The role of the 3I’s in shaping the future of HR

Charise Le, CHRO of Schneider Electric, elaborates on the transformational power of Insights, Innovation and Inclusion for HR success.
By: | June 1, 2023

The pandemic brought about the world’s largest work-from-home experiment, but as organisations look to thrive in what we call the new normal, hybrid working is expected to continue and adapt to evolving workforce needs.

According to data from Telstra, 85% of organisations in Asia are promoting long-term hybrid working arrangements. 57% of Asia-Pacific leaders from the same study also plan to further invest in technologies to better support productivity and optimise operations across hybrid environments.

However, supporting a dynamic and distributed workforce is not only about equipping them with the right tools and technology. Organisations, and more specifically HR leaders, also need to be innovative and nimble in their approach to implementing hybrid models.

To this end, they can look at driving efforts through the three I’s: Insights, Innovation, and Inclusion.

Insights: Using data analytics in decision-making

Traditionally conceived as an operational business function, HR is fast evolving into a strategic one. In today’s increasingly competitive environment, organisations recognise that attracting, developing, and retaining the best talent is crucial for success. Furthermore, HR plays a vital role in aligning the skills and capabilities of its workforce to the short and long-term goals of the organisation.

To support HR initiatives, HR leaders need to leverage data analytics to cultivate a stronger understanding of employee expectations, test and assess the effectiveness of policies, as well as make more informed decisions.

For example, by analysing past hiring data, HR leaders can identify the sources that have yielded the most successful hires, the types of experiences that are most valuable, and the factors that contribute most to employee turnover. They can also use this information to create more effective recruitment strategies, reduce time to hire and improve retention rates.

At Schneider Electric, for instance, we leverage data analytics to better understand how employee perceptions towards total rewards, for example, has evolved during the pandemic. We then harnessed a range of technologies, including automated processes, to ensure we can respond to changing needs in an agile and flexible manner.

Innovation: Harnessing technology to reimagine HR

Many forms of HR innovation already exist to help organisations improve operational efficiency, including recruitment, learning and development apps, and performance management tools. However, emerging technologies like AI and gamification are further enhancing key HR activities like hiring and promotions, and organisations are already starting to get onboard.

Take Schneider Electric’s AI-driven Open Talent Market, through which employees can find jobs and projects within the organisation that align with their professional interests and skillsets. In addition to enhancing the transparency of our internal recruitment processes, the platform supports more diverse and global collaboration.

That said, while it is important for organisations to leverage these technologies, continuous monitoring and evaluation to ensure they perform in the manner intended, such as vetting for actual desired skills and competencies.

Inclusion: Breaking barriers and building bridges

The data is clear that ‘inclusivity’ is a lot more than just a buzzword. The International Labour Organisation found that organisations with more inclusive workplace culture experience a 59% increase in innovation, along with a 62.6% rise in productivity and profitability. It also opens organisations up to larger hiring pools; Glassdoor, for instance, found that 76% of employees believe diversity is essential when contemplating job offers.

Organisations must, therefore, champion inclusivity and encourage management to take the lead. Setting the tone from the top is key—for only committed leaders can reimagine workforce policies, communicate inclusion goals, measure progress, and celebrate differences to make sure everyone feels included.

At Schneider Electric, our leaders work proactively to learn more about their people and acquire a deeper appreciation of their backgrounds and experiences. This drive for inclusiveness enables us to develop more targeted interventions to embrace diversity, including rewarding employees fairly and equitably for their skillsets and contributions, while supporting individuals with personalised development plans.

READ MORE: Formulating DE&I policies through the lens of a Group CHRO

Solidifying the three I’s for the future

Ultimately, as the organisation and employee expectations continue to evolve, HR leaders must embrace the three I’s—Insights, Innovation, and Inclusion—to stay ahead of shifting realities. Furthermore, it’s essential to leverage all three in concert, not in isolation.

By doing so, HR leaders can foster a culture of adaptability and resilience and thus help equip their organisations to navigate current and future challenges more effectively.

About the author: Charise Le is CHRO of Schneider Electric.