New-age HR in times of massive digitization

Gone are the days when digitization was a fancy trend that people discussed in board rooms. It has now become a strategic necessity that is slowly and steadily proliferating into every business process and function, be it sales and marketing, customer servicing, business management or human resources.

According to a McKinsey report, 49 percent of leading companies are investing in digital technology more than their counterparts do, compared with only 5 percent of the laggards. The message is clear – go digital or risk going out of business!

HR in the forefront

In contrast to the traditional Human Resource processes of the past (essentially paper-intensive, non-innovative, time consuming practices limited to recruitment, payroll and salary management), things have taken a quantum leap towards a more digitized and efficient process.

As a result, one can see HR itself leading the way towards an organization’s digital transformation.

Digitization in HR does not imply merely using spreadsheets, dashboards and technology; it has a much deeper impact on an organization’s journey into the future. It includes talent transformation and imbibing new talents to bridge the digital gap and keep the process of innovation alive.

New-age HR

Given the pervasiveness of technology coupled with the pressure to better find and nurture talent, it’s no surprise that HR at many organizations is becoming increasingly digitized and automated.

New-age HR encompasses a lot more than what traditionally HR used to address a few years back. Apart from traditional HR practices like recruitment, payroll and salary management, today HR also looks at addressing issues related to workforce optimization, talent transformation, upskilling and reskilling, training, L&D, employee engagement and wellness practices and more. Thus, HR has become a convergence for all people related decisions in an organization.

Digitization and automation of certain redundant HR practices like resume screening, interview scheduling, employee evaluation, has transformed HR into a more strategic role player. Using cloud computing and cognitive technology like artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, neural networks, and automation, HR processes have become not only faster but more accurate and bias-free but are also adding an intelligence layer across major business functions.

Today, CHROs can not only distinguish the best fits for a job role but also ascertain the joining probability of a prospective candidate, gauge skill gaps and map employee career paths, predict attrition and impose retention models, create a more engaged, networked and efficient workforce.

Let’s take sneak peek at 5 areas where HR is power packing itself through digital transformation:

  • User friendly HR systems: Mobile phones are believed to be the biggest catalyst in digital transformation as they can mobilize processes, make them simpler, more accessible, sleeker and deliver a great user experience that is fine-tuned for user adoption. According to Bersin by Deloitte report, this consumerization trend is converting HR into a system of engagement that can reach beyond the territory of HR and really engage employees’ inner work lives, rather than being just one of record (certifications, training etc.)
  • Bridging the employee-manager gap: With digitizing HR systems, one of the best thing that has happened is the narrowing of the wide communication gap between employees and managers and employees and HR team. New dialogue tools like chat bots and intra-organization communities, there’s a more transparent communication flow and a happier and more motivated workforce.
  • Transforming L&D: Learning and development has become an integral part of HR which cannot be overlooked any more. With rapid technology disruption and an ongoing talent crisis, it has become imperative for organizations to invest in reskilling and retaining their existing workforce. With AI and analytics in use, HRs and employees can now map their career progression route and upskill themselves in the most demanding and fitting skills to avoid the pink slip nightmares. Also, with digital education options, bite-sized, on-demand, mobile or web based micro-learning sessions, talent transformation and training, reskilling and upskilling workforce has become much easier and fast-paced.
  • Feedback and reviews: Bringing the entire workforce on a digital platform has eased the process of performance reviews, appraisals and feedback system and has also made it more transparent and unbiased. Many organizations use gamification to gauge employee performance and reviews.
  • Employee target/goal setting: Every organization takes a great deal of effort to set the employee goals in alignment with their annual business goals and the employee’s performance record. With digital solutions and platforms, managers can now openly and steadily share S.M.A.R.T goals, distribute them to employees, and enable sharing them with co-workers. This not only keeps the employees, managers and HR team on the same page, but also nurtures a more transparent work environment and a more unified and aligned team of players. This can even help managers improve.

Evidently, all these efforts and effects combined together will enable the HR to rise from being a side kick to a superhero in the organization.

Digital transformation of workforce and HR can not only keep the organization abreast with the evolving and disrupting technological space but also create a more productive, engaged, networked, committed and motivated talent pool. It is high time that HR and learning professionals embrace this change to meaningfully impact employees as well as the business.

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