Thought Leadership

Digital HR: What It Is And How To Get There

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In every sector and industry, you might have heard that digitalization is taking the business landscape by storm. As much buzz as there is regarding digitalization, not everyone is clear about what it means and how to make it happen for their business. In a nutshell, digitalization is a way to restructure business processes around digital communication and media structures to ensure more streamlined and effective practices.

Fortunately, your Human Resources department has the potential to take this optimization and run with it, taking digitalization to the next level by incorporating social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) technologies and leveraging them to make HR processes run more effectively and efficiently.

However, even if businesses understand the concept of HR in the digital world, they might not have the capability to adopt or implement a sound digitalization strategy. In fact, two-thirds of business leaders shared that if their business does not increase digitalization after 2020, it will lose its competitive edge.

If you would like to design a digital transformation strategy for your HR department, here are some ideas on how to do it smoothly.

How Digitalization Is Changing HR Functions 

If your office continues to run on manual or analog, you might wonder what digitalization looks like for your HR department and what you might do differently.

Think of HR digitalization as taking the best of modern technology and tried-and-true practices and combining them for a streamlined operation. As mentioned above, SMAC is a vital component of the digital paradigm. However, you also need to draw on and align with traditional methods — including structure, corporate culture, talent and well-designed HR processes — in order to balance and complement the innovation and efficiency that digitalization brings to the table.

Put together, the traditional and the modern concepts work in tandem to bring true innovation to your HR department.

How Is Digitalization Changing HR Functions in Tangible Ways?

The HR digital transformation occurs in four key phases:

  1. HR efficiency: The HR efficiency phase requires businesses to invest in new technologies while also building platforms that efficiently manage various HR processes through existing technology providers.
  2. HR effectiveness: When committing to the HR effectiveness phase, use technology to upgrade people managing practices, such as onboarding, performance management and communication.
  3. Information: During this phase, you will provide information to impact business operations, make data accessible, combine internal and external data, and leverage people and culture analytics to create and later evaluate business-relevant insights.
  4. Connection and experience: This final phase is when you leverage digital technology to create and foster a true connection among your people. Leveraging social networks, individual experiences and the available technology enables you to develop a stronger feeling of belonging for everyone.

From these four phases, you might see that digital transformation has the potential to change the dynamics of HR, allowing you to take on any internal resistance associated with technology and change. Meanwhile, your HR team can focus on interaction with employees, encouraging employee engagement and fostering positive culture.

Although counterintuitive to some beliefs, allowing technology to automate certain tasks actually gives HR teams more freedom to work on and connect with employees at the human level, without wasting time on transactional tasks, such as entering data on spreadsheets and updating reports. Some business leaders might worry that the role of HR in digital transformation might make things less humanizing, but organizations are discovering that the opposite is true.

What’s more, in the multigenerational age where businesses need to balance different personalities and attitudes, HR teams can take a more interactive approach. With digital human resources, they can build bridges, create harmony, offer work-life balance to all and gain a competitive edge by encouraging a unified workforce — no matter what the age-range.

What Steps Do You Need to Take to Implement a Digital Strategy Successfully?

When you are ready to implement a digital strategy for your HR team, it’s important to follow these steps to do so seamlessly and successfully:

1. Set clear goals

Not every organization shares the same goals for HR digitalization transformation.. The business might want to implement digitalization purely to save money or to foster a sense of community. By establishing your goals before starting the process, you can better map out the rest of the project. Ultimately, you want the end-users to adapt quickly and use the technology effectively.

2. Engage everyone in the process

You can’t do it alone, so you need to get everyone on board with the process, including employees, C-suite executives, management and other stakeholders. You will need people to help you test the process along the way to ensure that everything is user-friendly. This step also allows you to create unique engagement at a range of organizational levels. You can use the digital transformation process to get a leg up on enhancing company culture.

3. Assemble the right HR tech stack and support

Your tech stack needs to support your whole HR digital transformation strategy. It must allow you and your team to accomplish your daily recruiting, interviewing, onboarding and culture-building tasks. Work with your technology team to determine what hardware, software and cloud technologies will suit your group.

Make sure to think of your end-users and how they will use the technology you choose. Select apps that focus on a robust user experience and an intuitive layout to make the learning curve as simple as possible. This should allow your team the freedom to work with management and employees for a better overall work experience.

Let Humantelligence Help With Your Digitalization Strategy 

HR plays a pivotal role in leading and implementing your organization’s digital transformation strategy. At Humantelligence, our solutions can help you measure and target cultures through our culture analytics solution.

Are you ready for digital transformation in HR? Do you need support and additional direction? If so, reach out to Humantelligence to request a demo today.


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