Digitisation has become a focal point across all spheres of business today, and HR is no exception. HR has certainly come a long way, but has it come far enough to embrace digitisation entirely and fully realise the benefits?
The reality is that for HR to fully perceive the benefits of digitisation HR managers have to become innovative and totally transform their thinking, approach and systems - in that order. Digitising old processes with a jaded mindset doesn’t make big strides in innovation, and is more likely to yield limited results if any.
Let’s go to the back to the foundations
To spark innovation, human resources management has to meticulously analyse their key functions right down to the basics.
Understanding how the HR team and their functions can transform through digitisation means that management will be able to rebuild their departments from the ground up and compile a powerful HR strategy specifically with digitisation in mind.
Traditionally, the HR function has been dominated by employee administration, legal compliance, arduous sourcing and talent engagement, onboarding, evaluations, compensation and terminations.
If HR management focuses only on digitising these traditional functions with the key emphasis on improving efficiency and access, they deny their department the opportunity of playing a strategic role in business planning and strategy implementation.
Digitisation allows business and HR to integrate their strategies and goals, and for HR to own their digital transformation initiatives.
It might be time to invest in productivity and retention
Digitisation has dramatically transformed the way businesses operate across all levels, but in all digitalisation transformation projects, employee buy-in is an essential element to success. This is an area where the role of the HR department is specifically valuable.
Digitisation places human resource departments in an exclusive position to reinvent and control the entire employee experience. HR professionals need to shift their focus from implementing and maintaining rigid employee processes to understanding how employees actually experience these implemented processes. It’s much like how retail constantly evaluates and adapts to the customer experience.
This means that HR teams can spend more time on issues like gap analysis, performance management, prediction and optimisation technologies, tailored career growth, personalised learning programs etc.
One of the major challenges facing businesses today is employee disengagement, and this is almost always a result of the disparity between implemented processes and employee expectations. For a business to prosper and grow today, it has to be in touch with its employees’ expectations.
Through digitisation, HR teams can focus on employee engagement to improve communication as well as personal and professional well-being. This, in turn, will allow employees to actively engage with their employers. And employees who feel included and valued are more inclined to participate in the business’s overall strategic plans through focused purpose and productivity.
This is a vital transition that business and HR need to make considering that Millennials currently represent the majority of the workforce internationally and it is estimated that by 2020 this generation will make up 50% of the workforce.
Millennials have very different expectations of the workplace than what their predecessors had. They value individual development, seek out digital communities and are inclined to brand loyalty. Any employer who overlooks the opportunity of including their employees in their business brand and goals through their HR strategy is going to pay a high price in the long term.
The successful businesses of tomorrow are going to be those who successfully harness technology to build employee engagement today.
Transformation isn’t an option
Of course, there are certain aspects of employee administration and compliance that will remain current HR functions, especially legal compliance because it is a complex and constantly evolving landscape. But many traditional HR functions can be streamlined through digitisation, integration and even outsourcing.
Talent management software has completely changed the way applicants are screened, even before there is any type of contact. SaaS platforms allow access to data and information from any location, freeing HR teams up to focus their attention elsewhere. Cloud capabilities, including mobile technology, machine learning and artificial intelligence are all readily available for inclusion in a well thought out HR strategy.
An HR strategy that entirely embraces digitisation could result in a transformed HR department that is focused on employee engagement through digital communities, and that manages employee administration, compliance and talent management through outsourcing or SaaS-based platforms, like bountiXP.
HR of tomorrow will embrace all that digitisation offers to become strategic partners in overall business strategy and goals, and they will ensure that the talent plan is included in business planning decisions rather than a reflexive response as is currently the case.
Current HR management must step up and take a lead role in the business’s digital transformation and defining how digitisation will change the employee experience. If current HR professionals don’t adapt and embrace change, they could find themselves becoming obsolete.