There are no boundaries when it comes to digital transformation in the workplace. It’s made its way across industries and dispersed workforces. And, now, the HR digital transformation has arrived.
The challenging labor market is motivating organizations to evolve their human resources approach. Businesses need a digital HR strategy with solutions built for automation, engagement, and monitoring analytics.
Here’s everything you need to know about the digital transformation in human resources.
What is the HR Digital Transformation?
The digital transformation in human resources is changing how companies operate internally. The days of manual, paper-based HR processes are gone. And in their place are digital tools, strategies, and forward-looking HR teams.
So, what is the HR digital transformation? Essentially, it is:
The process of adopting digital human resource tools and strategies to improve the employee experience and enhance operational performance through data-driven, automated practices.
Some common digital transformation solutions used in an organization’s HR digital strategy are:
- People Analytics
- Onboarding Software
- HR Chatbots
- AI-Driven Recruiting Techniques
- On-Demand Training
FAQ: What is the Difference Between Digitization, Digitalization, and Digital Transformation?
This question pops up frequently: what actually is the difference between digitization, digitalization, and digital transformation?
Just because they sound and look similar doesn’t mean they are. Here is our breakdown of each.
Digitization is pretty simple – it’s making manual, paper-based processes digital. For example, instead of printing your shift schedule, you’re creating a digital version of it.
Digitization cuts costs by reducing printing and distribution expenses. It’s also a critical step in digitally enabling your frontline workforce.
Then, we have digitalization. According to Gartner,
“Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.”
This means digitization isn’t going to go far without digitalization. Because what use is that new digital shift schedule if you don’t have the right technology or strategy in place for it to be used effectively?
Pro tip: Our article, The Rise of the Frontline Worker: Change Management in the Age of Frontline Digitalization, deep dives into the future of digitalization for deskless workers.
Digitalization is a change process. It takes executive management support, a change management framework, and alignment with business objectives to be successful across frontline teams.
Finally, there is the digital transformation. It’s a common assumption that digital transformation is introducing a bunch of digital tools into a company. But it’s not.
Digital transformation puts people first. It’s implementing a digitalization strategy through using digital tools to improve employee, customer, and user processes.
How we see it, the digital transformation for frontline employees is a 4-step process:
- Adopt a digital channel to reach and connect the entire front line
- Digitize time-consuming, inefficient, expensive paper-based processes
- Establish an automation strategy that harnesses the full knowledge and power of the frontline workforce
- Optimize organizational processes with data-driven insights
Why Should You Start Digitalization For Your Business?
Digital HR tech is transforming the ways companies interact with their people. But why is it so important now?
At its core, digital HR tech is being adopted to reduce costs, improve operations, and elevate employee experiences. All of which are becoming more important as companies compete for talent.
Other operational benefits of the HR digital transformation are:
- Save time and resources by automating repetitive processes
- Optimize the employee experience to meet the needs of your workforce
- Enhance workplace efficiencies that boost the bottom line
- Maximize people data and analytics
Check out how Wireless Vision transformed workplace operations by digitizing important materials that are instantly accessible right on the sales floor.
How to Get Started With Your HR Digital Transformation
The digital transformation in HR isn’t something you can do overnight. Rightfully so, it takes time, effort, and strategy.
However, making the digital leap doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. Here are six essential stages of the HR digital transformation process to get you started.
Six Stages of HR Transformation
- Business as Usual: This initial stage is the starting point of your HR digital transformation strategy. Your company has decided to transform its manual HR processes by upgrading HR tools and technology fit for the digital future.
- Present and Active: Your management team has bought into the need for your HR digital transformation. Now, you need to map your plan and business needs.
- Formalized: You likely have a better idea of what solutions are needed to address your business needs. You may need to revive your management team’s enthusiasm because it’s time to start spending money.
- Strategic: Enter your digital HR strategy. You’ve started working with other teams and are collecting different perspectives. Now, you bake all that into your strategic roadmap.
- Converged: Time to assemble your team to deliver on the strategy and its goals. And then, you’re ready for the liftoff of your digital transformation!
- Innovative and Adaptive: In this final stage, you’re reaping benefits from your digital transformation. It’s now your new business as usual – except this time, you’re going to keep exploring and experimenting.
Well-Known Examples of HR Digital Transformation
Now, you know all about the digital transformation in HR. But, what does it actually look like?
Below are some of the most well-known examples of the HR digital transformation in play.
The internet juggernaut has led the HR digital transformation journey since it introduced the world to people analytics. Back in 2008, Google used analytics pulled from employee surveys and feedback to establish successful manager behaviors. That same practice was used to uncover the top factors that create a positive team environment. Both have been used to create a team people from all over the world want to be a part of.
Royal Dutch Shell
Before the pandemic, Shell was beginning to realize a skills gap within its workforce. The industry was turning to AI, machine learning, and other digital tools, but Shell’s workforce wasn’t ready. So, the oil giant adopted a digital learning platform that gave employees the opportunity to learn the skills the business needed to stay ahead of the industry curve.
IBM has coined this new digital era of HR tech as HR 3.0. In HR 3.0, business leaders make data-driven decisions powered by AI capabilities that create a better employee experience.
For example, IBM partnered with Burger King Brazil to introduce a virtual assistant to take over repetitive HR tasks. In no time, the virtual assistant took on 50% of employee requests, like paid time off requests, leaving more time for the HR team to focus on strategic priorities.
Examples of the HR Digital Transformation in Frontline Industries
You may think the HR digital transformation mainly applies to the corporate world, but it’s no stranger to frontline-majority businesses. In fact, our top 5 trends shaping the future of frontline work all point to a digital future.
Let’s look at some companies already embracing the digital transformation in HR.
Amsted Rail is a globally integrated manufacturer that was forced to rethink its paper-based HR process in 2020. Before adopting Beekeeper, the company posted job openings on a bulletin board, and interested employees wrote their names down. HR managers then had to track the process manually via multiple spreadsheets.
Fast-forward to today, and the team uses Beekeeper’s Forms to speed up the process. Employees can now easily fill out their information from their mobile devices. And, HR managers no longer have to keep up with clunky processes along the way.
Life Time Inc.
Health and wellness clubs across the world were hit hard by the global pandemic. For Life Time Inc., the situation started as temporary location closures. But soon enough, the company was forced to furlough 90% of staff.
Communicating with furloughed employees usually comes with sticky HR and legal red tape. However, using Beekeeper, the Life Time team executed a new communications approach that could reach both active and furloughed team members.
New Digital Transformation and Technology Trends for HR
Automation, analytics, and accessibility. These are some of the top HR trends for the coming year. And given the current labor market, it’s now mission-critical for businesses to adapt to the digital future of HR operations.
The workplace of 2022 will focus on efficiency and engagement. With a solid digital HR strategy and the right tools, human resources teams are better equipped to:
- Stay competitive in a tight labor market
- Attract the right talent at the right time
- Create engaging employee experiences that inspire loyalty
- Optimize their time and processes
- Generate a solid ROI of time, resources, and cost savings