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Digitizing HR: how to prepare for a digital transformation

HR is ripe for reinvention. The changing nature of work in the face of the pandemic requires employees to be able to work from any physical location, at any time. And to operate in dynamic and reconfigurable teams that can quickly adapt to changing business demands and market requirements.

With recent IDC research indicating that 63% of organizations intend to maintain at least a partial remote work model within Europe alone, it’s clear that organizations willing to adopt a more flexible approach will recover faster from the disruptions of the last two years.

This will be particularly true for people-centric organizations, where more people are able to work remotely, and more likely to choose to work remotely.

Equipping HR with the flexibility to allow remote or hybrid work demands digital transformation

As organizations emerge from the pandemic, they’re increasingly realizing the need to adopt a new level of agility. One that will allow workers to operate side by side with “digital co-workers” across the globe.

It’s a transition that requires organizations to shift to entirely new working environments, organizational structures, and success metrics. In particular, HR as a discipline faces a new strategic challenge – managing a more varied and versatile workforce than ever before. And to do this, your organization must embrace change, and HR must embrace digital transformation and the power and flexibility provided by modern HCM solutions.

HCM applications automate business processes that control an employee’s relationship with the organization. They also help to expedite the management of other HR activities including talent acquisition and the procurement of contingent workers (contractors, consultants, etc.)

HR departments are under increasing pressure to help overall digital transformation efforts. Talent management is increasingly integrated with every day people management, and HCM suite solutions that can help cover the entire lifecycle represent an attractive solution for companies looking to simplify and streamline their operations for flexibility.

But managing flexibly comes with its challenges. In their HCM Technology Spotlight Human Capital Management: The Need to Link People with Enterprise Processes in the "New Normal" Economy, IDC identifies these challenges as:

  1. Difficulties with organizational setup and management of payroll in global enterprises. Different regions and countries have different tax and compliance rules. As employees shift between different projects and work locations, organizations must constantly assess whether they are complying.
  2. Project requirements and other data are not properly linked with HR. Typically, staff skills and experience are anecdotal, with no accessible knowledge that could be related to a given project. Such a link would improve team performance and employee satisfaction as the organization is assigning tasks. In addition, this streamlines the hiring process for specific skills.
  3. Staffing is based on informal networks and out-of-date information. Employees often are not placed based on best fit because HR doesn't know what skills are needed for a particular job or project. It can be difficult to update employee records with new training, experience, performance data, and so forth.
  4. Learning is not treated as a strategic asset. Employees are constantly learning, and their knowledge is not based just on what information the company pushes out to them. But organizations typically focus on only their company training. In addition, most organizations do not include mentoring and coaching as strategic resources.
  5. Managers struggle working with a distributed workforce. It can be difficult enough for managers to track productivity, learning, job satisfaction, project progress, and so on when staff members are in one location. In cases where staff members are assigned to different locations and time zones, the task becomes even more daunting.
  6. A lack of continuous measurement. Quite often, organizations measure only at the beginning, middle, and end of a time period or project. This approach does not enable managers to shift resources or modify team focus in real time.
  7. An inability to leverage collective knowledge. While learning is important, individual and team experience can be more valuable to the organization.

HR digital transformation examples

What does a “successful” digital transformation effort in HR actually look like? There are 5 generally accepted imperatives for the systems on which the future of HR will hinge.

  • Experience-centric and deeply personalized design.
  • A focus on skills as a core part of people management.
  • Data-driven decision making powered by AI.
  • Agile practices.
  • Transparency to preserve trust.

What does this mean for your business? It means the solution you choose for human capital management must act both as a data integration hub – bringing together information on personnel, performance, engagement, skills, project participation, scheduling, and finances to create a single source of truth that can help with strategic planning across the whole business. This HR data hub must also be easily customizable to the needs of your company – both for power users and more casual day to day interactions – providing a user experience that is almost “invisible” through AI and machine learning backed automation of core workflows. Removing the rote-work from the hands of people and giving them back time to focus on strategic work that makes a difference.

How can Unit4 help you?

Unit4 creates HCM technology specifically designed for the unique needs of people-centric organizations. Helping you to manage and develop your people, attract world-class talent, and encourage engagement. Together with our next-generation ERP and FP&A tools, our software can do everything from suggest avenues for development to proactively identify flight risks, allowing you to help your employee get the most out of what you can offer them so they can in turn contribute effectively to your organization’s goals.

To discover more, you can check out our dedicated HCM product pages here. Or click here to book a demo and see what our solution can do for your organization yourself.

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