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Future of work

Why HR is your secret weapon for a digital transformation

It’s a bit ironic, right? The latest digital transformation initiatives and efforts by your organization are vitally important to the future success of your company. According to management at least. But the most important part isn’t the tool or technology that you’re implementing. It’s the people who’ll use that tech.

There’s the widely held thought that the latest tech will give a company an advantage against its peers. It gives managers all over an excuse to launch digitalization efforts as they need to be better or the best in their respective fields. But there’s often a disconnect when it comes to digital transformation about where the true impact and value comes from. What’s that disconnect you ask? That people are the most important part of a digital transformation, not tech. 

They dictate its success. According to a study done by BCG, companies who focus on their people and culture are 5x more likely to achieve breakthrough results than those who don’t. It makes sense when you think about it a little more too. It’s the people every day who come into work who are using the tools, the new tech to do their jobs. The tech isn’t autonomous or omnipotent (yet).

It comes down to people, not technology to make a transformation a success. And HR is an effective force to secure your success: 

Getting the right people in the right place

As mentioned in our digital transformation article, digital transformations are successful when you have the right people in the right place. That means knowing the personnel that you have onboard, what their skills are and where core competencies lie. Managers, as well as HR, will be the people most aware of this as they are the ones who work with them day in and day out. They also helped identify them as candidates for their current position.

HR consists of people whose job is to spot skills and talents in recruits. They can use those same skills to place people into roles most critical for the success of the transformation. Or put people in positions most suited to their skill set. There’s precedent for this as they helped get these people into the company in the first place, naturally, they’ll be able to match their skills to another role or position for the transformation.

Digital transformation is a change of culture and attitude

Attitudes have to change and update. Not only as a result of the digital transformation, but in general it’s helpful for companies to continue adapting. Digital transformation implements a new way of thinking. Of working. Attitude change isn’t easy but human resources can help. They’re used to help with training new employees and dealing with critical issues. Drawing on their extensive expertise can help in this regard and guide management to ensure a smooth process for the entire organization. 

HR consistently helps the company upgrade itself by recruiting new employees with talents that enhance those already existing. Also by starting upskilling initiatives. The transformation is one of the most important ones they’ll undertake. They’re well adjusted to working with people and implementing new policies, initiatives and guidelines. HR are the facilitators around the company when it comes to many things. Employee health initiatives, charity drives, seasonal gatherings, or extracurricular activities like sports, pub crawls, and concerts. This is just another project that is right in their wheelhouse.

HR is the link between the management and the employees

HR was made for cross-organizational communication. Especially when it comes to policies that have wide-ranging effects. People go to HR for all kinds of reasons. Some positive, some negative but the role that they play in a company is important. Every department has a dialogue with HR. Also, while it may vary throughout their tenure, each employee does as well. They are well equipped to deal with communicating changes in policies and structures to the company at large.

Historically, HR has been at the forefront of changing the culture of companies. They led the charge in instituting harassment training and how to spot it. Same with discrimination and diversity initiatives. They are well accustomed, as it’s their job, to communicate up and down the organization to drive change in attitudes, behavior, and culture.

Companies are a living organism, made up of people, not just tech and tools

Corporations are made up of living, breathing human beings. That being said, sometimes it’s hard to put a face to a company, even for some of the world’s largest brands. When you hear IKEA, you think of affordable furniture you have to put together yourself. If H&M comes to mind, it’s just clothes. But behind those brands are organizations. And inside of those organizations are people. That’s the case in practically every company everywhere. They’re just collections of people working together to accomplish a common goal.

Sure, they use tools and have tons of technology in their stack. But people are at the heart of the business. They’re the ones clocking in and out every day. Doing the work that makes their organization flow. So recognizing that is important and vital. HR usually is one of the best departments at taking people into consideration and understanding that their company is just a collective group of people. And focusing on the human element.

Prepare your people for the future

A digital transformation is about preparing your company for the challenges it will face in the future. As we know that your company consists of the individuals working there, upskilling them and giving them the tools to deal with whatever comes next will be a boon for your firm. It will provide the basis for you to kick on and tackle whenever obstacles present themselves and overcome them.

Technology can only take you and your company so far. It’s more important that your employees have the capability to leverage those new tools and tech to progress to new heights. And allowing your employees to reach and surpass their potential.

People. That’s really what digital transformations come down to. Having the latest and greatest tools may be great. It could save you bundles of cash, time and rapidly increase your productivity. But just having it won’t make your digital transformation efforts a success. It’s the people within the company who dictate how the transformation will go. Focus on them and set them up for success. By doing that, you’re setting yourself and your business up for success at the same time.

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