How can HR leaders optimise digital environments to best engage employees?

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Written by Nick White on 25 August 2021 in Opinion
Opinion

Nick White looks at the impact HR can make in our new hybrid environment.

As we emerge from the global pandemic, everything from office space to corporate digital infrastructure are being reimagined. While C-suite leaders, facilities and IT departments are pivoting quickly to accommodate huge changes in operations, it’s HR leaders who are on the front line in terms of talent and implementation when it comes to the success of these new systems.

One clear trend to emerge is the greater expectation from both existing employees and prospects when it comes to hybrid working, with prospective employees citing an organisation’s approach to hybrid working – and the tech it uses to enable this – as a primary criteria when looking for a new role, or deciding whether to stay.

HR leaders should see the digital transformation process in terms of the journey just as much as the destination, with a continuous evolution of both mindset and culture required to stay ahead of the ever-changing technology trends and implementation.

I believe remote participants should have as equal a spot in the room as the physical participants. Though they are only there virtually, they should feel as physically and audibly present. Only by embracing the technologies that allow this, can organisations adapt to our new and evolving ways or working, helping to bridge the gaps on this journey.

An HR digital revolution

With both the unique contemporary challenges of a post-pandemic workplace, and the effect this has on accelerating the conversation around the future of the workplace, we stand at the precipice of an HR digital revolution.

HR leaders should embrace these technological changes to create a more positive experience for employees

With digital tools creating more effective and productive ways of working this is set to change not only HR job functions but also the way we think and interact. More than ever, HR departments will be required to take the lead in driving many of the digital transformations that need to be embraced to stay ahead in the current business climate.

This digital transformation can seem daunting from a human perspective as, especially when it comes to business, technology will always be ahead of the curve, with organisations continually having to play catch-up.

Subsequently, HR teams need to ensure clear strategic objectives are set and aligned with the whole organisation to correctly identify the digital transformation and changes that need to be made from a human perspective with the use of statistics and data integral to this.

HR leaders should embrace these technological changes to create a more positive experience for employees, already used to navigating the digital world of smartphones, by using data to improve hiring performance management, recognition but most of all learning and development of employees.

Training and retaining talent in a digital world

Just as employees are navigating their new preferred schedules, so are CHROs and CLOs in a world where not all hybrid educational experiences are created equal. With the struggle to retain talent more present than ever, gaps in training, reskilling and engagement can be filled by embracing new technologies to improve the employee experience.

Benefits of digital training within organisations are extensive, but some of the more prominent benefits include allowing HR teams to track and log bespoke learning, flexibility of access and the opportunity to embrace digital developments and capitalise on use of digital social channels for peer-to-peer learning.

By utilising new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, along with developments in AR and VR as ways of learning, HR teams are uniquely placed to define the learning and development opportunities that can drive future business growth.

By embracing digital transformation of these processes and increasing personalisation and engagement of employee development, HR teams can help create an innovative and efficient digital workplace that not only provides opportunities for personal development but also allows employees to be more productive and motivate them.

This innovative environment can help both retain and attract the best talent.

Challenges to digital learning

Despite the opportunities presented by the digital world, there remain some obstacles and challenges and barriers to overcome for HR teams when it comes to learning and development.

Significant among these are potential issues with ‘click to the end’ learning modules, not syncronising modules and topics to different ways of learning or even organisations not appreciating individuals who are less familiar with digital toolsets.

Ultimately learning is most efficient when it is made as convenient as possible, while also making individuals feel motivated and energised, not only by the subject or topic being learned, but by making learning convenient while sufficiently engaging them to the point they are more likely to retain information.

 

About the author

Nick White is Business Development Manager at Barco Learning Experience

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