digital and AI journey,” said Pritish Gandhi, Aon director & India practice leader for executive compensation & governance. “The chatbot-and-human facilitator will be a key role by humanising the digital experience.”
The role will need an awareness of technology, digital mindset and a high EQ (emotional quotient), he said. It does not necessarily need software engineers.
Another role on the wish-list of companies in the aftermath of the pandemic-driven mental health challenges is that of a wellbeing director, who will lead the development and implementation of programmes that help people manage their mental and physical health.Over half of the firms in the study are looking to build the role of an employee-enablement coach – a strategic partner in the development team who will tailor learning and training.
“Curating learning and life journeys which focus on holistic enablement of employees will be a game changer in ensuring higher engagement and productivity,” said Nitin Sethi, chief executive of Aon Consulting, India and South Asia.
Two roles that companies are likely to hire sooner than the others are that of the hybrid working facilitator and the workplace environment architect.
Post-pandemic, many organisations have adopted or are planning to adopt multiple workforce models. This in turn requires the firm, managers and employees to adapt to the new ways of working, leading to the emergence of the role of hybrid working facilitator.
The roles will ensure that a suitable and efficient ecosystem is created which understands the needs of the workforce, supports in adapting to flexible working arrangements and seamlessly integrates these workforce models with the traditional models, the study said. The workplace environment architect will also ensure that the workplace environment is aligned to the organisation culture.