Every business comes to a natural turning point, a moment in time when traditional frameworks and operations become outdated or obsolete. And without embracing new processes and functions, said businesses face significant obstacles, and see steady decline. For HR, that time is now. And the solution is HR transformation.
HR transformation is the evolution of HR operations, through the adoption and integration of new practices and HR technology, in order to reflect the changing working landscape.
However, where organizations would have previously opted to roll out this sort of evolution on a gradual, incremental basis, modern pressures call for an immediate dramatic redesign. And as such, any company looking to thrive in a post-pandemic working environment, must have HR transformation strategies and robust HR transformation planning in place.
Why you should care about HR transformation in 2023
For decades, HR operated largely in silo. It had its own lane and specialty, and quietly stuck to it. Thanks to the rise in hybrid working, a more connected global workforce, and the importance of data-driven people management, technology has been developed which has revolutionized how HR departments operate. Subsequently, the look, feel, and daily running of HR needs to change.
HR transformation will lead to a notable improvement in the employee experience, a reduction in overall manual HR admin, and a bolstering of company security. It also leads to improved compliance with legal obligations and wider data driven analysis and support. But this, of course, can only be achieved through a better alignment with IT and other major departments.
This is why we’re also seeing the repositioning of CHROs as a form of HR transformation – moving from a more disconnected, peripheral role, to one of distinct influence, and natural successor to the CEO and other upper echelon decision makers.
Examples of HR digital transformation today
HR transformation projects have already taken multiple forms, but the one with the most immediate prominence is the digitalization of the onboarding process. By utilizing HR tech and software, the entire recruitment and onboarding stages have been given a complete overhaul, which better reflects the needs of contemporary new hires. And creates a more organized and welcoming environment.
Employee and manager self-service portals
Searching for personal data such as annual leave totals, sick pay taken, dates for performance reviews, and a myriad of tax and pension queries, can occupy a significant chunk of your worker’s time. Especially if said data is spread across several disparate programs or held by multiple individuals. Having a holistic portal that combines all this information creates a better practical experience, reducing frustration and saving valuable time.
HR transformation also takes the form of data driven decision making, in order to improve employee performance and productivity. And is a prime example of adopting a new mindset that may feel antithetical to traditional HR practices, as it relies so heavily on the digital gathering, interpreting, and acting off of employee data.
AI tracking systems
Whether we like it or not, AI is coming along in leaps and bounds and is carving out a place for itself in HR. One of the best ways it is being adopted, is by simplifying and streamlining the application process. By scouring through reams of applications, AI technology is able to filter appropriate candidates with exceptional speed and ease.
Offering 24 hour support, HR chatbots step in whenever your employees need assistance. In addition to being readily available, they are also able to process countless straightforward queries that would have previously encumbered your HR teams. Thus freeing up time, which can be redirected to strategic initiatives and planning.
The six stages of HR transformation
Rather than a one time action, HR transformation is best thought of as an ever evolving process. With that in mind, there are six stages to be considered for the implementation of any HR transformation project.
Business as usual
The first hurdle to overcome is the misguided assumption that the practices which have served well in the past, are perfectly fit for purpose. There’s logic in clinging to what’s familiar and what works, but the problem is that antiquated methods are simply inadequate to keep up with contemporary evolving requirements.
Present and active
This stage of the HR transformation roadmap is the tentative trial period. The acknowledgement that there could be merit and benefit in adopting new processes, leading to initiatives being tested and feedback reported.
With enough preliminary evidence, managerial support starts to take root. But with this comes expectations to deliver. More HR transformation projects are given the greenlight and critical analysis becomes the focus. At this stage, company-wide support and adoption is crucial to guarantee success.
At this point, the advantages and benefits have been presented and are now apparent. It’s no longer a case of persuading others of the advantages but figuring out where best to focus attention. And ascertaining gaps that can be improved with HR transformation and developing strategies that will serve for years to come.
To avoid unwanted disconnection and disarray, it’s important to now have a team overseeing the entire process. This unit is responsible for acting as a guide for the organization’s HR transformation strategy.
Innovative and adaptive
A new ecosystem has been established as the HR transformation project has become ‘the new norm.’ From here, the team will be responsible for exploring and advocating new ideas and options.
How to maximize the success of your HR transformation
In order to get the most out of your HR transformation roadmap, there are specific steps your company can take.
The first is to ensure those at the top of the hierarchy are onboard. Every stage of your HR transformation process can grind to a halt with constant tinkering and micromanaging. What’s needed is a committed higher approval, which pushes progress through efficiently, allowing your transformation teams to effectively generate the results you’re looking for, quickly and smoothly.
But even with the strongest thumbs-up from management, very little will actually move along without active support from your employees. The workforce cannot be overlooked here and rather than being told about countless new programs to learn, with a “buck up and shut up” attitude, give your workers a chance to ask questions and offer feedback.
As stated earlier, going into this process, you have to pick the most appropriate time to act. And part of that reflection, is the setting of strategic goals. Doing so creates clear markers and objectives to be met and affords everyone involved the opportunity to learn where the whole undertaking is thriving or struggling.
And lastly, it’s crucial that you pick the right technology. Not only the most cost effective or easy to use, but one which suits your business needs and can be integrated with the least disruption. By following these steps and taking everything into consideration, your company will be in the best shape to handle not only the challenges of today, but also whatever may appear on the horizon.
For details on the international festival of HR, check out the UNLEASH America 2023 agenda.
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