Article: Accelerating digital transformation – Top priorities of talent leaders

#TechHR'19

Accelerating digital transformation – Top priorities of talent leaders

Here are some actionable ways of creating sustainable and innovative organizations of the future, as shared by Morne Swart, Vice President, Global Product Strategy and Transformational Leader, SumTotal Systems at People Matters TechHR Singapore 2019.
Accelerating digital transformation – Top priorities of talent leaders

In the era of significant digital transformation, it is essential to keep a track on what all changes and trends are shaping up the industry. Leaders need to keep ahead of the innovation curve and plan for a sustainable future for their employees. While leaders gear up to adopt diverse new immersive approaches and accelerate digital transformation, at the same time, they also remain unprepared. 

At People Matters TechHR Singapore 2019 business leader Morne Swart, Vice President, Global Product Strategy and Transformational Leader, SumTotal Systems talked about a few digital initiatives talent leaders can undertake to accelerate digital transformation by focusing on organizational brand and culture, building more efficient development pipelines, and translating engagement to productivity. 

Attracting the right talent using digital solutions

Successful companies are built on the foundation of great talent. It’s not just the product or service that makes or breaks the organization’s success. The talent brings in new ideas and also puts them to action. With digital transformation, the focus on the talent and ability quotient has further increased. As all businesses compete for the same scarcely available quality of talent, they struggle to find and attract them. To tackle this challenge, progressive companies are extending their reach and changing hiring strategies to gain competitive advantage. Morne profoundly highlights the two important factors that play a pivotal role when it comes to attracting the right talent for any organizations: Organizational brand and its culture. 

With social media being in vogue and the popularity of review platforms such as Glassdoor; the market has become more transparent with a plethora of free choices available for job seekers. And a majority of them consider the company’s culture to be among the top factor when they look for a job and when they’re considering a job offer in this talent-driven era. Hence, having a strong employer brand and creating a value-driven culture is considered to be among the company’s strongest assets to build in the right human capital for accelerating the digital transformation journey. 

Organizations have to hence be more active in building a strong employer brand and communicating the same through various channels to attract the right talent. 

Enhancing employee experience by leveraging analytics

With the mix of actively-engaged, disengaged, and actively-disengaged employees, the productivity curve keeps flickering most of the time. In fact, Morne points out to another segment named ‘actively-productive’ employees which he categorically calls for in this need of the hour. He feels that just being engaged is not enough to bring in more productivity and also recommends adding analytics in the employee development workflow so that employees can be drawn towards a more productive culture.

Upskilling the workforce through new learning tools

Progressive organizations are gradually drifting away from traditional learning curriculum and embracing micro learning as it draws on a cognitive framework based on the natural attention span of humans. 

Meaningful development of employees and knowledge escalation can be done by adopting micro learning strategies. Microlearning provides distributed and contextualized learning. It deconstructs complex topics and concepts and is effective in a blended learning environment.

The core solution: Automating the workplace

Leaders of digital transformation may have to realign priorities, dive into artificial intelligence and automation in order to find sustainable ways to engage their workforce. Organizations are investing in data science and artificial intelligence programs to automate data flows including HR function. There’s a growing set of technologies that are being used to automate different types of HR workflow. 

Not only does automation reduce HR costs, it also leads to improvement in productivity and quality by freeing up time for key employees to focus on more important work. Technology is indeed the way forward for the HR function which is also being called as the ‘new productivity department’ of the organization. However, digital transformation is not just about adopting new technology; a change in the organizational thought process is imminent. And hence, the human angle can never be undermined. Morne rightly points out that the irreplaceability of human empathy will always remain the core.

But all of these solutions can be efficiently applied if leaders know their organizations’ barriers to improve and set the journey of digital transformation.  They also need to be pragmatic and strategic about their organizational capabilities. It is important to realistically know the capacity of their organizations to go through the entire digital transformation process.

Morne aptly summed up, “There is a need to reflect on the maturity index of the organization by every leader. Know where the organization currently is and where it wants to go as it moves forward. Only then, actionable ways of creating a sustainable and innovative organization are possible in the future.”

Topics: TechHR 2019, Technology

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