There is a function in companies that do not have a digital DNA : the HR. Often seen as inflexible (most of the time rightly), HR have to face several challenges dealing with a highly regulated legal environment and administrative burden. It has to focus on the future needs of its businesses and also to reflect upon expectations of all the staff.

*What is digital in HR ?

In the last Deloitte report on HR trends for 2016, digital is judged important for 70% of the panel and at the same time 35% of french companies feel ready to take up the digital challenge.

However, we can’t say that we start with a blank page: employees  files are available on a dedicated EDM (Electronic Document Management), intranet,  HRIS,  social networks, electronic voting for the staff representatives elections… sure, but digital is not just means and effective tools, it is above all another way to think and to build the organisation.

In companies, all the resulting impacts of digital are sometimes underestimated: it modifies substantially the business models and above all our relationship to work. HR departments have a real role to play with the set up of these decentralized solutions. Responsible for evolving skill needs in the structure, they are the best able to measure the degree of ownership of employees.

*Take into account the employee experience

In my opinion, it’s essential to think a broader approach than the simple digitalisation because with the freedom-form company and the increasing presence of the well-being at work, it is all the employee experience we have to (re)think.

This trend is the new heart of concerns of HRD. We can define it as the analysis of the everyday professional life, both on tools and working spaces, from recruitment to the leaving of the company.

Employees want employers to commit more and be more loyal. They also pay more attention to their employer’s reputation. It is the starting point for drawing up the HR digital strategy on a more global basis. A lot of start-up or scale-up (Blablacar or Criteo for example) have included it in their development driver.

Adopting an employee vision entails several changes in the way of doing HR, on the same terms as companies have adopted a client vision.

This implies to focus on the person and to facilitate the employee’s life. One example: in my company, when we hire someone new, we have te create the employee profile in 5 different softwares (IT access, payroll software, time management software, HRIS, expense account application) that are not crossed (or just a little), a good loss of time and efficiency, isn’t it?

Digital creates new opportunities: new collaboratives tools, a softer way of working (teleworking, nomadism…), having access to a relevant and fun content at any time from everywhere…

Under this digital rain, put yourself in the position of an employee, there’s nothing more frustrating than not having access to some websites because of an outdated version of your browser? Why implementing a dedicated space for business travels if it take 3 times more by sending an email? Why forbid the use of Google forms for evaluating training session? These are all real-life situations and it’s really complicated.

Employees wish to be considered in their workplace the same way as they are when they are clients, with customized services. Actually, the Cegos observatory publish some telling figures in its 2nd edition of the HRD  job barometer: 56% of the employees think that HRD don’t take into account the human factor and 15% blame them for their lack of innovation (novelty from the previous edition).

hr-function-reality

Despite this tremendous opportunity related to digital, there is still much more to do for HR departments. This transformation will be efficient under one condition : to examine its practices including managerial practices, in greater depth.

About the author

Elodie IMBERT

Elodie IMBERT

Professional in HR development, i expand my skills to digital to face the future challenges of the HR field.