Is HR Ready for the Digital Age?
HR has demonstrated its ability to quickly and effectively adapt in the face of rapid disruption. During the Covid-19 pandemic, as the need for remote working and digital infrastructure accelerated, HR’s response to the pandemic exceeded business expectations.
As the technologies and workforce dynamics that define digital HR continue to evolve, structured methods for managing change are critical. Efforts to learn from past and future disruptions and develop a new approach, which includes innovative research activities, have shaped the 2017 State of HR’s Future: Digital 2018 report.
The report has been an opportunity to understand the current state of HR – from recruitment, organization structure and incentives. It has also provided insight into how HR will need to develop in order to keep pace with an increasingly complex organizational landscape.
There are no silver bullets in the digital age. There will be no shortcut that will allow HR to immediately become a digital leader. But by developing a structured approach, incorporating future-proofing, and expanding its understanding of how people will work, HR can ensure its employees have access to the tools and support they need to succeed in this rapidly evolving business landscape.
Building on the 2017 State of HR’s Future report, there are three core themes that have emerged as key indicators for having an effective digital strategy: forecasting future changes, planning for change, and understanding how technology impacts the future workplace.
Perhaps unexpectedly, forecasting future changes is proving to be one of the most important aspects of building an effective digital strategy for HR.
First, HR must be prepared to forecast how advancements in technology will impact the future workforce. This is no longer a question of “if” but “when” – and understanding the speed at which change occurs is integral to planning an effective digital strategy.
Second, HR must allow itself to be flexible in order to engage in work that is changing rapidly. The digital workplace presents new challenges and opportunities; therefore, tailoring HR strategies and structures to meet the needs of the future workforce is critical. Lastly, HR must leverage its employees’ skills as they dedicate more time to their personal lives via remote working or part-time work arrangements.
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