The HR department in every business is responsible for employee satisfaction. With innovation, keeping a track on this has been made easier
As they deal with pre-existing and new challenges, businesses across the globe are putting people before profits. The human resources (HR) function has thus gained in strategic importance. From facilitating the transition to remote working to implementing and communicating health measures, HR has been at the forefront of the Covid-19 crisis.
Traditional constructs of hierarchies, geographies and productivity are now being discarded. What’s emerging is a leaner, agile and digital-first workforce. In this new digital reality, HR’s role has expanded to include retraining leaders for remote environments, driving tech-focused programmes, embracing digital learning solutions and ensuring people stay mentally and physically well.
Within the workforce, new jobs are being created and others made obsolete due to increased automation and other emerging technologies. The HR function is also tasked with bridging the digital divide and building cohesive teams.
Digitalisation may seem to describe a purely technological path. However, it can bring businesses closer to their people. Digital tools are helping HR teams operate successfully and with a positive impact, despite physical and logistical constraints.
Traditional team building activities such as annual offsites, quarterly team dinners, facilitator-led events may no longer be possible on account of social distancing and remote working. Companies are adopting digital team building platforms, such as ‘Know Your Crew’, a question-based, gamified mobile tool. Weekly questions prompt team members to share their habits, values, and personality quirks, and a trivia-like game dynamic so teams can learn about each other and earn points, building connections and closeness.
Digital innovations are enabling HR at best-in-class employers to introduce technologies that support employees and improve their work experience. The increasing integration of digital tools into the workplace results in tangible on-the-job improvements that foster collaboration, improve mental wellness and reduce repetitive work.
Today’s performance management technology enables organisations to let their employees — and managers — give and receive continuous feedback, track progress and gain valuable, data-driven insights. While creating a culture of support, it also makes the appraisal process fair and transparent.
Happy employees are integral to the success of any company. But keeping remote workers engaged has been a challenge for organisations. Digital tools can help employees feel supported and listened to; increasing engagement and thus reducing employee turnover. Taking away the hassles of onboarding paperwork are digital dashboards and apps that track tasks to be completed; including various forms, employee information, contracts, non-compete and non-disclosure agreements, payroll and benefits. Videos, quizzes, and other interactive activities can allow new team members to get to know a workplace better even before their first day at work.
Onboarding tools are capable of personalising onboarding journeys for new hires while automating manual tasks, so HR specialists can focus on more strategic and value-adding tasks. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are widely used to minimise the time spent in recruitment. They use keyword filtering to screen applicants’ resumes and shortlist them. AI-powered job post writing tools such as Datapeople, Gender Decoder for Job Ads and Textio can help HR professionals write better job postings.
Recruiter chatbots are another AI-enabled HR trend that helps recruiters save time by screening and staging candidates throughout the hiring process. These bots engage with candidates and enhance their experience.
A talent management dashboard gives recruiters and hiring managers an overview of their talent pool, enabling them to assess future upskilling or reskilling requirements. It has five main functions: reporting, performance management, engagement, learning and development, and talent pipeline.
Many challenges that came up during the pandemic were conquered with digital tools. It is time for the HR function to reinvent itself, using the power of digital innovation to nurture talent in today’s fast-paced and unpredictable business environment. A digital-first approach to understanding and planning for the future needs of the workforce is quintessential to driving value for employees and the business.
— Eva Mattheeussen is Head of Human Resources at DHL Global Forwarding Middle East & Africa
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