How Strategic HR Drives Digital Transformation - EmployeeConnect HRIS
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strategic HR

How Strategic HR Drives Digital Transformation

Digital transformation, when implemented in the right perspective, can positively impact every aspect of your business. This includes attracting and retaining top talent, to improving the customer experience, and to facilitating employees to perform actions to streamline operations. To achieve these outcomes, the most crucial element of successful digital transformation is to comprehend the fact that it’s not all about technology. For any organisation, irrespective of its size, success with digital transformation depends upon two things people and culture aka Strategic HR.

According to recent research carried out by IDC, the role of the Human Resources department in successful digital transformation is a huge one. Titled “HR Must Deliver on Transformation”, the IDC report stated that out of the four barriers to success, two of the top ones are people and culture. This proved the point that the role of the HR team is quite significant to the success of digital transformation. This article discusses some of how you can embrace a mindset that strategic HR can drive digital transformation.

Role of HR in Digital Transformation

According to IDC around 85% of organisations have commenced digital transformation process. This percentage will undoubtedly continue to rise. If organisations stick to the old strategies that they have been using so far about hiring, recruiting, managing, engaging, and retaining employees, then Human Resources isn’t the first to be included in digital transformation initiatives.

The Solution is to Embrace Strategic HR

Strategic HR is a new type of Human Resources practice. It’s a part of the business that’s focused not only on administrative tasks but also on business processes followed across the organisation. Digital transformation is not just about technology but also about people and culture. Because the HR function deals with people business more squarely than any other department within an organisation, it is essential to involve HR in every part of the digital transformation process.

In every organisation hiring and onboarding practices, attracting top talent, training and career advancement, ongoing education, fostering a culture of collaboration, committing to initiatives designed to create best places to work, fostering committed and engaged employees are all things which are in the realm of the HR team. All these things contribute to an organisation’s success in navigating the process of digital transformation much more than software implementation or any technological advances.

How Do HR Teams Become Strategic HR Partners?

If your HR team is viewed as largely administrative at this point of time, how can you help them to embrace being legitimately “strategic HR partners” within an organisation? Listed below are five ways in which your HR team can achieve the same:

1. Keeping an Engaged Workforce

It is a known fact that an engaged workforce is a more productive workforce. But the question here is how do you keep your employees invested and focused in an era that’s driven by constant change and short attention spans? To begin with, you can change the way in which you approach your performance reviews. The present-day workforce isn’t interested in waiting for an entire year to receive the annual performance review. They instead prefer casual check-ins, more frequent interaction and feedback with their managers. As per the IDC report, this change is taking place in most of the organisation, but at a slow pace. According to the data derived from the IDC report, six per cent of Fortune 500 companies have ditched the annual performance review process and employee rankings. They have instead opted for interaction with employees that focuses more on feedback, personal development, improved opportunities for learning, and course-corrections wherever necessary.

2. Building a Flexible, Agile, and Collaborative Workforce

As more and more organisations are leveraging freelance and remote employees, it is imperative that you, as an HR function, build a more flexible and collaborative workforce upon which business is built. It is not uncommon for the company HR budget to allocate around 30 per cent of the budget for consultants and freelance contractors. So, if you are not yet focusing on collaboration initiatives, now is an excellent time to start doing it. This shouldn’t be too difficult, as the enterprise freelance market is set to hit $49.5 billion by 2021.

3. Developing, Attracting, and Retaining Appropriate Talent

There are a lot of incorrect ways in which you may be unknowingly approaching employee hiring and retention. Sometimes what makes it a tad more challenging is that fact that suitable candidates can be quite difficult to find and they are also quite selective when it comes to the opportunities that they pursue. One of how you can do it the right way is to showcase your corporate culture at the time of recruitment. This is significant, as that’s a key piece of information that potential employees look for nowadays. Many a time it has been observed that there’s a disparity between what you project your company and a particular job role to be, then what the employees see with their own eyes and how they feel when they are being interviewed and get to know your recruitment team in reality. If that’s what is happening with your organisation as well, it’s high time that you fix it. You should project who you are as an organisation and lead with great culture.

4. Leveraging Data

As part of the talent management and talent recruitment equation, nowadays, the best-in-class and most innovative organisations and their HR teams are looking at data closely. In today’s world, it is very much possible to leverage technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), predictive analytics, and sentiment analysis and others to help identify and vet candidates who have the personal characteristics and professional skills that best fit your organisation. Once these employees are hired, you can utilise similar technology to monitor job satisfaction, performance, and even predict if or how long a candidate is likely to stick around with a company and a particular role. When you integrate data into the HR strategy, it will allow your organisation to keep their finger on the pulse of the collective happiness of your employees and make changes that are intended to keep your workforce motivated, happy, and challenged. If you wish to retain top talent, you will have to work harder than ever before and utilise data in ways that can help you do that.

5. Demanding a Seat at the Decision-Making Table

According to the IDC research, HR leaders have been found to lead the digital effort only around five per cent of the time. That’s mainly because the HR department is often viewed as policy-driven or administrative in function. They are not considered as crucial drivers of the business. To change this ongoing trend, HR leaders must demand a seat at the decision-making table. Once you get a seat there, you must be ready to present how a strategic HR team can drive the digital transformation of an organisation as a whole.

In today’s competitive business world, it is imperative that you embrace digital transformation. Irrespective of the size of your company or the industry, your people and your culture will help in leading the way towards successful digital transformation and overall business adaptability.

Byron Conway

Content Coordinator at EmployeeConnect