Andrea Wachob Kaelin
, January 25, 2022
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Forced change has given rise to a reassessment of work-life priorities that is here to stay  

Results of the Oracle AI@Work: 2021 Global Study strongly suggest that employees are globally trending towards greater leveraging of technology, primarily AI-based, to help them plan and advance their careers. However, beyond outlining the mindset of a workforce determined to establish a new work-life balance, the study is a wake-up call for the organizations where those people work. 

The Oracle study, conducted with Workplace Intelligence, surveyed more than 14,000 employees, managers, HR leaders, and executives in 13 countries. The study explores the depth of relationships between humans and technology in respect to trust, well-being, and confidence in technology’s ability to assist individuals in pursuing their definition of success. Among the results, 82% of those surveyed believe that robots can better support their career paths moving forward than humans, while 85% want access to better technology for defining their futures.  

The times they are a changin’  

The very definition of success is changing, and a whopping 93% of respondents indicated that they took time in the past year to reflect on the future of their personal and professional lives. As a result, 75% say they feel 'stuck,' both personally and professionally, while 85% feel that employer support for their career goals is inefficient, and 87% feel that their employer should be doing more to listen to their needs. The fact is that after two years of unprecedented forced change, people are taking charge of their new realities, rather than continuing along the passive, wait-and-see road that most were on when the pandemic began. In accepting their fate and setting a new course in uncharted waters, people are gravitating towards technology to guide them - and towards employers who get it.  

As someone who has spent her entire professional life in human resources, I have always embraced the technology side of things. As an Oracle partner, Alithya is already helping organizations through the trials and tribulations of change management pertaining to their digital transformation projects. My primary role at Alithya involves working with customer HR departments, mostly in the Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) space, to realign their practices and to prepare them for changes that inevitably accompany new technology implementations. That process can be difficult for some, and my focus is on the people side of the equation.  

Stacking the deck  

The ability to adapt to the changing demands of the workforce requires a combination of leading-edge technologies and progressive policies. As people continue to reflect on what truly matters to them, organizations need to step up to offer the right tools to help their workforce to thrive. Technology and portability are keys to success, and organizations that fail to adopt solid hybrid platforms are destined to struggle in an increasingly employee-driven market with people on the move. However, while technology, including AI-based solutions, can greatly assist organizations with their hiring needs, it still falls on humans to build up information sources in order for technology to process them. That requires a shift to more analytical thinking in HR departments.  

Rather than searching for unicorns, today’s recruiters need to focus intently on core competencies and other positive qualities that have been historically overlooked. That need is particularly urgent for larger organizations where the ability to speak to employees individually is unrealistic. The alternative lies in the power to leverage internal HR data. Alithya’s Oracle HCM solutions greatly assist organizations ready to build up that essential capability, adding components such as skills-based tracking, workforce planning, and projections that can be leveraged during the recruitment process. Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM offers complete connectivity with an organization’s vital human resources, from hire to retire. Greater people analytics enhance an organization’s ability to identify its existing personnel and to monitor diversity, inclusion, and much more to proactively plan for tomorrow’s workforce. Alithya enables organizations to extract the information that is truly meaningful to them, derived from surveys, manager performance data, and much more – using the analytical capabilities of Oracle HCM.  

Embracing the future  

As a new hybrid world continues to alter people’s perceptions of what success really means, we are beyond the point of this being a temporary trend. People have been forced to change. Some have embraced it, while others are still feeling a bit lost. In both cases, employers need to bend with the curve to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of a workforce that is re-evaluating its priorities. Early adopters will not only be seen as more innovative and supportive, but will also be giving employees what they need to perform at their personal and professional best. That’s a win-win proposition, while companies that don’t evolve risk losing their most valuable resource—their employees.  

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