How to make tech-transformations in HR work
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A number of companies are upgrading their technology systems and processes in a bid to improve efficiency and effectiveness of their people processes. The demand for new technology globally is pegged at an estimated $34 billion by 2021. And technological upgradation is no longer relegated to certain tangible elements like payroll management, attendance, they are increasingly being used to solve complex business problems.
Here are some areas where technology is helping create the workforce (and organization) of the future:
- Re-shaping learning models: Learning is undergoing a tech-powered transformation and is becoming far more employee-driven. At Arcesium, a company that de-merged from DE Shaw, technology was used to usher in a learning culture where employees were encouraged to ‘ask’ for courses as per their own learning needs. This approach helped the company shift the focus from the managers to employees.
- Driving a cultural shift: HCM technological interventions have the potential to have a direct impact on even intangible tenets such as the organizational culture. A major IT hardware company known for being conservative, risk-averse, and hierarchical company, brought about a “transparent, open, and team-based” culture after actively using technology tools to drive a mindset change.
- Tech-enabled performance management: In a leading real-estate company, an HR technology system was used to balance high performance and relationship building using a PMS process.
Adopting technology for sustainable change
Any technology-led people transformation requires the active involvement of the people. “Any tech implementation has to be driven by employee engagement”, says the CHRO of HCM Global Securities, Reema. Here are the necessary elements to help make an HR tech transformation:
- Alignment with the strategy: Any technological implementation needs to be done strategically, in alignment with the vision and mission, and with a realistic lens.
- Educate and inspire: All communication must start from the top. And leaders must use multiple forms of communication to keep people informed and involved in the tech-transformation journey.
- Create a sense of ownership: When a learner himself or herself owns learning, there is a far greater result in their performance when compared to ‘push’ based learning strategies says Shriram of Arcesium, highlighting the need to instill a sense of ownership.
- Continuous engagement: Celebrate successes, use systems for rewards and recognition, encourage early adopters and share their successes as well as their failures. Only then will employees be open to trying new tools without worrying about the consequences of going wrong.
- Create a developmental journey: Provide the necessary resources to enable people to tackle the change head-on. A developmental journey should be able to proactively support employees and override negativity.
- Measure and share impact: Nothing encourages people more than seeing real evidence of successful implementations. Make sure you lay out meaningful metrics and measure them and communicate them on a periodic basis. Parameters such as how many people are using a new system, how has productivity or time to learn improved, and how completion rates have increased can serve to be a real booster for technology-embracement.
The way ahead
At the end of the day, technology is only an enabler. A realistic assessment of the ground realities will help understand and assimilate the perceptions and set HR tech goals accordingly.
As Yazad Dalal, Senior Director HCM transformation at APAC, Oracle indicates, it is critical to “Educate-Demonstrate-Celebrate”. “HR leaders must understand that they are not process owners, they are practice owners”, says Rajendra Mehta, CHRO at DHFL. Understanding the depth of each process, remaining conceptually strong and knowing to do the right thing is essential to success.
This article is curated based on a webinar on this topic.