How do You Digitize HR without losing the “Human” in Human Resources?

by April 12, 2017 0 comments
  • By Ms. Achal Khanna, CEO, SHRM India

What do you often hear as an HR Leader in todays world? Make technology an integral part of your HR strategy, Digitize the HR processes to make them more business oriented, andEmbrace the technology disruption to align with your talent pool!”

It is true that these elements define the probability of business success as well as the changed HR landscape. However, have we ever paused to think what is the best possible way to do these things so that the function whose core lies in connecting, engaging and assimilating people, should retain its essence; The “Human” factor in Human Resources needs to be revisited.

This is not because it has changed in definition, but because it needs to be seen from the lens of technology and digitization. So, how does one digitize HR without losing its core? There can be many ways to do that, but here are some simple and concise tips on what an HR Leader can do.

  1. Look at ways to digitize processoriented and not people oriented tasks or activities To explain this further, digitize those aspects of HR which are not high touch-points when it comes to the employees. For example, within a performance management system, you can digital self-appraisal if you have that as a component. But goal setting is a collaborative exercise, which the manager and team member should discuss together, since that leads to better alignment. Similarly, we know how social recruiting is a big trend. Using the digital media to find potential resources is a great approach. But screening them to move to the next level, even at a basic level, needs a human element.
  2. Balance your employee communication strategy with a suitable mix of digital and personal channels As an HR leader; you will need to communicate with the employees often. It is easier and probably more efficient use of your time if you were to digitize the process to a large extent. But it might not be the right HR strategy even with a technology-savvy workforce. This is because the employees associate HR as a function that is meant to connect with them or take care of their aspirations and development within the organization. That is not possible unless HR continues to retain its identity of being the “Human” side of business.
  3. Reduce your dependency on technology for your employer brand – Your employer brand is what attracts the right talent and retains it too, and as we know, finding and retaining great talent is the biggest challenge. So depending on technology, digital or social media channels to a high extent for this aspect might not be the right strategy. You should digitize in a manner that it supplements your existing efforts. These efforts need to be non-digital and entirely a reflection of the human side of the organization.
  4. Keep your exit process always human” – Taking automated feedback from an employee who is leaving the firm or using technology throughout the employee’s exit process can result in the same set of individuals creating a negative brand for the organization. There are many reasons why an employee might choose to leave his or her organization. But many ex-employees share positive feedback or aspects of the organization externally. This is typically because the experience while leaving the company has continued to leave a favourable impression. A digital process would not have been able to achieve that.
  5. Remember that technology is an enabler and not a substitute – As HR practitioners in a digital world, we need to constantly remind ourselves that technology is an enabler and not a substitute for us, as individuals. Digitization is a market reality and we must keep pace with it. Technology is a great differentiator and we should acknowledge that. These are the fundamentals on which our organizations are based. But how to use the digital elements and technology are decisions taken by the human mind. Therein lies our competitive advantage.

At the heart of any change that shifts the basic parameters of our business world, lies the fact that human beings drive this change. It is created and sustained by us, and takes the shape that we give it. Digitization is one such significant change and HR is at the core of this change. We as HR, have the ability to ensure that we drive the change, and that the change does not drive us, especially when it applies to people.

How do you digitize HR without losing the Human in Human Resources? – To explore this further, SHRM India brings to you for the 3rd time, Asia’s biggest and unique HR Technology conference which would see the presence of more than 70 global speakers, over 850 delegates, 25 demos & knowledge sessions and 400 plus organizations. This two-day conference will provide an excellent platform to get first-hand experience in various unique HR tools / solutions coming up in the market and network with like-minded experts to exchange your thoughts, ideas and possible solutions.

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