HR will always be about people. HR’s true core is about people. And people today are digital.
But what does that mean for HR?
Here’s the deal: people aren’t digital, it’s what they do that’s digital. People are analogue beings doing digital things: communicating, shopping, reading, and so forth. And this increase in digital behaviour is inspiring new digital products and services, which then leads to more digital behaviour, and so on it goes. In short, our global society is becoming more and more digitally focused.
As a result of this, organisations of today need to become digital to meet the increased demand for fast-paced information, services and delivery. Many businesses are fully aware of this when it comes to consumer markets, offering highly digital services where there is obvious money to be made. Unfortunately, HR isn’t about money. Instead, HR professionals act deep inside the organisations, making sure the business’s most valuable assets are taken care of.
However, while these valuable assets – the employees – are also becoming more and more digital, HR seems to be struggling to sell corporate management on internal digital investments. But it’s crucial that leadership sees that doing this is just as important as putting the digital where the money is –into consumer products. They mustn’t lose sight of the fact that consumers and employees, in most cases, are the very same people.
The result of ignoring this is HR being stuck with old-school systems, often with higher demands on making a business case for new tools that might enhance the employee experience. Because business is about making money, and employees cost money.
Ironically, the digitalisation of business is where HR plays one of the most important roles. Why? Because like many other business transformations, digitalisation is about managing people’s attitudes and ways of working. And that, as we all know, is what HR is all about.
So how does HR become part of the digital transformation?
Get in the game
First, HR needs to figure out how the digital transformation affects its own business and how it will help to get more out of what the business does. In what ways can HR create value through digitalisation? It’s important not to focus on the tools right away, but rather on the processes and ways of working.
Align with the why
It’s also important to ask why you are doing what you do. Hopefully, that’s already clear, but for many people outside the HR department, it might not be. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to align the why with the actual digital HR transformation. How will getting digital help you focus on the why?
Engage your employees
As I mentioned earlier, digitalisation is nothing without people. Sit your HR team down, or even better, stand up, and engage in a discussion about how digital ways of working will give them more time to focus on what they want to do. What are they dreaming about doing more of? What kind of digital HR services do they want for themselves as employees? They most certain use digital products and services outside of work that could be implemented in what you do.
Author: Henrik Ladström, Digital HR Management Consultant, Knowit Insight
Henrik Ladström has worked with some of Sweden's most renowned organisations, companies and municipalities in his role as Digital HR & People Facilitator at Knowit Insight HRM which offers a team of dedicated consultants in the area’s related to HR and technology. Knowit Insight HRM is completely supplier independent and have extensive knowledge and experience in implementation and process management of digital systems.
Learn more about Knowit Insight HRM here
Connect with Henrik Ladström on LinkedIn here