How to align the HR function with your digital strategy
Once scoffed at as the department that masters the art of passing on top management's decisions to employees in a politically correct language, the HR department is changing. From recruitment to induction training to performance appraisals to employee-engagementHR plays a major role in every facet of an employee's career. Over the past few years, as speed has become a prerequisite for success for every business, it has become essential for HR departments to bring speed to their operations.
HR’s tryst with modernization
The early phase of automation in HR began two decades ago when Indian companies started building corporate intranets. With VPN technology gaining popularity, these intranets expanded their scope to accommodate employees at branches and remote locations. Soon, the technologies of SSL VPN and SSO facilitated secure collaboration via new HR portals. Organizations conducted employee-targeted webinars and training sessions using these portals.
The next evolution happened with HR portals adding self-service features. Employees could now complete their routine administrative functions such as invoicing, travel approvals, flight and hotel bookings and leave applications on their own.
All this while, the IT enablement efforts at HR were limited to the desktop. Even as enterprise mobility was witnessing adoption, its focus was on field-oriented jobs, such as sales, pre-sales, and service executives. HR automation largely remained desktop-oriented.
However, a major change has been happening in HR in the recent years. With enterprise mobility delivering concrete productivity gains in multiple business functions, companies are looking at revitalizing their HR departments with mobility. Let’s explore two examples of how enterprise mobility and its core digital technologies such as rapid application development platform (RADP), Unified Mobile App approach and ready apps can transform the HR function in today’s context.
- Eliminate campus-entry hassles with temp cards app
Large organizations in India have strict campus entry rules. Employees have to carry company-issued ID cards (usually RFID-tagged) to secure a campus entry. When an employee forgets bringing her/his ID card, (s)he is issued a temp card by the security officer at the gate. In such a case, the employee’s immediate supervisor has to hand over a signed authorization slip to the gate security. For a large campus, this temp card issuance activity may typically take two hours per employee.
For a large organization, it is common to find 50 people per campus who are unable to bring their ID cards on any given day. This translates to 100 working hours lost per day and 24,000 working hours lost per campus annually. The temp card issuance exercise causes tiredness and hassle besides unwanted publicity and embarrassment to employees, further affecting workplace morale and productivity.
A solution to address this challenge can be a micro-app (a tiny app) built just for the issuance of temp cards. When an employee realizes (s)he has forgotten or lost her/his card, (s)he can raise a temp card request through this app. Supervisor receives the request and approves it. By the time the employee reaches campus, a digital card would be accessible to her/him through this app. The employee has to approach the security officials, show the digital card and enter. This way, the temp card app avoids all the delays caused by a physical-only process delivering productivity gains for your organization and zero-embarrassment for employees.
- Streamline induction-training
Hiring talented candidates and familiarizing them with your organization’s business and culture are important tasks fulfilled by your HR teams via induction training. Although a crucial function, induction training is ridden with a number of difficulties for organizations with inter-continental presence. Even though the technologies such as telepresence slash down the costs incurred on international travel, employees within a country or region still have to travel to their regional headquarters to attend induction training.
While organizing such training programmes is fraught with event management hassles, ensuring that every candidate has understood the core content of the workshop is a bigger challenge faced by your HR team. A micro-app focused on induction training built with Unified Mobile App approach can solve this problem. The HR team can deliver gamified training content to every new employee's smartphone via a micro-app.
In a Unified Mobile App approach, employees have a single app installed on their devices. All micro apps are hosted in this single container app as and when an enterprise releases them. So every next micro-app introduced by your HR can automatically display inside an employee’s container. As the content can be in a gamified format, your HR teams can monitor every recruit’s progress and accordingly make necessary adjustments to their engagement exercises.
The tech secret
As mentioned above, an HR portal has dozens of modules such as invoicing, travel approvals, flight and hotel bookings, leave applications, reimbursements, booking a training, booking conference room. To bring speed to its operations, your HR teams may consider building a separate micro-app each for every such module.
Employing technologies such as rapid app development platform (RADP) and Unified Mobile App approach from an established digital transformation vendor may help you expedite the process of building and rollout of several micro-apps. Combining the point-technologies such as low-code app design utilities, app refactoring, SDK, integration tools, mobile CMS, cloud dashboard, and marketplace, a mature RADP technology can speed up the mobile app development and rollout for your HR department.
Lastly, your HR teams may also consider buying ready apps. These can be customized to your specific business needs and rolled out quickly. Some of the HR focused apps that you may buy include book my training, enterprise chat, events app, contests/gamification, training app, internal communication, employee onboarding, leave management and approval, learning and development, employee directory, claim and reimbursement management, and team-sharing.