In the year 2016, when smartphones and wearables are such an innate part of daily life, it may be trite to say that technology is changing the way we work, relate and communicate. Trite or not, it doesn’t change the fact that new innovations are constantly pressing companies to update the methods used for managing their employees.
Talent issues are far and away the most important challenge a business can face, and that’s why the new digital workplace is so revolutionary. Technology’s evolution forces companies to completely rethink their human resources programs. It calls for a jump from an outdated 20th century HR model to one of the 21st century in which digitization forms a foundation for organizational effectiveness.
A transformation like this one allows HR departments to become more focused on employees. Hiring decisions, onboarding and retention efforts are made more intuitive, the decision-making process simplified and streamlined by a system in which every aspect of a company’s workforce is integrated.
According to Anthill Magazine, a digital HR system treats employees as though they were customers while offering a near-identical user experience to everyone involved. In short, it is an employee engagement tool providing user equality and around-the-clock access. The magazine cited a recent survey noting that a digital workforce can generate up to 64 percent higher employee engagement than a non-digitized one. Does any more convincing need to be done? Numbers like this should be enough to sway any lingering doubt.
Still, if more is necessary, the advantages offered by a switch to digital are worth a closer look.
Advantages of a digital workplace
Employers and employees literate in the language of digital systems enable a cultural shift in the workplace, Anthill reported. With millennials – and, in the next few years, Generation Z – playing a bigger and bigger role in the workforce, many businesses talk about transforming their company culture without any real idea of how to do it. Digital offers a solution.
Younger professionals are comfortable with working and socializing in a virtual space. Businesses that don’t let them work in that space at the office are failing to keep up with the moment. It’s only through digital HR systems that companies can remain competitive in the modern day workplace. Employers need to give their workers the tools they’re most familiar with. Doing so isn’t some kind of surrender to the pressures of a new generation – it’s just a smart business practice, one that delivers a distinct value proposition in the hunt for top-tier talent.
Heads of HR departments who look at digital with suspicion shouldn’t disregard the fact that an integrated communications platform gives HR a bigger part to play in business strategy. If they are to have a role in important decision-making discussions and in the future of their company, it’s going to be through proving the worth and productivity of their digital systems.
Tools of digital HR
There has been a significant shift away from the traditional software of HR departments in recent years. Now cloud-based storage and video hosted by enterprise content delivery networks like Kontiki have begun to dominate HR systems and will only continue to do so over the next few years as workplace communication grows more mobile.
Performance and talent management, employee engagement, onboarding and learning – they all get easier with digital systems. Video in particular is key to all this. Not video in the YouTube sense of the word (a mistake too many employers make when writing off digital), but video as a means for delivering on the promise of clear, concise and effective communication every business must make.
There’s no one set way of employing video. Forbes described how one company utilizing digital employee communication solutions had found great success with their hors d’oeuvre- sized one-minute animated videos, used to inform employees about new benefits and wellness programs. These videos had gone viral within the company, quickly becoming the most popular means for communication.
Another retailer told the magazine that their video learning platform, which encouraged content sharing between employees, led to seven times as much activity as their old legacy network in just six months time. Near-instantaneous results like these are impossible to ignore for any company looking to update their workforce to the modern age.