The Future of Work by Pankaj Bansal, CEO, PeopleStrong

 

A conversation on #FutureofWork and Digital Transformation of Work, Workplace and Workforce by Corporate Shiksha Insights Forum was hosted by UIncept as Startup Accelerator Partner and JIMS as Academic Partner on August 28, 2019. Mr Pankaj Bansal (Co-Founder and CEO of PeopleStrong, a provider of Human Resource Intelligence combined with Next-Gen Technology) shared insights on technology integrated into HR, systems, and people management in the era of digitisation. Pankaj has over a decade of experience in human resource management and is an investor in some of the most disruptive ideas in the industry. 

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The address started with Pankaj talking about his role at PeopleSoft, the concept behind it, and how he saw an opportunity in tech-enabled HR solutions. 

He talked about how the current economy is becoming increasingly data-driven and sees a future of employee growth through measured metrics. Pankaj said, “The only thing I have been discussing with CHROs is productivity. They say ‘My hierarchy is with 10,000 people. I want to work double of what I do with 5,000 people’. The fundamental difference between productivity then and now is that now, with productivity, people want data-driven metrics, experience, and standardisation.”

Speaking about standardisation, efficiency, data, and productivity in detail, he talked about how they have become an integrated concept of organisational growth through people. He addressed the changes in the industry and how people are moving forward from conventional recruitment to more advanced methods that deploy technology for database management, selection, and even core recruitment.

He discussed how human resource management has evolved over the years from simply “taking care” of the people to truly taking care of the people by providing them with services such as shuttles, cafeterias, and benefits. He spoke about integrating technology to manage aspects like attendance, time entry, and recordkeeping and how all of this has affected the millennial workforce to increase the standards of employment across all domains.


Pankaj emphasised the importance of integrating all aspects of employee services and having employees use a unified platform to avail these services. He said that companies need to have a streamlined and integrated technology that not only is open and connected but also GDPR compliant. He added, “Do you expect employees to go to 10 places to avail all of these services? It’s impossible. You have to build the architecture of your technology in a way that it’s open, connected, and integrated.”

Talking about Payroll, he mentioned about how payroll is an extremely complex process that uses time data and has a lot of information that has to be shared with the government. It can get complicated for organisations to manage human resources if it’s three core areas are split up instead of being kept together at all times. These areas are core database, payroll system, and time and attendance. Once these three functions are kept on the same platform- an organisation’s HR is integrated. 

Pankaj then talked about the gig economy and how everyone’s talent and capability will no longer be judged by the number of hours they put in but the quality of the output they deliver. He added, “There will be no typical corporations having 10,000 employees, but an organisation with x number of customers, x revenue and x number of services with people on a partner basis having an output that matches these numbers.”


After a brief discussion on the tracking of employees in the workplace, he explained why trying to track every move of the employee can do more harm than good and how people operate better in flexibility. In an interactive session between the audience and Pankaj, he said, “Do you not want to build an agile organisation? Agile cannot happen through email. Email is dead. There needs to be seamless communication, collaboration, and conversation between teams. Now, a lot of business is happening on WhatsApp.” 

Pankaj addressed the very important issue of the disconnect between CIO and CHRO in human resource management. He emphasised, “Change management cannot happen unless and until both aspects of the function do not realise they are interdependent. This should come in two ways. One, the CIO should understand the requirements of CHROs and not try to “win”, as then decisions don’t go right. The second is that the CHROs should have the humility to say “I don’t know” in situations where the CIO’s skills supersede theirs.”

The session ended with Pankaj saying, “If you delay the systems and processes for too long- you’re compromising the destiny or success of your organisation. Of course, you can say you are agile and don’t want to bind yourself in the bureaucracy- but you can be agile and have systems coexist to maximise productivity, because that, at the end of the day, is what matters.”

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About UIncept

UIncept is India's premier startup incubator and accelerator-based out of Gurugram, India. In our pursuit to create startups that become the disruptors for tomorrow, we provide mentorship, investment and growth opportunities to the young entrepreneurs who work with us at our campus. Learn more about us and our programs here

 
Himanshu Bhalla