Only 9% of Chief HR Officers feel their organisation is prepared for the future of work, according to Gartner.

If you don’t want to lose to those who are prepared, you need to transform. Your HR operational processes need to be data-driven and automated.

But according to Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends report, HR digital transformation is not just about transforming your operations. It’s also about transforming your workforce and the way they work. To succeed, it needs to involve your whole organisation.

Find Your “Why”: 6 Steps

Any HR transformation needs a clear objective in mind. Why are you doing this? “Keeping up with the competition” is too vague. It’ll lead to wasting time and money on tech that doesn’t meet your business needs.

Gartner’s research found that 43% of HR leaders don’t have a clear or consistent digital transformation strategy – and 35% don’t think they have the talent to drive it.

So instead of rushing through a transformation you’re likely to regret, slow down and follow the six stages outlined by Brian Solis in research for Cognizant and Altimeter:

  • Business as usual – Start here.
  • Present and active – Run experiments across the organisation to build digital literacy and digital creativity.
  • Formalised – Get leadership involved, and ditch experiments that aren’t business relevant.
  • Strategic – Create a collaborative atmosphere where people realise the power of working together, generating new insights and strategic roadmaps.
  • Converged – Form a dedicated digital transformation team to guide strategy and operations.
  • Innovative and adaptive – The finish line. Digital transformation is complete, and your new collaborative ecosystem is your new normal.

By the time you reach that finish line, your people will have a digital mindset – not just competent with digital technology, but fully embracing the reality that to stay ahead in the 21st century, a business needs to adapt to constant change.

HR Digital Transformation Starter Kit: 6 Tools

To get started on these steps, there are six things you’ll need:

  • Have a clear goal
  • Make sure everyone’s on board
  • Don’t complicate things
  • Pick the best ideas
  • Track performance
  • Prioritise culture

Here’s a bit more detail on each of these

  1. Have a clear goal

Your goal will probably be to solve a problem for your employees. They’re your end-users, so focus on them and let them test your new tech before you roll it out.

  1. Make sure everyone’s on board

Digital HR transformation affects everyone from the CEO to the admin assistant, so try to get them all to buy in. According to Gartner, a top-down approach to HR digital transformation carries 50% more risk of employee fatigue than an open-source change approach that makes employees active participants.

  1. Don’t complicate things

Ask those stakeholders which area of HR they want to see transformed first. Recruitment? Onboarding? Payroll? Training and development? Pick one, start small, and start simple.

  1. Pick the best ideas

You won’t be short of ideas. Prioritise the ones that are high impact (have the biggest effect on your business) and low effort (cost the least time and money)

  1. Track performance

Just like your employees, your new technologies and systems need regular performance reviews to make sure they’re a good fit for your organisation.

  1. Prioritise culture

Digital transformation isn’t just about tech, it’s about humans. Your transformation isn’t done until your people’s mindsets are transformed – so focus on company culture to bring that about.


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