Blog Post

Why Transforming Human Resources into a Digital Powerhouse Is a Smart Strategy for Your Entire Organization

July 29, 2020

Plus Practical Examples of Government and Business Getting Digital Right

At the core of every organization is its people. That’s why, according to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report, as public agencies and private businesses move toward complete digital transformation, human resources (HR) teams are taking on a larworger role in helping organizations be digital, not just do digital.

Deloitte puts it this way: “It’s about HR teams taking up the dual challenge of transforming HR operations on the one hand, and transforming the workforce and the way work is done on the other.”

Successful HR leaders focus on building organizations of the future. As employees become increasingly technically savvy, they expect integrated, digital experiences at work. That makes the HR department an obvious and effective place to set the pace and tone for overall digital transformation.

The Benefits: Why Being Digital Powers HR and Entire Organizations

Transforming Human Resources into a Digital Powerhouse

The digitized HR function of the future will create better employee experiences by helping whole organizations transform and individual employees adapt to the digital way of thinking. Deloitte contends that HR teams—in both the public and private sectors—that embrace digital-first technologies, platforms, and ways of working will help lead overall successful digital transformations, delivering significantly positive, organization-wide results.

The first step for HR departments is to digitize their content and processes. Digitizing documents can dramatically improve operational efficiency, not only for record-keeping, but also for processing information in a way that leads to better decisions about hiring, retention, promotion, performance, and, when necessary, litigation.

Once digitized, sorting, finding, and processing HR documents can take minutes, instead of sometimes days. The improved functionality inherent with cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) document management and digitized HR documents and processes trickles down throughout organizations. It also sets the standard of a general culture that is digital-first and ready to embrace necessary change.

Digitization enhances the speed, accuracy and overall experience of employees as they work. This can lead to major gains in employee happiness and satisfaction, and corresponding improvements in the work they do. Utilizing technology and implementing a global set of processes to govern and empower its use helps organizations improve from top to bottom.

And it can all start by digitizing HR.

Begin with These Documents

Digitizing the components of employee files is a smart place to start digitizing HR. Operational inefficiencies, compliance concerns, audit readiness issues, and ill-defined retention policies result from decentralized, paper-based employee files. Storing employee documents on paper increases risk of information security breaches and slows efficiency. It’s also costly.

You can realize the benefits of digitization by scanning documents such as:

  • Employment agreements
  • Tax documents
  • Termination notices
  • Severance packages
  • Benefit information, and
  • Paystubs

The next step is to move beyond content to transform paper-based HR workflows and processes. While digitizing your paper content is obvious—and necessary—gaining the full value of a digital transformation requires more than turning paper records into digital ones and calling it done.

When you identify where paper content is driving inefficient manual processes, digital content opens the door to significant workflow automation benefits. Workflow automation is the engine that fuels fully successful digital transformation.

Processes to digitally optimize include:

  • Compliance
  • Training
  • Onboarding
  • Payroll
  • PTO requests
  • Support
  • Employee feedback
Transforming Human Resources into a Digital Powerhouse

Public and Private Organizations Getting Digital Right

Across industries, in both the government and private sectors, HR is slowly transforming—and taking the entire organization with it. Here are examples of how some are getting digital right already.

Lightning-fast Service Improvements Producing Big Benefits

The Florida Department of Health improved processing times from weeks to hours in its HR department by transforming paper-based files and workflows to digital files and automation. Prior to digitization, for example, a request for a copy of a performance evaluation for one of its 18,000 employees was painfully slow because its manual process was prone to loss and misfiling. Now digitized, DOH staff can search employee records by keywords, redact as necessary, and email files with a few clicks. Appointments are no longer necessary to fulfill records requests. Digital transformation has vastly improved efficiency and customer service. It has eliminated the file room to restore office space and freed up resources, resulting in reassignment of three full-time employees.  

An Elevated Approach to Hire Better

Consumer goods giant Unilever has moved from paper-driven resumes and campus recruiting to largely digital recruitment tools. The company now uses online assessment games, video interviews, and artificial intelligence to filter candidates. It says as a result of its digital-first recruitment program, hiring is faster and more accurate, with 80 percent of applicants who make it to the final round getting job offers.

App-y Employees

Leading HR groups are rethinking their solutions in the context of workflow-embedded apps. Automaker Ford and others now have digital design teams within the HR department. This means using the cloud as a platform and building on it for company-specific needs. A Cisco hackathon, for example, resulted in an HR app to help new hires and their managers during the onboarding period and another that uses a voice command app to give quick answers to HR questions on topics such as holiday policies and expense report procedures.

Digital-first (and Next)

Royal Bank of Canada is reinventing its employee experience through a complete digital focus. The company set up a digital HR development team, partnering with IT for infrastructure and security, to deploy a new pre-boarding application. A digital HR tool now helps employees learn about their new jobs, embrace the company culture, and meet their teams online. To build on the success, RBC plans to develop an end-to-end set of apps and tools that forms a digital solution for career development, job transition, and continuous learning.

Experience Matters in Successful Digital Transformation

Digital transformation means working faster, more efficiently and with better results—internally and in service delivery to clients, customers and constituents. HR departments can pioneer digital change for public and private organizations with lasting and far-reaching results.

With cloud expertise and 25 years of experience, Image API’s intelligent content management technology and business services help organizations reduce the burden of paper to automate workflows and enable digital transformation. No matter where you are on your digital journey, we’re ready to help move your paper and processes to digital, fundamentally changing the way you work—for the better.  

We’d love to talk about how we can apply our experience to your digital transformation. Also, download our Guide to Going Digital for insights on planning, prioritizing, and choosing a partner to get started. It includes a practical checklist and actionable steps to a successful digital transformation.

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