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  • Writer's pictureThe Honest Critique

Digital Transformations in the Human Resource Domain

"Digital transformation is the transition of businesses from using manual methods of working to using the latest technology for performing all its functions. In other words, it means automation in carrying out various business activities."

"Digital transformation is an outcome of the latest advances in technology. It brings about drastic changes in the work culture of an organisation. It has played a vital role in paving the way to prosperity for various organisations by boosting their productivity levels and improving their business processes."

Digital transformation is the outcome of digitisation and digitalisation. A shift from manual to digital ways of working and creation of a culture in which technology plays an important role in running a business leads to digital transformation. In today's world, digital transformation has become an essential process for any organisation to go through in order to survive and compete with its competitors.

In recent times, The idea of digital transformation of HR has gained much relevance. Digital transformation in Human Resource leads to automation of all its processes, and all its functions become data-driven. Various companies worldwide are redesigning their HR programmes so that processes like candidate selection, recruitment, payroll checks, human resource planning, and other responsibilities of HR can be done more efficiently. Latest technologies like machine learning, blockchain technology, and artificial intelligence have revolutionised how HR functions. For example, AI-powered HR agents in the form of chat boxes address all HR professionals' queries while doing their tasks on computers or other devices. This enables them to do their work more efficiently and more effectively.

The HR department is the spine of every organisation. It is responsible for managing the organisation's entire workforce.

Therefore, a drastic change in the HR department's work culture will bring about significant alterations in the work culture of the entire organisation. Digital transformation has enabled all the employees of the organisation to perform their tasks more efficiently. The latest technology and tools have helped them reduce time on repetitive tasks and increase their productivity levels. Therefore, leading to an increase in the performance level of the organisation.

It is imperative to note that the digital transformation of HR is not an easy process. Also, an organisation cannot digitally transform its HR department in a day. It is a long drawn process which requires proper planning and complete knowledge about the entire working system of the department. For any business to go through HR transformation, a proper strategy needs to be planned. This planning involves identification of goals which the organisation aims to achieve via the digital transformation. Further, an analysis of achievability of the goal and its benefits are also required. HR professionals also need to ponder upon the changes the digital transformation will bring about in the work culture of the entire organisation. It is also crucial to decide on the resources which will be needed to carry on this transformation. Sometimes, there might be a requirement for additional onboard staff to facilitate smooth digital transformation.

For example, there might be a need to hire employees who specialise in Information Technology and can help in bringing about the required changes. Next, all the professionals involved need to decide on a time frame to test whether the tools and technologies they are using will lead to successful outcomes. It is undeniable that specific processes might become obsolete after introducing different technologies and tools for the digital transformation of the business. There will be a need to identify these processes and stop using them. One of the most critical steps in this transformation is to present the entire transformation plan to the company's executive who allocates funds for this transformation. The last step will be to incorporate the new technologies and tools in the organisation's actual work. A new system will establish where technology and automation will be an integral part of the work culture. The manual methods of working will become obsolete.

According to the reports of Deloitte Insights, 56% of the companies they surveyed in 2017 have redesigned their HR programmes extensively using more digital and mobile tools. Similarly, they found out that 51% of the companies they surveyed started to use digital business models. Also, 33% of the HR teams they surveyed are using AI technology, and 41% of teams are building mobile apps to provide more efficient HR services. These statistics point out that adopting the latest technology and tools has become a fashion in recent times. All the organisations understand the importance of upgrading their work culture as technological advancements are made.

"However, some organisations undergo HR digital transformation only to incorporate the latest tools and technologies in their work culture. Usually, such organisations do not have a set of goals that they wish to achieve after digital transformation."

In such a case, the purpose of digital transformation becomes "peer pressure" and not better business outcomes or high productivity levels.

It is important to note that different organisations face different challenges and difficulties while embedding suitable technology as a core element of their work culture. For example, the strategy decided by the professionals for carrying on this transformation might prove to be ineffective. The executive may disapprove of the plan for the transformation, or the budget required to implement new technology might be inadequate. It takes time for any organisation to use technology as a core element in its work culture. The employees also take time to adjust to the new methods of working. Another problem organisations might face is the incapability or failure of the workforce in using these new methods of working. Finding solutions to these challenges and brainstorming new ideas for digital transformation will also consume much time. Therefore, it won't be wrong to say that different organisations should come up with different strategies to tackle problems they face during digital transformation. Also, such technology should be used which can help the organisations to achieve their goals and help them to benefit in business and increase the organisation's performance level.

In some cases, organisations might have to face failure in their transition from using manual methods of using the latest technology. In such a case, a need to evolve new strategies to facilitate this transformation will arise. For this, the HR practitioners will have to find the reasons for this failure. They will have to identify the loopholes in their previous strategy. After identification of these loopholes, there will be a need to brainstorm new solutions to solve the problem. Also, there will be a need to train employees differently according to the new strategy. All these glitches and problems can be ratified by working hard and finding correct solutions to the problems.

With the advent of technology in all the spheres of life, digital transformation of HR, if done in a systematic and a planned way, would indeed yield many benefits to the organisations and will enhance their productivity levels.

(Written by Jahnavi Chopra)

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