Digital transformation is impacting companies on an economic, organizational and managerial level. HR is at the forefront of this revolution.
The workplace has undergone significant change with the arrival of digital solutions. Geographical and technological barriers are crumbling and people are working together on a global level with a wide variety of resources. HR departments are at the heart of interactions between teams that include employees from within the company and those working outside the company, such as service providers, temps or freelance workers. This is the extended workforce, which combines all the company’s resources. We are entering the age of the extended company, which manages an entire ecosystem.
Work methods and technology directly affect the development of employees - both internal and external - who now need to be receptive to more collaborative and agile methods. HR thus needs to assess the impact and anticipate the company’s needs in terms of skills to ensure that it remains competitive.
HR should promote a single, shared vision
Today, HR should promote the employer brand and communicate values in line with the company’s strategy. It has adopted a more holistic approach and must now become strategical in managing HR activities, which range from recruitment and skill management to training, work-life balance, employee retention as well as essential functions such as administrative management, payroll and time & attendance.
HR has in the past few years begun to offer a variety of services. The HR offering must be coherent enough to deal with real problems, innovative enough to meet future challenges and inspiring enough to exceed the competition. It must be designed for all employees (inside and outside the company) as well as applicants. The challenge is especially pertinent when it comes to attracting and keeping the new generations of employees. These new ‘digital natives’ are used to working in a digital environment and are very demanding of their company in terms of their career development, management model and their work environment.
Technological innovation plays a pivotal role in today’s world
HR departments have already understood the importance of modernizing and offering cutting edge tools tailored to the employees’ needs. Employees are now frequently using the company’s solutions on their personal devices (such as smartphones, tablets, etc.). These employees want to be connected to their company anywhere at any time. The concept of ‘ATAWAD’ (‘AnyTime, AnyWhere, AnyDevice’) has spread throughout companies and puts the focus on the desire to be connected at all times, anywhere. It also encourages freedom and autonomy. We talk about promoting the User Experience, also known as the “UX”, by making it easier to access different applications within and outside the company via a seamless and simplified experience. For example, an employee should be able to access job offerings from his company and apply internally as he would via a professional social network.
HR departments are becoming more entrepreneurial
To meet the challenges created by economic, sociological and technological transformations, HR will need to become more entrepreneurial at all levels. HR departments must today dare to break down the barriers and not hesitate to transform management methods by fostering communication between employees and their managers, through evaluations for each project or 360° feedback. Employees today want closer contact with their managers and need to be more independent. They are also looking for a sense meaning in their work. This desire for independence and responsibility is often a need to feel recognized and useful in one’s job. Working in projects is becoming increasingly more common and employees expect greater diversity in their tasks. For example, the current trend is towards managerial innovation based on collective intelligence in a holocratic context.
Within this context, HR must find a balance between employee satisfaction, via personalized career paths, and the needs of the company in terms of skills to be able to meet the new business challenges. HR thus needs to be able to spot new skills or know-how: these are known as soft skills.
It also needs to build a real strategy based on the use of data. Analyzing the data it has at its disposal will allow HR to better identify skills and offer appropriate and highly personalized career paths. Data is important because all business ventures require figures to back them up.
A revolution is underway to meet these challenges!
Mohamed Khelifa, Talent Management and Engagement Senior Manager
Twitter / LinkedIn