Three Golden Rules For HR’s Digital Future Of Work Journey Acceleration

Medidata In the News

The coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact have significantly changed all ways of life. We have witnessed an unprecedented shift in the way we work, and many companies are being forced to operate with a distributed workforce.

Remote working and the shifting landscape of the future of work is an undeniable reality that is accelerating digital transformation, particularly in the HR tech space. CHROs and HR practitioners are at the forefront of driving the digital transformation as a key strategic agenda for their functions. Contractors and project-based work, employee health and well-being, digital tools for communication and collaboration, a sustainable employee experience, and digital transformation are key areas CHROs and companies will have to think about. By embracing these changes, we have the power to shape the future of work.

Given the absolute need for this transformation at an accelerated rate, there are things to consider before embarking on this journey. But in reality, many HR tech projects fail to achieve intended results.

recent report by UNLEASH, a global HR technology conference, revealed that a mere 15% of global HR leaders were fully satisfied that their HR technology projects had achieved their intended goals. Only 11% of global leaders surveyed felt their HR technology projects actually improved the employee experience as intended. Considering how much time and money is spent on implementing HR technology projects, these figures are disappointing.

We have to change the way we see HR tech projects if we want to achieve results. HR technology projects are more than just system upgrades or launching an app, and there are several guidelines you can follow to ensure that your HR technology project succeeds and drives the desired business outcome. Let’s take a look at some key principles to keep in mind.

Find The Right Fit For Your Business

In this shifting landscape, HR technology is not simply about adding features to an existing process. Instead, it is about creating value for your business, clients and employees, and having a positive impact on workplace culture.

One must ask questions such as: How will the platform/app/technology support higher productivity, drive higher engagement, provide talent insights, facilitate cross-collaboration and improve business results? It is important to build the right business case for digitization to support business goals and remain competitive.

Another way to look at it is to focus on high-impact HR activities that can create significant value for your business. It’s important to consider how scalable the solution is and how easily, efficiently and effectively it can be adjusted to your business demands.

One of the eight golden rules for successful HR technology projects UNLEASH shares in that same insights report is to focus on outcomes. Whether you are at the beginning of your HR technology transformation or not, you must ask yourself what you are trying to achieve. Clear objectives will ensure that the right technology is implemented in the right areas.

Simply layering new technologies over old processes without understanding the benefits and capabilities of such advancements is detrimental to the progress of your business.

Engage Employees And Enhance The Employee Experience

It’s always about people. It could be a massive cultural shift for the organization as a whole and affect different employees differently. Let employees cocreate the design and implementation plan with you. As more technologies and platforms are integrated and implemented within the organization, employees will need the necessary skills, resources and understanding of how to navigate this new digital landscape. Employees work in an increasingly complex HR infrastructure, and the organization’s focus, therefore, must be on the employee experience.

Another question HR leaders should ask is how this technology can benefit an employee’s experience. Engaging employees during the planning and execution stages can go a long way toward a superior user experience. It’s imperative to consider how the planned technology will improve the lives of the employees. Does it support their career planning and development? Does it make more mundane tasks easier for them? What HR-candidate or HR-employee interactions (employment brand awareness, onboarding, learning, employee well-being) does the technology make better?

As remote working becomes the new reality, many employees may feel disconnected or digitally excluded from the atmosphere that is centered in an office or workplace. More than ever, creating a sense of inclusion in a digital workspace is crucial to maintaining an open channel of communication between employees and senior leaders.

Create Coalition And Gain Commitment From All Levels Of The Organization

Ultimately, it’s about building a relationship with the digital world. It requires collaboration and alignment from all levels of the organization, from the executive team to key partners including IT. Increasing involvement from these teams will significantly impact the outcome of the HR project.

By collaborating with your teams, you will gain an understanding of the appetite for digital transformation and better define its scope. Cross-functional collaboration may seem like an obvious way to ensure project success, but it can easily be overlooked when concerns regarding time management and budgeting arise. You have to figure out what works best for your teams; there isn’t a one-size-fits-all model for collaboration. However, cross-functional collaboration will represent greater diversity and inclusion that will boost the success of your project.

As our ways of working are being reimagined and readjusted, it’s not enough to simply declare a new HR technology project and expect your teams and employees to adopt it immediately. Without clear objectives, stakeholder buy-in and employee involvement, it’s difficult to gain the traction needed during your transition into the digitally transformed workplace. Failure is expensive and disruptive, and it erodes the credibility of the people function.

Successful HR technology projects take time, coalition, commitment and perseverance, and in no way should you make any compromises.

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