Article: The Human Capital Connect 2018: Key Takeaways

Strategic HR

The Human Capital Connect 2018: Key Takeaways

SAP SuccessFactors and People Matters came together for the Human Capital Connect 2018. The platform provided thought leaders across industries to share their digital transformation success stories with the audience.
The Human Capital Connect 2018: Key Takeaways


SAP Human Capital Connect 2018, organized by People Matters and SAP SuccessFactors, touched on the aspects of the readiness of the Indian organizations when it comes to them being ready for digital transformation. The Human Resource community in India and the world has largely matured and transformed in the decade following 1995. When previously it was seen just as an administrator, it is now seen as a strategic partner in the organization. Also, it has continued to evolve over the past few years because of the technological developments.  The primary reason has been the generation of measurable data about HR issues which organizations had not been able to capture before, but can now do so because of the advancement in technology.

The conference was spread across three cities: Bangalore, Gurugram, and Mumbai. Through the various sessions, the conference touched upon the various aspects that shape the success of organizations that have begun their journey of digital transformation, and was specifically focused on how the HR department can accelerate that journey. And which is why the theme of the conference was #ThinkSuccessThinkHR. The CEOs and CHROs, who have already undertaken the journey, shared their success stories with the audience. Most of the evolved around the challenges of buying the right technology, leveraging data and technology to better engage with employees, providing employees with convenience and efficient system to interact with the organization.

What is digital transformation?

Fundamentally, the learning for the audience was the clarity that they got with regards what does ‘digital transformation in an organizational context’ look like, and also the impact that it has on the organization. In words of Sanjay Jorapur, the CHRO of Hero MotoCorp, the adoption of digital applications in the organization that substitutes for traditional processes is a characteristic of digital transformation. But apart from being this simple steps which organizations take, it is also can be much more complex, considering that technology will not only measure the levels of employee engagement, provide insights on attrition, performance management, and also tools to help develop an environment of learning and development. Taking all of this in mind, People Matters covered varying insights that we got. Here is a summary of the best that one could take from the conference.

Architecting a business case for HR transformation

Apparently, the steps that one needs to follow before one actually goes about creating a business case for HR transformation is for one redefining HR transformation. This could be either in terms of introducing the concept to the larger audience or setting clear expectations in terms of buying technology that would help in the same. Then once the digital transformation agenda is set, one needs to set the ROI benchmark and check if it meets the objectives of the digital transformation. Then, once you have convinced the leadership of the short-term returns, you need to think about the investment in the long run. The point here being that digital HR transformation is an ongoing process, and unlike the decade after 1995, where the industry witnesses in a paradigm shift in how HR was perceived, today, it is all about incremental changes that HR transformation brings.

Measure the changing workforce experience

Talent is extremely closely related to the success of HR and which is why it is very important that the functional processes with regards to talent acquisition, engagement, experience, and retention are looked into, and analyzed if there any spaces where technology can help HR make these functions even more effective. But how should one go about? First, the HR’s job is to understand the pulse of the organization. Either through reading the latest research or creating internal surveys, HR needs to understand where things are moving in the organization. Next, comes bring the cause and need for digital transformation to the notice of the leadership, and then taking things further from there.

Does HR need to play the bad cop?

Apparently, according Siraj Chaudhray, Chairman, Cargill India, he would want the HR to play the bad cop in the organization. But this is mostly in the sense that he wants the HR professionals to connect the dots in the organization and recognize the patterns. The limitation to technology is that though it will give us all the data points and the insights, it is up to the HR managers with regards to how they make sense of the data. And the decisions that they need to make after having analyzed it. Apart from the adoption of technology which is driving digital transformation in organizations, it is also the evolving role of the HR professional and contributing to change management in the organization.

Digital is an important component of the transformation

Organizations can no longer transform if they do not digitalize. Currently, a lot of senior and mid-managers in the organization are under the impression that they do not need to upskill themselves in terms of learning digital technology; however, the reality that young employees are adept at it, and hence are driving the change from the ground up. It essential therefore for the digital immigrants to pick up skills from the digital natives, if they want to contribute to the change. If the senior leadership has to schedule learning programs for the managers, then they should do it.

The conference message can be best summarized in the words of Siraj Chaudhary, Chairman, Cargill India, “The biggest change you will witness is the change that you accept in terms of transformation and technology.”


Are you ready for the change? #ThinkSuccessThinkHR

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Topics: Strategic HR, Technology

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