Workplace digitisation – HR needs to embrace it now


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written on October 11, 2017

Here is why HR professionals need to digitise the workplace, and develop a governance model that supports connectivity and collaboration.

By 2025, the ‘digital native’ generation will form 75% of the workforce. Moulded by the Internet, this always-connected cohort is characterised by their digital qualifications, affinity for networking, multitasking capabilities, learning by doing, and preference for frequent feedback and reward.

Organisations will have to respond by aligning HR strategies and activities to attract, recruit, develop and compensate this new breed of workers.

That is years away right? Well look around your organisation and you might find that the digital future is already here. At the very least we need to accept that the work culture of today is very different than it was just a decade ago.

Employees today expect flexibility in every facet of the work environment including how they engage. In the age of digitisation, everyone and everything is connected and employees expect to use technology in their professional lives as they do at home.

By integrating the technologies that employees use, you can transform the employee experience by fostering efficiency, innovation and growth. The key to success, however, lies in the effective implementation of a digital workplace strategy capable of driving true cultural change.

In response, HR’s focus must shift to continuous learning to enable a behavioural change rather than just awareness.

Digitisation has opened up a world of new techniques and opportunities to do this. While many HR professionals are looking to make the most of these opportunities, they often struggle with where to start. But it’s quite simple, you start by ask yourself what it is that you want to achieve.

Also, beyond setting a strategy and building your digital workplace, you need to resolve any challenges your organisation may face in the areas of governance, risk and compliance. When creating a digital workplace, organisations must also develop a governance model that supports connectivity and collaboration while mitigating risks and enabling compliance.

  • Guiding principles: identify the business goals you are trying to achieve with the digital workplace and translate them into guiding principles to drive ongoing development.
  • Information governance strategy: determine the focus of your digital workplace strategy and align it with your organisation’s existing information management or information governance strategy.
  • Roles and responsibilities: identify your key stakeholders and create a suitable and sustainable interaction model. Define governance processes, metrics and oversight processes.
  • Training and certification: ensure your employees have access to training that allows them to harness the digital workplace to their advantage.
  • Policy training: in addition to technical training, employees need policy training on the type of information they should or should not share in the digital workplace. You must also communicate policies on how to properly handle personal data and how to avoid damaging your organisation’s brand.

There are usually three main challenges that you face developing such a model:

  • Too much effort: it’s true that it’s no easy feat to make the initial decision based on the needs of your company, develop a plan, then follow it through and implement. Then of course, you’ll have to keep in mind how you’ll maintain it, while keeping employees and partners engaged in using and benefiting from it in their course of work.
  • Too much time: yes, implementing these things in your organisation means that you’ll have to be committed to investing a good amount of your time into getting it right. However, with careful step-by-step planning, your time will not be wasted. The implementation effort will be a worthy investment that will pay down the road.
  • Too much money: even though the initial investment of such models might seem prohibitive to many organisations, it is important to look at the money spent as a long-term investment.

Some out-of-the-box thinking might be needed to get around those challenges but there is a whole range of tools out there to help. Digital platforms are continuously being developed to assist HR managers in communicating, training and retaining talent, saving time and increasing productivity and ability to make decisions.

These challenges are why e3Learning has partnered with AHRI, LinkedIn, the Australian Institute of Training and Development, the National Safety Council of Australia, and Kineo to offer a first-of-its-kind opportunity. A competition where entrants get the chance to directly build a digital training course for their company from the ground up – from the idea to implementation.

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