Digitalisation in Human Resource (HR) processes is not a foreign subject and has seen an exponential adoption over the years.
The Third Industrial Revolution (which some refer to as the digital revolution) in the 1980s had a significant effect on daily HR operations in companies across the globe. Pioneer companies that adopted digitalisation were quick to tap on digital HR solutions which propelled these organisations to greater heights. The Fourth Industrial Revolution that was first announced in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016 also touched upon the positive impact of “Internet of Things” (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in organisations.
However, there are still companies that have lagged behind with the implementation of digital HR solutions. It can be due to various reasons from financial constraints to management red tapes. That said, the trend of companies implementing digital solutions for HR processes – from daily operations to recruitment, training and even recognition, is increasing rapidly. More and more companies are adopting the latest trend to remain relevant in the market – and so should you.
Let’s have a look at some of the best game-changing HR digital practices adopted by companies:
1. Going paperless
With the daily use of emails & Microsoft Office, it’s still not a surprise that there are still a lot of HR processes that have not gone paperless in their daily operations. This involves huge stacks of forms for benefit claims, leave applications and other miscellaneous items that require a huge effort in tracking and organisation, let alone the time taken to process it.
Paperwork that requires inter-departmental approval would see one sheet of paper travel across building floors just to get necessary signatures. Bear in mind that HR departments in huge companies handle hundreds, if not thousands of paperwork every single day. These traditional processes are not only tedious but non-productive as well. Not to mention, some companies hire data-entry clerks just to key in information from paper documents into excel sheets.
On a global scale, New Jersey (USA) based Archive Systems conducted a survey in 2015 and presented the results during the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual conference that there was still 23% of HR departments that haven’t gone paperless. The remaining HR professionals either claimed that they have either half paper and half digital, mostly digital or fully digital.
No doubt, having e-paper or e-applications will further boost efficiency, save time and pave the way towards a greener future.
2. Employee self-service app
Everything is made easy with mobile apps these days. The use of smart applications has not only simplified HR processes for employees but changes how employees interact with the organisation as well. Mobile apps help employees obtain information at their fingertips without going to HR for transactional information. This is “Employee Self-Service” at it’s best.
Deloitte had trialled a system that tracks the time consultants spent with their clients, billable hours and compares them to their colleague. With the data, the system provides smart suggestions for improving ineffective working styles. Another application analyses the user’s voice and detects distress so that the employee is able to take action to improve his or her own wellbeing.
3. Automation in motion
Automation eliminates hours of manual work. Typically tedious tasks such as processing hundreds of medical claims can be automated. An HR solution provider – HealthMetrics has developed a platform which connects corporates to healthcare providers, enabling cashless treatments for employees, digital MCs and consolidated billing via the platform. Due to its innovative approach which solves an existing problem, corporates are quick to adopt its solution. Besides this, manual work is prone to human error.
Check out this feature from The Star on “Automating Employee Medical Benefits”The Star Newspaper
4. Recruiting through social media
Recruitment has transformed with the emergence of social media. LinkedIn, for example, transformed the way people exhibit their profile & recruiters to understand one’s background better. Not only that, in more social platforms such as Facebook, it helps you to evaluate one’s personality.
Talentnow mentioned that 80% of employers said social recruiting helped them find passive candidates while 70% recruiters said they had successfully hired with social media. The report also states that 89% of the companies are planning to recruit candidates through social media, indicating that the trend is will continue to grow.
5. VR for training
Learning is always better through practical, real-life experiences or via practice. With the emergence of virtual reality (VR), companies can simulate real-life examples during training.
For example, Walmart utilises VR technology to prepare employees in dealing with Black Friday sale frenzies. Simulations using past experiences and data will showcase how a crowd reacts to products on sale, gauging customer traffic in the store as well as how to respond to confrontations and crowd management.
With this, new employees get first-hand accounts of what it is like dealing with the real-life scenarios, before going out in the field.
6. Gamification at work
Application of game dynamics in typically non-game contexts will help companies develop better employee engagement. For example, companies can reward employees when they achieve their KPIs, recognise their efforts when it comes to dealing with sticky situations, or even just by being a great coworker!
Companies can also implement real-time leaderboards to create friendly competition between coworkers. This encourages employees to interact with each other and boost their performance. For example, broadcasting television network Astro rewards employees when they take less sick leaves with points that can be used for buying gadgets or travel expenses.
7. People Analytics
It is essential that the company’s understanding of the employees matches the actual scenario. Often time, companies tend to make assumptions or rely on industry benchmarks, but is it accurate? Besides that, with millennials joining the workforce, companies will need to adapt to the changing demographics.
How do you track employees’ behaviour, which is seemingly qualitative than quantitative? Let’s take HealthMetrics, an employee medical benefits management platform, as an example:
HealthMetrics provides real-time data analytics of employees’ health seeking & automatically reports pertinent information such as the most common treatments sought.
Let’s say a manufacturing company that has a lot of medical claims involving respiratory issues may indicate that the employees may be exposed to air bourne particles.
Therefore, companies can craft simple & specific wellness program such as providing adequate face masks to reduce the occurrence of such medical conditions.
Another example can be taken from Deloitte, where the company tracks travel data, billing hours and other performances metrics to help employees improve their energy level, wellness and their performance at work. It enables instant feedback to employees to improve on areas that need attention.
8. Borderless training
Conducting training for new recruits located in different countries all over the world can be a real nightmare. A cloud-based training system can solve that problem, where the only requirement is having an internet connection. Gone are the days where employees must be physically present to participate in training. Text, video & audio materials can be made available with a click of a button. Coupled with VR technology, employees can even go on practical training that can be done and repeated at any time.
9. Digital platforms
What do companies such as Uber, Airbnb & Amazon have in common? They are digital platforms that connect two or more groups of people that either seek or offer a product/service. This creates a more distributed approach where people now get access to a multitude of options with just a click.
In the HR context, companies try to emulate the platform approach by appointing panel clinics so that employees can seek treatment at healthcare providers that are approved by the company. The issues that arise from this is that HRs will then need to manage the administration & relationship with these panel clinics, including the billing management. Typically the number of panel clinics can be become limited due to the difficulty in managing multiple providers.
See how HealthMetrics platform connects corporates & employees to healthcare providers, where information is synced on both sides in real-time and manual processes are automated.
10. Digital culture
Lastly, the use of digital platforms in different HR processes has bred a new set of culture that is more relevant to the growing millennial populations. With baby boomers and Gen X going into retirement, company staffs will mostly consist of millennial.
A survey showed that in 2016, a total of 75.4 million millennial were recorded in the workforce, surpassing 74.9 million baby boomers (aged 51 – 69) in the United States. This group of young and passionate adults grew up with technology and understand how to use technology to their benefit. Besides that, this type of digital culture appeals to them which inherently ties in with all the other 9 digitalisation practices discussed earlier.
Get started today
The adaptation of digital solutions into HR has transformed HR processes into more automated & insightful. It’s a misconception that digitalisation is challenging to adopt, but these 10 practices can be a low barrier of entry for your organisation. There are plenty of HR vendors that offer these solutions that you can easily get on board & leverage on their recommended best practices. So, wait no more and get started today!