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In the digital age, technological disruption is the norm. In fact, digital and technological transformation is one of five key trends set to influence the future of work. 

It’s no secret that technology has changed how we work. It has reduced production time and costs, boosting revenue and productivity. Technology has also created more jobs. The World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates that by 2025, machines will create 97 million jobs and replace 85 million. 

And as more companies hire employees and digitize processes, HR is becoming more crucial. HR teams are using data analytics to compete more effectively for global talent. Digitization is acting as a big catalyst in the overall transformation of HR, carving out a more strategic role for the department in organizations. 

Why the Sudden Increase in the Digitization of Most Organizations? 

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the fastest and largest shift in consumer behavior, promptly triggering the digital transformation. It silenced any lingering doubts on the necessity of digitization. By the second quarter of 2020, there was a 35% increase in cloud IT infrastructure investments. 

The pandemic caused widespread demand for home office applications and video communication. To keep up, 60% of companies adopted new business models and successfully underwent a digital transformation. They digitized processes and became software-driven and data-driven.

Many companies have adopted digital technologies, causing large-scale transformation in diverse business aspects. To be digitally agile, organizations must continuously evaluate their digital maturity and increase innovation.

The Important Role of HR Teams in Implementing Digitization

In most organizations, the primary goal of digitization is to automate processes and minimize the time spent on repetitive tasks. HR teams can help boost organizational productivity through the use of social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technologies. Here’s how HR teams can enhance digitization in organizations:

  1. Conduct Skills Gap Analysis and Workforce Planning

To perform their best, employees need good onboarding and continuous development and motivation. When they are included in technology-investment decisions, they feel empowered, become more proactive, and make them more likely to embrace new technology.

HR can work with team leaders to identify an organization’s future workforce needs. Employees who are likely to be affected by new technology can be informed early on, and HR can plan for the impact of internal and external trends on the organization’s future workforce.

2. Improve Job Quality with Redesign and Incentives

Digitization impacts work-life balance, pay and benefits, work relationships, job design, the nature of work, and health and wellbeing. When implemented correctly, it can improve employee job quality and performance. 

Using technology, the HR teams can gain insight into employees’ current skills and reassign jobs as necessary, thereby improving overall job quality. They can also use a talent management system to review and regularly update employee skills across the organization. 

3. Take Part in Shaping the Future of Work

Organizations cannot deal with the impact of digitization on the future of work internally. When technology impacts the livelihoods of many people, companies need to involve governments and other agencies. HR teams can use technology to shape the future of work. 

The government, HR teams, and agencies can discuss how to use technology to build a people-centered job market focused on promoting social and environmental change that’s beneficial for everyone. They can discuss issues such as:

  • How to redesign jobs and make work better
  • Supporting employees to gain skills needed in the future
  • Sharing technology-associated financial gains to reduce the risk of low-paid employees plunging into poverty

Implementing a Culture of Digitization

Any organization thinking of digitizing HR should have a way to measure success quantitatively and bring all stakeholders on board. Creating a culture of digitization is the very essence of technological transformation. HR teams must learn how to use automated solutions in a way that enhances human capabilities.

For smooth digital transformation, an organization must put its employees first and not technology. This makes it easier for employees to adopt new technology. To create a culture of digitization and successfully implement it, organizations can:

  • Define the goals they’d like to achieve
  • Identify who’s responsible for implementing the transformation
  • Set a time frame and measure success
  • Identify the processes to be phased out 
  • Prepare employees for change 

An HR Digitization Case Study: Atos

The senior vice president of Atos’ HR Global Digitization and Services noticed a disconnect between the core HR system data and employee document management. The company needed a system that would allow managers, HR, and employees to actively participate in end-to-end HR service delivery. 

It opted for a cloud-based solution to address this issue–a growing trend in human capital management. Atos implemented the solution in 70 countries simultaneously. Atos’ transformation initiative aimed to streamline administration, data management, and processes for managers, employees, and operational HR. 

The company automated its paper-driven offer letter process and synced its Employee File Management system with its SuccessFactors human resource information system (HRIS), successfully streamlining HR operations. Now, all a manager needs to do to approve a new hire is click on a button in the HRIS to generate an offer letter.

HR teams play a major role in helping organizations digitize processes and embrace digital transformation. They can use technology to improve workforce processes and empower employees to adopt a digital mindset. HR must leverage the power of technology to democratize teams and processes. 

    Chintan Jain is the Associate Director of Product Marketing at Kissflow Workflow, a unified platform that enables organizations to manage all types of work in one place. Chintan is a skilled marketing practitioner who writes extensively on topics like workplace technologies, work management, and the digital workplace. He also actively contributes to various business and technology platforms.

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