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January 6, 2020

HR function has progressively evolved from automation to integration, to engagement, and to performance over the decades. With "performance" being the dominating theme, HR leaders need to look at ways not only to empower employees, but to intelligently empower them.

Employee empowerment is an HR management strategy that aims to give employees a certain degree of autonomy and responsibility for decision-making regarding their specific organizational tasks, and also provides the tools/resources necessary to make confident decisions in the workplace without any supervision. Employee empowerment with AI is a long-term resource-incentive HR digitization strategy. It helps employees become more efficient, productive, and precise to take better decisions. Intelligent empowerment aims to reduce or eliminate all boring, repetitive work through automation, using AI. This strategy deploys machine intelligence to enable new opportunities and empower business, customers and employees.

There are multiple strategies to empower the employees; employee empowerment with digitalization of HR is one of them. Through this strategy, employees can be empowered through predefined authority matrix, automated routing of workflows, auto approvals based on predefined rules, automation of repetitive activities, employee queries through conversational chatbot, personalization of the HR tool, intelligent notifications, quick actions features, ease of navigations, freedom to give feedback, and organizational social platform to collaborate and make decisions. Here we will try to understand, how HR digitalization will intelligently empower employees.

According to Deloitte’s 2017 Human Capital Trends report “Rewriting the rules for the digital age”, the accelerating rate of change in business, the economy, and society challenges both business and HR to adopt new rules for leading, organizing, motivating, managing, and engaging the 21st-century workforce.’

It’s about HR teams taking up the dual challenge of transforming HR operations on one hand, and transforming the workforce and the way work is done on the other. Intelligent empowerment helps employees become more efficient and take better decisions, whereas intelligent tools augment human capability. Designing easy-to-use applications and considering the end-to-end user experience are new disciplines for HR, combining design thinking with apps, video, social, engagement/collaboration tools and mobile technologies. Digital HR, which brings together social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technologies, represents a new platform for improving the employee and candidate experience. While HRMS solution providers are now delivering best-of-breed solutions and a new comprehensive digital HR platform, companies should build their own integrated digital HR strategies and programs.

As mentioned above, intelligent empowerment, unlike the earlier notions of rigid policies and workflow- based controls, promotes a more entrepreneurial and responsible engagement, where redundant activities are systematically eliminated while bringing focus on creativity and intellect for managing exceptions and business-relevant activities.

We are using, interacting with, and are even influenced by machine learning every day. There is a lot of data that is being generated and stored every second. Scalable computing with the cloud has become easier than before, and access to algorithms is open for everyone to test and learn, but imagine what would happen if machine intelligence empowered your organization to think, act and work differently. Intelligent empowerment can be viewed as an application of employee empowerment through Machine Learning to enable:

  • Engaging Customers: If we improve customer experiences, customer satisfaction, and brand image, business results will follow.
  • Empowering Employees: If we empower employees through a high-performing culture and enable access to data and analytics assets, we can accelerate delivery, improve quality, and drive user adoption and satisfaction.
  • Optimizing Operations: By building a better understanding of current processes - manufacturing, sales, marketing, finance, or otherwise we can often streamline and cut costs.
  • Transforming Products: Flexible, innovative organizations are better able to offer agile, adaptable products and services. Organizations can use technology to innovate on their value proposition to the market and their customers.


Organizations should embrace design thinking, leverage an agile approach integrating HR, technology, employees, and business leaders in the process. To empower the employees, HR can learn from the digital savvy people across the company and, in turn, help develop the enterprise’s digital mind-set. Organizations should integrate analytics and reporting as part of the digital platform. It should also  provide managers with real-time information and leaders with real-time analysis, decreasing the time spent on reports and increasing the time HR and business leaders spend on analyzing data and solving problems.

Tuhin Tah is the co-head of Innovation and Product Engineering group within TCS Platform Solutions. He is responsible for multiple product engineering and build initiatives covering new functional modules, major product enhancements and innovations. In his career of over 19 years (last 8 years with TCS), he has worked in various domain and technology consulting and senior architect roles for large application deployments, SAP HR and payroll implementations and product development. He has also worked as Global Head – Sales and Pre-Sales in the Platform Solutions unit. He holds an MBA in HR from Utkal University, Bhubneshwar(India), a master’s degree in Economics from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata (India).

Shefali Ashri is a Business Analyst and Solution Consultant for HR Transformation solution in the Platform Solutions unit at TCS.  She holds a master’s degree in Finance & Marketing from IBS, Mumbai along with the bachelor’s degree in engineering from Kurukshetra University, Haryana.


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