Our personal lives have become so infiltrated with technologies, it would be impossible to imagine a life without them. Similarly, the introduction of digital transformations has become an essential strategic priority for many companies, as they can provide an important opportunity for innovation, thus enhancing their competitiveness.
Digital transformations can affect all aspects of a company: organisational processes, managerial culture, communication and interaction, or the handling and sharing of knowledge.
The data also shows that HR departments play an important role in the digital transformation of their companies, as their involvement with digital projects is remarkably high:
- When 31% become involved at the moment of project implementation
- And only 14% become involved at an undefined moment.
The findings further show that respondents see their role in HR with regard to digital transformations as active and regulatory, with the majority comparing their perceived role to that of an escort or conductor.
Why, then, is the involvement of the HR department in digital transformations so important?
In a first instance, the digitalisation of the HR department’s own processes such as payroll and administrative tasks, recruitment, competence management etc, constitutes a dematerialisation, which means that these processes have become more efficient and reliable. Furthermore, the new ways in which information is made available, accessed and shared further contributes to the innovation, flexibility and autonomy of the ways in which collaborators and all other groups within the company, interact and communicate.
Secondly, HR departments are responsible for raising awareness of why digital transformations are taking place, supporting their implementation, and ensuring their appropriate usage. In order to support collaborators in appropriating new technologies and digital processes, respondents to the study indicated that they generally implement classic actions such as:
- training sessions on the usage of digital tools (65%)
- creation of user charts (49%)
- implementing frameworks for teleworking (46%)
- More innovative ways of providing support, such as reverse mentoring, are also used, although to a lesser extent (17%)
What impact on talent recruitment?
The impacts of digital transformations are incredibly wide reaching, as are their positive effects on:
These transformations are especially important with regard to recruitment: new generations of employees have grown up surrounded by digital technologies; as a result they not only bring new competencies to the job market, but also new attitudes and expectations. These new cultural expectations with respect to the functioning of a company and its job requirements have become known under the concept of “digital working”.
Through engaging with digital transformations and anticipating new tendencies, HR departments can prepare for new expectations and trends and respond to them in efficient ways (e.g. offer frameworks that permit teleworking).
With regard to the numerous resources that HR departments can implement in order to assist and support the digital transformations of the company processes,
Unease with regard to the usage of technologies or sheer reluctance to do so may indeed constitute an obstacle to the smooth implementation of digital transformations. These attitudes might mostly be found among older generations of workers; indeed 63% of respondents believe in the existence of a generational cleavage when it comes to attitudes towards digital technologies. Such difficulties can be circumvented by capitalising on the knowledge of younger generations by implementing reverse mentoring schemes, where one collaborator will act as a coach to another actor who is not fully at ease with new technologies and digital tools.
Thus, by supporting and accompanying not only new processes, but also the collaborators through out all phases of digital transformations, the HR department can play an immensely important role in ensuring a well-adapted implementation of the Digital Transformation at all levels.