HR leaders face barriers to digital solutions, but continuous performance improvement can help.
HR executives agree that taking the leap to high-tech operations is a top priority for 2019 and beyond, but many aren’t sure how to pursue this, how to ensure success, and how to get buy-in from the top down.
According to one survey, 94% of corporate HR officers are planning to digitalize HR within 1-3 years to improve operations, employee experience, and productivity; and they are pursuing an average of five digital initiatives. However, 61% said they aren’t prepared to manage this digital transformation. Most respondents (73%) rated their organizations as having a below average level of digital advancement.
So what is holding them back? According to respondents, top barriers include poor existing IT infrastructure, insufficient funding for digital innovations, and competing organizational priorities. Of course, HR professionals working in organizations that already are digitally advanced have fewer concerns about these barriers.
Survey authors suggested some possible ways to overcome the barriers that obstruct digitalization. These include:
· Prioritize value creation for your business and customers. Develop a strategy that adds value for both you and your residents and other stakeholders.
· Build your business case with small wins, early successes achieved through pilots and scaled versions of digital innovations within HR.
To prioritize value creation, consider collaborating with marketing leaders to better understand the resident journey. Then map out how HR services are related to residents’ pain points and opportunities for improvement. Finally, implement digital initiatives that will best position staff to serve residents.
In building your business case with small wins, make sure your pilots and initiatives demonstrate:
· Scalability: Can they be applied practically throughout the whole organization and across departments/functions?
· Cost-Efficiency: Will the value they create leverage resources and justify financial investments?
· Effectiveness: Will they contribute to delivering desired outcomes (such as improving productivity or staff retention)?
To keep efforts on track, make continuous—versus episodic–performance management a priority. Have more informal performance conversations, as this enables managers to offer real-time feedback to workers and tweak expectations as necessary. Use “walk arounds” to observe what employees are doing, how they are using digital tools, and where they have problems or concerns. Encourage them to ask questions and seek additional training as necessary—without fear of criticism or judgement.
Identify and address instances where managers are impeding progress. For instance, they aren’t willing to have tough conversations or provide corrective feedback, they say they don’t have time to walk around and have informal conversations, they lack skills to be hands-on managers, and/or they don’t understand the digital tools enough themselves to help employees. You can help your managers by providing them with the same digital training workers receive and encouraging a “feedback ecosystem” that involves coaching and support.
To accomplish all of this, HR execs need some of their own skills, including the ability to move and communicate faster, think strategically, know the workforce better, and build and sell their vision. With these skills, they can lead the way, even as change comes at a rapid-fire pace.