As the digital age advances, new operational options are emerging for designing, coordinating, and managing people, as well as examining existing work processes. Therefore, when we talk about digital transformation, we generally focus on investments in technology, talent in its willingness to change and changing production, commercial or service processes.
On this occasion, I believe it is relevant to address the issues that we must consider in the digital strategies that are going to be undertaken. Today it is important to place the company itself as a digital organization among the priorities.
They demonstrate a strong ability to use tools and data to dynamically implement and reconfigure human Resources and capital at the same speed as technology and market conditions advance.
However, the heart of the matter is not only in the change of practices, but, above all, in a mentality change. As Human Resources, we must keep this in mind. At the heart of the transition from industrial organization to digital organization, we find that attitudes, beliefs, and values around digital tools, information, organization, management, workers, and work itself can act in favor of or against
The digital organization often considers not only its employees but also its partners, customers and contingent workers as its “work force”, as they all contribute –or not– to the achievement of business objectives. In the digital organization, it is particularly important to maintain a positive and proactive attitude towards digital possibilities. That is, that people are willing to explore the digital solutions in the first instance, by looking for opportunities to use technology to advantage and systematically approaching the data.
In my experience, the assimilation of the digital issue goes beyond having resources or not. It has to do with openness to change and learning, coupled with comfort in the face of ambiguity: current demands. It is not a question of age, preparation or ability, but of willingness and adaptability to change with agility.
In Human Resources, the digital organization refers to process optimization leveraging social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies to achieve results in an efficient, effective and connected way. But the mere application of new technologies is not what makes human talent digital. Culture, talent, structure, and processes must be in perfect sync to balance productivity and innovation.
In its transition to digitalization, Human Resources must keep in mind efficiency, effectiveness, data and the experience itself:
- The efficiency has to do with the investment and construction of technological platforms that efficiently manage talent management processes, while the effectiveness focuses on using technology to improve practices in people, performance management, communication, and work.
- The internal and external data combined and analyzed to create business-relevant insights. This is an area to which I suggest paying special attention: in Human Resources we have data that, when properly interpreted, allows us to make the best decisions in a timely manner; people analytics and analytics for people.
- Finally, for experience we mean leveraging social media and technology to create interpersonal wisdom and generate a greater sense of belonging.
In many ways, building a digital organization is like embarking on an expedition across challenging terrain, but it’s also exhilarating. Therefore, the way of thinking and acting should not be written in stone.”
Rather, each organization will make its own discoveries and its solution could be completely different from its peers. Furthermore, these changes will most likely take place quickly and will gradually pose demands that will bring us closer to conquering the essential digital skills.
Steps to strengthen a digital organization
For all of the above to happen, those of us who manage talent must accompany the leaders and have our sights set on aligning with the company’s objectives, strategy, processes and culture. The tuning it has to do with the managerial part of the digital organization and with a digital strategy and corresponding processes.
The strategy as such it means, in a nutshell, knowing the way to go. That is, planning in a way that describes and shows the big picture, and then translating it into common language to make sure people fully understand what they need to do and why their contribution is important.
Regarding the processes, it is about ensuring that the organization performs digitally in an optimal way. It is not about digitizing for digitizing’s sake, but about doing it in the best possible way. The question of the identity and the culture It is essential, because you cannot have a digital organization if people do not have a digital mentality and if they do not reconcile it with the values that prevail in the company’s culture.
The foregoing makes it necessary to consider many questions. Regarding the strategy, for example:
- How will digital generate value for the organization?
- What role does the organization want to play in the digital space?
- Operationally, how will you plan, operate, monitor and track digital value?
- In terms of innovation, what capabilities are required to innovate in favor of the strategic objectives of the digital operating model under construction?
The speed with which the digitalization of organizations is developing is having a profound effect on the functions of Human Resources.
Competencies are transferable: internal and global movements are more common and attractive to both employers and employees. So now the interest has shifted to focus on the emerging nature of the organization and the increasingly digital employees. This means that professionals in this field must be up to date with regard to digital megatrends, the repercussions of having hyperconnected employees, the new generation of digitally empowered employees, to mention just a few topics.
Digitization also makes Human Resources become more preventive, to value even more its role in building the digital identity of the organization and to carefully plan the future capabilities of a workforce in the digital economy, a topic that we will address at another time considering its growing presence. This means, in other words, that you fully embrace what has been announced for a long time: employees must be seen as your first customer.
In the digital journey that, yes or yes, our organizations will have to undertake sooner or later, Human Resources professionals have a key role in offering the comprehensive talent development in basic technical aspects and digital skills, as well as in promoting transformative mindsets and behaviors that contribute to development.
From amedirh We are willing to accompany these efforts to pave the way for transformation, strengthen people’s commitment and communicate clearly with stakeholders. stakeholders internal and external regarding how to design and achieve the digital organization.
*The author is General Director of the Mexican Association of Human Resources Management (@Amedirh)