Empowering HR By Integrating Technology
Digital tools and technologies are not only enabling work and enhancing productivity but also emerging as effective solutions for people engagement and empowerment
The solid emergence of the ‘work-from-home’ model has been one of the notable revelations in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. The seamless adaptation to work-from-home by a large section of the formal workforce across sectors is a testimony to the efficiency and effectiveness of the concept. HR Tech is at the heart of this change process; companies that had invested in HR Tech are now reaping the benefits and have an advantage during the pandemic when many were caught unaware. Optimal digitalization of processes and adoption of cloud solutions enabled organizations to make a smooth transition to remote working, ensuring business as usual in an unusual way. As much as employees have risen to the occasion in the face of challenges and embraced the work-from-home routine to make a success of it, the capability of collaboration tools has been a key factor in enabling the shift. It is remarkable to witness the extent to which employees, equipped with the right technology and tools, can be highly productive working from home. So much so, that as we evolve to a contactless life, there is now a strong case for organizations to make the win-win concept of work-from-home an integral component of their HR strategy for the near future. Integrating technology and digital tools with people processes will be at the core of this transformation.
Changing Work, Changing Workplace
As the world of work changes, the workplace also needs to change. The changing nature of work necessitates that workplaces are increasingly geared for flexibility, collaboration, and connectivity. Employees now primarily use digital technologies and devices to carry out knowledge-intensive work; universally accessible multi-media communication and document management systems have become essential collaboration tools. With the current situation expediting the adoption of HR Tech, when adoption earlier took weeks or months is now only a matter of days. Increasing numbers of employees are now dependent on digital devices and technologies, carrying out knowledge work and non-routine tasks, and relying on social interaction, collaboration, and creativity to do their jobs. Over the years, there has been a marked increase in the proportion of knowledge workers doing nonstandard work and solving unstructured problems, while routine jobs became less common, primarily because of increasing automation and digitalization of entire operations and processes.
These trends, accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, are likely to become even more marked in the coming months and years, driven by the exponential growth in digital technologies. Technological developments such as big data, cloud computing, the internet of things, robotics, artificial intelligence and immersive communications are likely to have a significant impact on the world of work. HR Tech has to keep evolving continuously basis the workforce and basis the situation. A successful transformation to a modern workplace that reflects current trends in the world of work means devising an overarching and coherent strategy that integrates various dimensions of the workplace ecosystem. These include not only the physical workplace but also talent and technology that enable employee performance and facilitate engagement for employee satisfaction. Employers need to find ways to ensure connectivity and use appropriate hardware and software to link spaces, locations and employees with each other. According to a recent Deloitte study of employees in five different industrial economies, employees who perceive their physical workplace and working environment as collaborative and flexible are more engaged and satisfied and feel more connected with their employer.
Engagement & Collaboration
Digital technologies are central to almost every area of a company’s activity, and the same is true of the workplace, especially in this era of remote working. The effectiveness of a new economy workplace hinges on two prime factors. First, the availability of digital devices like laptops and smartphones, along with secure external access to all company data, information and processes, which is essential in order to work independently of a specific location. Second, the employees need additional tools and software that promote collaboration and engagement, virtually enabling employees to work as a team. In fact employee engagement is one of the biggest challenges of a workforce working remotely. Online tools that can run pulse surveys to monitor employee satisfaction in real-time, allow employees to express feedback, while allowing managers to review individual and team reports, and respond to feedback with in-app messaging aid managers in developing trust, collaborating, and driving team performance are areas organizations must invest in.
The future of performance management is continuous, coaching-based and people first. Digital platforms enable mangers to develop trust, collaborate and drive team performance. Digital HR tools help firms build out their organizational chart and accountability structure as well as build, maintain and track projects. These tools come in handy while working with geography-neutral digital nomads, enabling organizations to track progress on different projects across the spectrum. When it comes to virtual meetings, there are secure tools that offer unified communication and collaboration platforms that combine workplace chat, video meetings, file storage and application integration. Forward-looking organizations can use these platforms to set up different channels for learning, employee engagement, wellness, etc., addressing all metrics of employee productivity and welfare.
The Era of Cloud-based HRM
Integrating technology is yielding rich dividends not only in terms of enhancing employee engagement and productivity but also in the sphere of HRM, through the employee life cycle – right from the first interview and on-boarding to separation and final settlement. New-age cloud-based unified platforms are designed to simplify core and complicated HR processes via automation, improving productivity and efficiency of HR teams. From streamlining recruitment needs and simplifying HR transactions to database maintenance and analytics, these 360-degree solutions are a boon for the modern workplace where employees may be living and working in varying geographies. These tech tools come with core HR capabilities, including recruitment, attendance and leave management, payroll and taxation, expenses and reimbursements, talent management, benefits management and advanced performance management, covering the entire gamut from employee on-boarding to exit process management. These customized technologies not only augment performance but also contribute to the bottom-line through improved efficiencies and significant cost savings.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house