Just as the title suggests, Human Resources should be a very “human” prospect although in this industry we often find ourselves navigating an increasingly digitised workplace and world. Technology can be implemented to benefit many areas of an organisation, and HR departments are no exception.
Digital competency is essential for every HR practitioner to be able to deliver on their day-to-day tasks as well as the delivery of more complex projects. Many of our current skills will only be relevant for the next 2.5 – 5 years so it is important to remain abreast of changing technology to ensure your skills are relevant well into the future. Engaging with all things digital now will help you and your staff to integrate with the upcoming essential new technologies such as artificial intelligence and ‘bots’.
If your team is reluctant to go digital, here are 5 ways to empower your team to embrace technology.
1. Use it Yourself
Changes in business culture are most effective when they are supported from the top down. As a HR manager you can’t demand that your team use the latest technologies if you are slow to embrace it – at the very least you will need to have a good understanding of them. Aim to keep on top of the latest developments. Set aside time to research cutting-edge technologies that could work for your organisation, chat to your network and other colleagues about the subject, read relevant media regularly or listen to industry podcasts. Sign up for newsletters or follow social media accounts that will keep you up-to-date. Call in a professional for help so that you can then help others. Ensure you can use any new apps, programs and tools you introduce. Lead the way and you’ll be an inspiration to your team.
2. Build their Confidence
Proper training is key. Take advantage of all of the online and real-world conferences, training and seminars provided by product suppliers to enhance your team’s skills. Once they’ve mastered a particular technology, make sure there’s a simple process to communicate any updates to the system and reserve time for your team to get on top of those new developments. Some level of independence ranks highly on the desirable list for most employees; you could invest in individual courses and professional development with a technological focus as an incentive for them outside of general team-wide training.
3. Use Technology to Use (More) Technology
It sounds like a bit roundabout but utilising technology may help your team embrace the digital landscape further. There are specific HR apps and programs out there that are designed to keep training and learning processes on track. If you have difficulty in areas such as keeping your team up to date; adopting new systems; educating new staff or assessing your team’s digital capabilities, learning systems from organisations like Success Factors, Cornerstone or Peoplestreme could be something to investigate.
4. Listen Up
Here’s where the human side of HR really comes in. Listen to what your team are asking for and see if it can be delivered from a digital standpoint. Whatever they need there’s bound to be – as the saying goes – “an app for that” and likely one that saves time and/or money. Involve them in the selection of the new products or platforms that they will be using. Your staff may be able to tell if a technology is fit for purpose more than you can. If, by chance, you can’t find a product that works for your team’s unique requirements, consider investing in development.
5. Knowledge is Power
Remember all of those podcasts, videos, media and e-newsletters about digital workplaces that you should be consuming? Shouldn’t your team have access to that knowledge too? Suggest that they sign-up or create an occasional digest for them to share via a meeting or an email. Encourage them to regularly share any knowledge, resources, channels or learnings they find helpful with the wider team. Keep them up-to-date on the latest research on how digital technology provides time, cost and analytic benefits. Did you know AI is in development right now to accurately determine how well new hires will perform in a role or even predict when someone might quit (with time to reverse underlying causes if desired). How brilliant is that?