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The Changing Phase of HR in the Digital Age – A Snapshot

Source | LinkedIn : By Ramesh G S

“Technology has become an integral part of our lives whether you like it or not”, I overheard my nephew telling his mother the other day. Yes, indeed. It’s rather foolish to run away from technology when it has become ubiquitous. It’s not just the popularity of social media or our excessive dependency on electronic gadgets, technology, if adapted smartly by business establishments can usher in growth and success.

In the present times or should I say the digital age that we live in, HR professionals get the unique advantage in building a digital eco system that is centred around people, technology and processes. Besides ensuring seamless workflow and increasing productivity, a digital eco system (if managed effectively by HR) can bring about a paradigm shift in the way we work.

I feel to go digital, HR professionals should take the lead and should be willing to acquire new skills and adapt to changes in the organizational thinking. Some of the simple measures HR can take is listed below:

  • Identify and understand – Does your organization have a digital status at all? Identify and understand this aspect at the outset.
  • Knowledge sharing – This can play an important role in devising a digital strategy. Look out for people in your organization who possess strong digital skills and take their help to devise a digital strategy and ask them to share their knowledge with their colleagues
  • Provide resources and incentives –  HR department’s prerogative should be to educate and make the workforce understand the importance of a digital strategy.

If there is a digital divide between the top management and the employees, make sure incentives and educational resources are provided to bridge the gap.

I was recently reading a report called ‘Building the Digital HR Organization’ by Accenture and Success Factors wherein they have reiterated the need for HR operations to change, to be more streamlined, and more agile to keep up with today’s workforce. The report further states that digital technology is shaping the future of Human Resources, and it outlines three ways that technology will disrupt how future HR departments operate.

According to me, this report is a must read for all those who are serious and committed towards ushering in HR initiatives in the digital age. For the benefit of my readers, I have picked up few important points from this report. It gives a lucid description of how Digital technology is driving change for HR in three key ways:

  • Enables new approaches to delivering HR services – Social media and other mobile tools are regularly used by our employees today. These tools can be effectively used to communicate about HR services and engage employees on their own terms. This is a simple but straightforward approach of using familiar technologies to reach employees in new ways. The use of multiple channels to provide HR services will ensure that it can reach employees anywhere, anytime and on any device.

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