The evolution of HR
Human resources (HR) must continually evolve to match the needs of professional individuals and align with the goals of each organisation.
From humble beginnings in the 1960s, HR focused on automating transactions, personal operations and developing a solid employee system of record. Through the 1980s, HR transitioned into a 'service organisation,' to help manage talent and handle individual needs, such as recruitment and performance management. The early 2000s saw another transition towards more structured talent management, where companies began looking for systems that encompassed recruiting, learning, performance management and compensation.
Today, HR is going through another shift geared towards developing and nurturing a full employee experience that includes an integrated and digital work experience. This shift has HR professionals looking for new ways to focus on teams, productivity and empowerment.
Digital HR: the future
Redesigning talent practice, which includes recruiting and performance management, is the main focus for HR. The HR team is under more pressure than ever to find new methods for completing their roles and adapt to a digital environment that is always changing. This can be achieved through experimentation with multiple platforms and digital applications.
Companies are now becoming networks to help individuals grow and develop their own professional careers. To assist in all aspects of an employee's experience with the company, HR professionals must utilise innovation and experimentation to bring success through the new digital space. Many companies have opted for hackathons or design groups that roll out pilot programs in HR.
Studying and learning from all segments of the employee help build design thinking. This new thinking helps HR develop journey maps to replace complex and traditional processes. To create these journey maps, which help individuals develop, learn and manage throughout their own career, HR requires new technology.
Cloud-based systems are a source of innovation and progression for the digital HR boom. HR departments are beginning to utilise cloud-based systems as a platform for company- and employee-specific needs. These HR products and solutions are continuing to grow, offering mobile apps, gamification and artificial intelligence (AI).
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Just starting the transition?
To transition your HR processes from standardised practices to a process focused on employee engagement and productivity, there are a number of steps to follow.
To start, managers must redefine the mission. Instead of specific roles and processes, HR must identify as the team that assists management and employees to develop and adapt a digital way of thinking. Understanding networked organisational structures and different leadership roles will help realise the goals and values of the company.
Once HR's goals and purpose has been defined, it is important to upgrade core technology to a cloud-based system; this helps integrate all company processes on one location and can help streamline all professional development and management.
Dedicating a team to digital HR will help the organisation explore new possible avenues for processes, such as new applications, systems and tools. Encouraging innovation throughout the workplace and offering workshops and prototypes for new ideas will help speed the process of development and align your business to a successful workforce.
- Volini, E, et. al. (2017) Digital HR: Platforms, people and work. Deloitte. Retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/HumanCapital/hc-2017-global-human-capital-trends-gx.pdf