Areas such as marketing, sales and finance have fundamentally changed in conjunction with digitalisation. Now is the time for HR to step in as a key player in the digitisation of operations, while at the same time exploiting digital opportunities. An HR study conducted by the University of Gothenburg identified digitisation as an upcoming HR challenge.
What is Digital HR?
Digital HR is about using digital techniques and working methods to make HR more efficient. The digital approach creates data-driven evidence that demonstrates how HR’s work creates business benefits.
But what does digitalising areas related to HR mean in concrete terms? In this blog post, we provide suggestions for five digital HR transformation opportunities.
1. Digital HR automates discussions with employees
Many functions, including marketing, sales and customer service, have begun using chatbots to improve the customer experience and expand their accessibility. Now is the time for HR to start leveraging chatbots – robots that simulate human conversations based on AI.
Chatbots have tremendous potential in several HR functions, including recruitment, onboarding and management of internal routines. With the help of chatbots, HR can free up time that can instead be allocated into strategic efforts. A practical first step is to let chatbots handle simple requests from employees, such as time off, business insurance, payroll audits, etc.
2. Digital HR provides data-driven decision support
Have you ever decided on a course of action without data-backed information that turned out to be a mistake? You’re not alone! Many people, especially in managerial positions, are struggling to make quick decisions due to lack of relevant data. It’s high time for businesses to put more emphasis on decisions based on facts, rather than trusting “gut feelings”.
Today, most organisations collect a fixed amount of data, but they are lagging behind in collecting regular feedback from employees. By working with what we call temperature measurement, with frequent health checks of the organisation, various functions – senior management as well as HR, supervisors, and rank-and-file employees – are provided with data-driven material that helps them in taking time off and smart decisions.
3. Digital HR creates rapid feedback loops
Rapid feedback loops correlate with success in today’s evolving world. There is substantial value in creating a culture of closed-loop feedback. That involves establishing digital support where awards, awards and performance are recorded in the same platform. The opportunity to give and receive awards helps employees feel that their achievements are not going unnoticed.
Rapid feedback loops are also created through frequent checks and strategic goal management. Annual personal development talks are no longer enough since goals can become outdated, sometimes even before they are documented. It is significantly more effective to have individual discussions with employees on a weekly or monthly basis. The focus should be on proactive dialogues and goal management, preferably based on the target model OKR. The implementation of strategic goal management requires both a goal management model, supportive processes and digital support.
4. Digital HR supports agile teams
Many businesses are working to minimise hierarchical structures and instead, letting organisational structures be characterised by agile working methods. By allowing individual units to make quick decisions, a market-oriented and efficient working method is created. The units can reflect on the goals and their progress to decide on the next steps and not rely on top-line management for instructions.
It also contributes to commitment and accountability – both for the individual and the team. However, it requires a culture based on genuine reliance on the individual’s ability to perform. To get started with an agile way of working, one can derive inspiration from development teams that often work with agile methods such as Kanban or Scrum. Next, you need to create both structures and digital support. Monday.com is an example of an easy-to-use tool that supports an agile approach.
5. Digital HR improves the employee experience
Enriching the customer experience has been popular in recent years, but the importance of the employee experience has now also begun to attract considerable attention. The employee experience encompasses everything from how businesses attract, introduce and develop their personnel to the wellbeing of the workplace, including both mental and physical aspects. Most people expect the job experience to reflect their personal lives. It is, therefore, no coincidence that businesses dedicate resources to, for example, office environments, health and wellness training, flexible working hours, etc.
Real-time employee engagement can be measured through automated “temperature measurements” utilising employee feedback. Through visualisation of the collected data, enterprises can gain an overall picture of how their organisations are doing and then make adjustments to strengthen the employee experience. One should not forget the link between profitability and the well-being of the organisation – a better employee experience also means a better customer experience.
HR is an essential piece of the puzzle for an organisation’s digitalisation, but ironically, it falls behind. Nowadays, HRs can get digital support for working more proactively with employees. Factors such as agile teams, fast feedback loops and data-driven decision-making support are success factors for businesses. All of this at a time when the most attractive employees not only become more challenging to attract and retain but also when they reevaluate their relationships with their employers on an ongoing basis. By embracing digital technology and new ways of working, HR can obtain data-driven input that helps demonstrate how HR contributes to business value.