Information technology has changed how we do just about everything. From online shopping and e-reservations to tele-health and e-government, we’ve become accustomed to having technology simplify and ease routine tasks. While technology has disrupted activities on the home front, it’s arguably in the workplace that it has had the greatest impact.
For human resources (HR), digital transformation implies adopting key technologies such as digital recruitment solutions, HR payroll systems, workforce engagement platforms and internal communication tools. As a CEO, CHRO, HR leader or other professional with HR responsibilities, you must leverage technology as an asset in HR management.
Nevertheless, simply throwing technology at HR challenges will not automatically result in the desired results. To ensure HR digital transformation, here are some practical tips.
1. Define Transformation Objectives
Assess your current HR processes. Identify areas of strength and weakness then envisage how you’d want your HR to look like after digital transformation. By defining the objectives of transformation from the get-go, you’ll have a razor-sharp focus on the things that matter. You can then devote time, energy and resources toward the realization of these goals.
That being said, the objectives shouldn’t be cast in stone. The organization, the market, regulations and available technology may change over the course of the transformation project. Be versatile and amend your objectives if that’s what’s needed to align with the new circumstances. Don’t hang on to a goal simply because you set it at the beginning if it no longer serves your organization’s transformation purpose.
2. Assemble a Team
HR digital transformation does not occur in a vacuum. Someone has to push through the project until the objectives are realized. Ergo, assemble a transformation team that will be in charge of the entire process with a project leader who’ll report progress to the CHRO, CEO and the rest of the executive.
The team must draw its representation from a broad range of disciplines and not just HR, IT, legal and compliance departments. HR processes affect every employee so it’s important that there’s all major business units have a voice. The team must also include one or more change management experts who have demonstrated an ability to breakdown resistance and motivate all employees to get onboard with the changes.
3. Develop Tactical and Strategic Plans
You have defined your objectives and created a digital transformation team. The next step is to document how the team will realize the objectives. Without clear tactical and strategic plans, the transformation team will be groping in the dark and relying on trial and error.
So starting with the goals you set out, breakdown the path to transformation into high-level and low-level plans that document each step of the way. Detail how each step feeds into the next one.
Just like your goals, your strategic and tactical plans shouldn’t be static. Keep your eyes open for new ways of doing things better. Be flexible enough to change course if the existing plan leads to a dead end.
4. Create the Right Stack
Information technology is at the heart of HR digital transformation. Building the right technology stack is therefore fundamental for transformation success. Based on your goals and plans, identify the apps and tools you need to execute the plan. Examine how the different tools work with one another and whether they are compatible. Whereas it’s possible for you to manually connect tools and apps, choosing a tech stack that’s integrated ab initio will make work easier and ensures you can hit the ground running.
Note that while the technical capabilities of the tools and apps you choose is vital, make sure they are user friendly. After all, the software will probably not be autonomous—they will be operated by humans. Choose apps that have an easy layout and intuitive workflow. An app that’s too complicated for end users is self-defeating irrespective of how sophisticated its features are.
5. Measure Results
You cannot manage what you cannot measure. So goes an adage of management. Monitoring the results of your transformation actions will show you whether you are hitting the milestones and how close you are to realizing your objectives.
Each metric should be connected to one or more transformation objectives. Nevertheless, while there’s no harm in having high level metrics that would illustrate the overall progress of the transformation project, ensure you have more granular metrics that can help you narrow down on bottlenecks.
HR digital transformation is not something an organization can attain overnight. While the transformation project is necessary, you must see it as a means of kickstarting change. Technology is constantly changing so transformation is more a continuous journey than it is a process with a finite end. Still, by applying these tips, you’ll increase your chances of successful transformation.