Human Resources & A Digital Future
January 15th – By ADP
Agile documentation, mobility, and business intelligence: three innovative domains wherein lies HR’s digital future. How to move from transposition to digital transformation?
Hardly a day passes without us talking about the crisis, recovering from the crisis, or (with some bravado perhaps) renewed growth! But what we’re experiencing is no longer just a ‘crisis’. The world is changing and so is Australia– a paradigm shift has occurred. At the rate this is taking place, we might even call it a revolution!
One of the most striking things is the undeniable leap forward in technology, and the changing practices and usages that go along with this. It has triggered wave after wave of upheaval, and our private and professional lives have been swept along with the tide at a pace nobody could have anticipated. On the flip side, however, every day we see stories in the papers about companies on the brink of disaster… because they failed to adapt to a new technological wave or other.
HR Directors know that, whether they like it or not, their business model, and that of their department, is being called into question. HR no longer works in the same way: we don’t recruit, manage or train like we used to. But this isn’t just a passing craze; we are delving into the ‘matter’ of the modern workplace, i.e. managing data, information and knowledge… and we need to negotiate the technological shift in all its forms to really revolutionise the HR business model!
Dematerialise: The Agile Employee Documentation Challenge
The relationship between a company and its employees is forged, merged and defined by endless documents, starting with the employment contract, which set out the principles for effective collaboration, company operations, managerial requirements, training, administrative constraints, and more.
Going paperless, is the first step, for both employer and employee, to overcoming the issues related to physically storing documentation, such as cost, risk of loss, and limited accessibility. Huge savings can be made. At ADP France, for instance, we print 75% fewer pages per month, per employee, for every customer, over the last decade! Agile documentation generates savings and increased efficiency, and is therefore the first step on the road to digital transformation.
Smartphones & Tablets: The Mobile Challenge
Nowadays, smartphones can be found all over the world, and everyone expects to have communication at their fingertips. These devices are becoming more adaptable and more available with each passing day, and tablet sales have, unsurprisingly, now eclipsed computer sales. Yet with increased virtual proximity, it has become commonplace in our professional lives to do things remotely: it should be possible for any transaction to be carried out from anywhere on almost any medium.
HR Information Systems therefore need to adapt to different processes on different mediums while still taking into account different role requirements: simple, convenient processes on smartphones for employees and operational dashboards on tablets for managers, for example. These new usages are enjoying great success. ADP’s smartphone application, for example, which is available in 27 languages for 25 countries, surpassed the 1.5 million users mark in the space of just a few months.
Business Intelligence & Big Data: The New Expertise Creation Challenge
Business Intelligence is no longer simply about providing the user with data extraction, sorting and classification tools; it’s about giving users the opportunity to use these tools intelligently. That means linking up these tools so users can gain a better understanding and cut through the static. This capability is rare and offers a great opportunity to improve decision making.
In our experience, three issues are emerging:
- Firstly, to save considerable time by mechanising reporting. If information is not made available quickly enough, it is of no use during the decision-making process.
- Next, to target information to the audience. The consumer’s perspective is more important than that of the person writing the document. Consumers may have varied needs. Some may want multidimensional dashboards, others prefer simpler measurements for a quick snapshot of an HR process’s performance, while others still may require more in-depth analysis to better understand cause and effect.
- Finally, to also use the benefits of making information intelligible outside the company’s four walls with benchmark practices or even Big Data. The key question is really how to use these great wells of data in the future and create value for the HR Department by putting them into perspective. In the US, for example, ADP has compiled a monthly report for the past six years, which is circulated across the whole country, to decipher employment trends using our payroll databases.
Digital Transformation & Ethical Questions
All these innovation techniques offer excellent opportunities to create value, meaning, and a collaborative, cooperative working environment. However, innovations need to still adhere to rules and regulations for data protection and, most of all, follow a structured joint approach on the issue of company communication. In our opinion, there are three essential requirements:
- To adhere to rules and regulations on data protection and processing;
- To have ethical standards that go beyond just the letter of the law;
- To establish correct procedures to uphold the reputation of the business clients and business providers.
If we do this, the digital future of HR will be bright for everyone.