Meena Kumari currently heads the Global Human Resources function at Airmeet. She has over 15 years of experience working as an HR professional in technology companies and product and SaaS startups. Kumari previously led the people to function at Circles.Life and was also the Head HRBP at Capillary Technologies, managing their global HR portfolio. She is also the founder of a global HR community, The HR Folks and is a remote work enthusiast and a digital transformation champion. She has also been recognised as ETHR Emerging Young Leader 2022, HR 40 under 40.
In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, she shares her take on leading digital transformation and embracing sustainable work practices. Here are some excerpts.
What are some technology trends that will impact the business landscape today?
Technology is ever-evolving and what is astonishing is the innovation in the space of HR. You can now expect technology to help diversity in hiring and bring automation to the selection process. Gone are the days when we spent weeks together finding the right fit; technology enables the right insights to identify culture and job fit with a click of a button. We will also see increasing technology with AI supporting and changing the landscape of talent retention.
How can digital solutions serve to bridge the gap within a distributed workforce?
The future of work lies with embracing agility and flexibility, whether it is going hybrid or fully remote. It's about adapting to the new normal where no one policy fits all.
Digital solutions can help with communication & collaboration with their ability to track common projects and enabling employees to communicate asynchronously. Efficiency and productivity are heightened with technology-led assimilation, on the job training, upskilling and transformative leadership coaching. Security systems that protect valuable and sensitive documents are also essential and the need of the hour to ensure a high level of data security in the digital workplace. With various technologies available, HR leaders must leverage their people's capital and the correct stakeholders to understand needs and thoroughly evaluate solutions before investing.
What are the pain points that leaders need to be mindful of?
While creating future-ready organisations, technology has to take centre stage in managing talent. But one of the most significant pain points is relying too much on lag measures and worrying around metrics that won't move unless there is an emphasis and focus on lead measures and efforts. The trick is to collectively identify the core intent and be mindful of outcomes rather than just output.
How can businesses retain the human touch in a digital workplace?
Technology aids HR functions in managing talent-related operations. Still, the onus of driving people strategy to success lies with HR leaders being empathetic in their approach to handling people's needs and genuinely embracing the people-first approach. Considering digital communications as a support system and not the only communications system will help HR leaders put people first.
Information and discoverability can be solved with technology, but wisely understanding that brainstorming, idea creation and collaboration will always require personal connections. It is the only way HR leaders can foster an environment that can sustain their organisations in the long run.
How can today’s leaders build a sustainable workplace?
As part of the HR community, leaders must build agile, flexible, and resilient organisations even amidst adversity and uncertainty. Therefore, there is an enormous responsibility on HR to power sustainability and workforce engagement through tech-enabled operations and ensure organisations are future-ready.
Of course, the moment we think of remote or hybrid work and sustainability, we automatically think of fewer commuting hours, lesser usage of fuel, and office resources, in turn helping the world grow greener and beneficial to the environment around us and, of course, the impact on mental wellness is also significant. So bringing in innovation in this space and helping that scale will add to improved sustainability goals for the planet.