Digital transformation : HR strikes back

HR strikes backAlmost at the beginning of each year for the past 4-5 years, I’ve published a post about the role of HR in digital. Their importance, their absence, a kind of Groundhog Day

Nothing new under the sun ?

Last week, during a breakfast about digital transformation with Abilways  that I hosted, TNS Sofres presented an overview of the digital transformation through a panel of 273 employees of large companies in France. The pressure on HR will be increasingly strong this year, since 7 out of 10 employees think that this digital transformation is already underway as they didn’t consider it as core before. In addition, virtually all employees surveyed (9 of 10) perceive the digital transformation as an opportunity, so they will take it, contrary to what they were doing before. They also clearly aware of the changes in current and future, and fully understand the enormous impact from the digital customer. But beyond that, they are 56% of employees to feel that HR not really support the employees in their company. So far, nothing new under the sun ? But for once this vision is shared by 52% of HR themselves. And above all, they are aware that they have a role to play and that they must invest to become a player in this transformation. HR therefore moving in the right direction. Until now the majority of them were quite indifferent, considering these digital projects as outside of their priority list.

A first awareness on the HR side ?

The first reaction of HR relates to the need for training and they are 89% to think that it first goes through a change in their training plan (in this they are in tune with employees). Information on these changes need to be make (as we have seen before it’s not the best companies practice), as 61% of employees don’t know if their company offers training in connection with this transformation. Let’s specify, after discussion with HR, behind the word training is hidding very different practices: coaching, MOOC, reverse mentoring, learning expedition, community of practice… and they are also aware that they  have to make progress too on these issues related to digital transformation.

Likewise, still in the context of these discussions, more and more HR are really aware that this is beyond the traditional company policies with an evolution of the personal practices related to digital and thus working modes (remote work, BYOD…) and that most of the time the current legislation doesn’t answer to these new challenges and this will drive to an important job with the workers councils. Of course, there are many other  HR and management process to review : the role of managers and management blueprint, annual assessment, job descriptions and new functions/job position in the company, mobility … But it must be start somewhere.

Perhaps I am optimistic about what is happening, but I really feel that things are moving, and once again, I do not believe that a true global digital transformation is possible without a strong involvement of HR.