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Digital Transformation and HR’s Changing Role

Digital Transformation and HR’s Changing Role

From onboarding to analytics, the workplace faces digital transformation and HR must adapt, says Charles Ashworth, SVP of employee success at FinancialForce

Digital transformation is reshaping the workplace. Those that underestimate its influence will feel a very real effect on their bottom line. Gartner predicts that by 2017, 25% of companies will lose their market position as a result of digital business incompetence and a failure to respond to how employees want to work. This ‘people’ dimension is perhaps the most challenging aspect facing today’s businesses and HR organizations.

As employees change in tandem with digital culture, HR departments must evolve how they acquire, manage and retain talent. Today’s workforce have high expectations. Employees don’t want to be boxed in. Employee retention and productivity is now intrinsically tied to employees’ expectations for a digital business and the changing way they work. HR organizations are exploring a number of new ways to embrace digital transformation for better business.


A company’s onboarding process is an employee’s first experience at a new company, making it a crucial touchpoint to form the foundation for a long tenure. Employees are seeking to confirm that they made the right decision to join.  Yet, 25% of employees leave their jobs within the first three months according to ADP. Not only is this churn bad for morale, but it’s also costly. Studies show that the cost to replace an entry-level employee is up to 50% of their annual salary, growing to 150% for executive positions.

Onboarding processes have largely been de-prioritized relative to other business functions when it comes to digital transformation. Yet businesses are starting to take notice of the need and opportunity for change. The use of automation tools not only drastically reduces time spent on manual tasks during onboarding, it also removes human error, ensures a consistent experience to each new employee and allows HR to quickly scale with a growing company. The result? Employees don’t waste their time with first day/week/month formalities and instead can focus on making an immediate impact. They instantly feel connected with their company and new co-workers, and HR ensures nothing slips through the cracks during onboarding.

Self-service tools

Flexibility is the name of the workplace game. Employees want to choose how and when they manage their data, which means they want 24/7 access to streamlined self-service tools. This is increasingly important as the workforce is made up of a larger portion of millennials and the younger iGeneration. They want content and insights at their fingertips. They don’t necessarily want to get on the phone and talk about every task; they want the option of on-demand access to content and insights.

Self-service tools deliver on this vision by empowering all employees to manage their HR at any time and from any device. An early adopter of self-service HR tools, Jason Bernhardt-Lanier, managing director of global talent at Ashoka, observes that:

Self-service allows employees to get the right information that they care about. [Team leaders] are able to understand their team with better information about their performance and goals.

Benefits of self-service HR tools range from reduced administrative work, ability to smoothly manage staff while scaling the business and standardizing process. Ultimately, HR interactions become an everyday activity versus being thought of as an organizational department.

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SOURCE: Diginomica


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