The digital world has changed many aspects of our lives, and that’s as true inside work as outside. But are businesses making the most of the potential opportunities it could offer? Take HR, for example. Given the volume of information, a typical department needs to handle, the benefits it could gain from digital HR are considerable. Is your company taking full advantage of them?
What’s digital HR?
Basically, it’s using digital technology to transform HR processes and activities. Obviously the specific technology itself is determined by the nature of the company and HR function but includes things like social, mobile, software analytics and cloud technologies.
What benefits could Digital HR offer?
1. Reduced risk of error
Human beings can make mistakes. From an HR perspective, that can lead to a lot of inconveniences and even employee disengagement. Digital HR reduces this risk. It facilitates better flow of information between departments that need to use the same data, such as HR and payroll. Opportunities for error reduce as the need for multiple inputs is eliminated. It can also help ensure compliance with legislation like GDPR and minimizes the possibility of files or pieces of information being misplaced.
2. Meeting employee expectations
Employers must keep up with an evolving workforce. Millennials are entering the workplace with growing expectations of a digitalised approach, and Generation Z ‘ll shortly join them. It’s unlikely they’ll be delighted to be greeted with stacks of paper forms to complete. As digital natives, they won’t expect or want, to be employed by companies that aren’t up to date. They will expect digital services that are readily available, ideally mobile, with a user-friendly HR self-service experience where they can directly access and manage at least some of their own data.
3. Increased efficiency
“Old school” HR used to be highly paper-based. Manual processing was the norm. It then progressed onto spreadsheets, which was an improvement but ultimately still unwieldy, time-consuming, resource-heavy and resulted in an awful lot of duplicate information being entered.
Digital HR offers a streamlined approach that can transform the whole way the department operates and the way managers are supported. Online applications can enhance recruitment and onboarding processes. Key data can be monitored on issues like sickness absence, providing alerts where situations need further investigation.
Managers can deal with holiday authorisation requests with clearer insight into how time and resources are allocated. Duplicate information and the need to process numerous forms is eliminated or at least significantly reduced. Running reports is quick and straightforward, rather than requiring an extensive trawl through spreadsheets and employee files.
Essentially, it has the potential to improve the efficiency of managing most aspects of the employee life cycle.
4. It enables HR to become more effective
Digital HR isn’t just about making HR more efficient. It’s an enabler to become more effective too.
HR has always faced the problem of being custodian of a staggering amount of information. With a lack of a holistic view of all the data that existed, it was difficult to do a great deal of meaningful analysis of it. Digital HR is solving that collation and analysis challenge to a significant extent. Systems can be quickly interrogated in whatever way necessary.
This enables HR practitioners to use the data to its best effect, facilitating a data-driven, more strategic approach to HR. It helps build credibility, with decisions validated by up-to-date information and a complete, well-informed perspective.
Do you want to find out how to take the next step?
It’s important HR departments keep up with the wider digital transformation that’s happening within workplaces to avoid falling behind the rest of the company: even better, as change management experts, HR could be the ones leading it.
Making the move towards a more digitalised HR does need some upfront investment in terms of effort, time and cost. But that’s true of any investment in future growth. If you want to take the first step in transforming your approach to HR then please contact us to find out more about our HR software and how it could help your business.