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31/08/2017

The new HR experience: digital and personal

Driven by digitization, the HR department and the role description of a typical HR manager changed radically over the past few years. Nowadays, more and more HR (operational) tasks will be integrated in the everyday life of a business manager and digital and analytical skills are essential in the HR department. Let’s sum up the main ongoing trends and take a look at what comes next!

1.    Digitization leads to decentralization

The last few years HR experts are talking about digitizing most HR functions with the help of SaaS platforms like Workday, Oracle, SuccessFactors and Benify. Platforms like these made it possible to decentralize a lot of HR tasks towards managers and employees (recruitment, performance management, digital (e-)learning, administrative tasks). With less central procedures and a local approach everyone could become responsible for (a part of) the HR tasks, which stimulated ownership of HR-related tasks throughout the organization. Besides this shared ownership, the main advantages of digitization HR is its positive effect on productivity, flexibility, employee engagement and a better connection to the business. Another important benefit is cost-saving due to less administrative tasks within the HR department.

2.    HR department: from administrative tasks to data-analytics and platform optimization

It is obvious that the developments mentioned above changed the HR trade as well. Only the strategic HR key tasks will maintain and the HR department is becoming more of a data-analytics center. From managing operational HR tasks, the HR department now can focus on human capital analytics, insights and predictions. This way, the incentives and HR programs are much better tailored to the employee needs and business strategy. The HR department is able to be more distinctive and add more value in areas like performance management, workforce planning, training & development and employee experience (see next trend). 

Another main task of an HR manager in a digitized environment is to optimize the HR platform and determine when to deploy which new functionality. These changes will impact the typical HR profile as they need to be more digitally skilled and data savvy.

3.    Designing your employee experience

So - in this new HR reality - the skills, structure and scope of the HR department changed profoundly. Besides this, there are a few subsequent workforce trends ongoing. Nowadays employees expect the same seamless and intuitive interaction with their employer as if they were ordering something online at Bol.com as a consumer. On top of that, the employee-work contract is changing towards more and more free agents, that entails a shift in power in favor of the employees. The skill to know how to build an organization that engages employees and is fun and meaningful to work for is becoming paramount.

This leads to one of the most important new HR tasks: managing the employee experience. We believe that digitizing HR is a great opportunity to better control the experience that employees have while working at your organization and engage them even more. The platforms give way to a more personalized experience, tailored to individual strengths in which you e.g. can choose your secondary employment conditions and optimize your digital learning modules.

4.    Digital learning and real-time feedback

The next HR trend around the corner is the real time, mobile-first delivery of information, feedback and digital learning to its employees. Many organizations aim at improving productivity together with the employee experience by experimenting with real-time, mobile first feedback tools and apps (e.g. CultureAmp, BlackbookHR, Waggle.it, Impraise) that have the ability to revolutionize learning, evaluations and performance management. These tools are, for example, focused on co-worker feedback on behavior after a meeting. This is in line with psychological research, which states that feedback is the most effective if it happens during or shortly after the behavior at hand. Performance management changes in this way from a periodical necessity to a continuous process with much better effect. On top of this, all the shared content within these tools is invaluable data for HR Analytics.

So what could you do to incorporate these trends and take your HR department to the next level? It all starts with asking the question what a great employee experience from end-to-end looks like and place this experience at the heart of all your processes. We believe we are in the early days of the digital experience for HR (complemented by intelligent analytics). It is all about bringing HR to where your employees work.

Do you want to start experimenting with new feedback tools, rethink your performance evaluation approach or redesign your employee experience? Get in touch and find out what these trends could do for your organization!

 

 

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