Article: How to create a digital workforce experience via HR Tech

Employee Engagement

How to create a digital workforce experience via HR Tech

As humans and technology continue to increasingly interact and integrate in daily lives, the workplaces of today need to gear up for the future of work with a holistic digital workforce experience.
How to create a digital workforce experience via HR Tech

Digital has touched every aspect of the workplace. As digital technology continues to change the way employees interact with each other, not only in the workplace but also in their personal lives, the need of the hour is to redefine the way employee experience is designed. And, what better way than to leverage HR tech? 

The digital divide between the employee’s experience at home and in the workplace is sometimes starkly different. For some, it is as though they have entered the time machine and turned back time to a bygone era. From using smartphones and smart TVs in their home, they are suddenly transported back into the era of desktop computers, CDs, and floppy disks. 

Bridging the gap that exists between the work and the home environment is crucial. 

From regular and mandatory processes such as payroll and compensation to talent acquisition and workforce analytics and planning, the time is now to leverage the right technology in order to take the digital experience to another level. 

Talent acquisition, compensation, talent development, social collaboration, workforce analytics and planning and business process as a service (BPaaS), are the areas where creating a strong digital strategy will go a long way in providing a digital workforce experience, according to Elevating the Digital Employee Experience whitepaper released by Cognizant. 

“The more closely the business replicates common social collaboration practices in the recruiting network, the more successful it will be in meeting candidates where they work and live,” according to the whitepaper. 

A transparent system of compensation is a key component of a successful global digital workforce experience. 

The largest generation that is occupying the US Labor Force at this point are the millennials who are those individuals between the age of 22 and 37, in 2018, according to the Pew Research Center analysis. About 56 million digital natives were searching for a job in 2017. The primary characteristic of the millennial generation is that they are proficient in their use of technology. Unlike their colleagues who are Gen Xers or Baby Boomers, millennials were born with a smart device. 

In a workplace where multiple generations interact together on the same platform, a combined digital HR strategy becomes a crucial component. When creating a holistic digital experience for the workforce, it is crucial that the HR leaders are mindful about the silo-mentality that percolates across various levels of the organization. 

Four out of five executives believe their company can lead the disruption in their industry, according to the Global Talent Trends 2019  report by Mercer. 

In 2018, only 26 percent of the executives surveyed said they expect significant disruption in the next three years. However, in 2019, about 73 percent of the executives said they expect large-scale disruption in the industry, as per the report. More than half of the executives surveyed believe that AI and automation will replace one in five of their company’s current jobs. 

The future of the workplace is at the cusp of human and artificial intelligence interacting and integrating with each other at a level that has never been seen before. It is precisely why HR and business leaders must increasingly focus on delivering a top-notch digital experience to the employees in order to keep them engaged at the workplace by ensuring that the employees trust that they are learning something new from their work. 

Human capital risks in companies

Some of the top human capital risks include excessive time taken to fill open positions, inadequate diversity in companies, low or declining employee engagement, insufficient leadership pipeline, ineffective hiring decisions, lagging productivity, and slow decision making. 

Within the last year, as economic pressures continue to mount across all nations, business leaders are increasingly concerned about talent migration and corporate responsibility when it comes to tackling societal challenges. Another major threat facing the business world is cybersecurity risks and constantly evolving regulations in various countries. 

In such times of uncertainty, a consistent and safe workplace experience is a top priority for most employees. Job security has been cited as one of the top three reasons for choosing a particular company and also the reason to continue to stay at the company. 

Equating work with future value 

About 99 percent of the companies are already taking steps to combine their people strategy with their business needs. The way forward for most companies in order to get ready for the future of work is to identify the gap between current and required skills supply, align skill requirements with new technologies and the overall business objectives. 

“The big question is, have you built a workforce that is adaptive and operationally nimble enough to capitalize on unpredictable market trends,” said Jeff Wald, WorkMarket, in the Mercer report. 

Piecing together a work experience

Even though the work might be complex, the technology in which the employees operate must be simple, intuitive and enable people to grow and thrive in their workplace. 

A digital work experience can act as an enabler which empowers the employees to succeed in their role and at the same time identify with the employer brand. In a day and age of information overload, making the workplace as simple as possible would help employees cut through the noise and provide context around the relevant information. 

A digital workforce experience includes several non-tech and non-traditional aspects as well--the ability to manage work/life balance, recognition for contributions, opportunities to learn new skills and technologies, a fun work environment, working on meaningful projects, feeling a sense of belonging, being empowered to make decisions and working with leaders who set a clear direction. 

Instead of bombarding employees with different types of HR technologies, the best way to tackle employee engagement head-on is to ensure that there is a single platform where all communication is conducted. As much as possible, if the HR is able to provide a single platform where most of the scheduling, tracking, and monitoring--be it of attendance, compensation and benefits and even individual goals that are tied to performance reviews--it is more likely that the employees are going to be more goal-driven and productive.

Highly-engaged employees are four times more likely to work for the leaders and the organization that can capitalize on unique skills and interests. 

According to Mercer, a complete digital experience is about accessing work documents remotely, intuitively conducting HR tasks, and innovating with colleagues. 

Changing for the people, with the people 

The pattern of disconnect between the technology used at home and the systems used in the office leads to a poor digital workforce experience. 

“You have better apps on your wrist than the company gives you,” Jason Averbook, CEO and Co-founder, Leapgen, said during the Tech HR Singapore Conference earlier this year. “HR leaders need to change because employees continue to change.” 

As organizations do not operate in a vacuum, the onus is on the HR leaders to transform the workplace according to the changing demands of the outside world. 

Averbook recommends following the 20/25/45/10 formula for designing a complete digital workforce strategy. A holistic digital experience includes: Mindset (20 percent), People (25 percent), Process (45 percent) and Technology (10 percent). 

Creating vision maps falls under the mindset aspect of the strategy. Moreover, a cohesive digital strategy will go a long way in making the employees’ life simple. Rolling out the latest HR tech that is available in the market and changing it up the next time there is some new technology, would only disengage the employees and create a disjointed experience for the workforce. 

At the end of the day, the HR Tech that you use is just a tool to achieve the larger business goal.

“Our audience is the employee. We might know the employee but do we really understand how they work? Do we really understand how they feel?” said Averbook.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, #HRTech

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