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5 Factors That Are Necessary for a Successful HR Digital Transformation

by Arthur Zuckerman

As digital transformation spending rises, it is obvious that more and more companies see the value of integrating digital technologies and solutions into their business. Digitally transforming can speed up processes, reduce workload, improve efficiency, cut costs, and do so much more.

While all aspects of a business can become more digital through the adoption of new and exciting solutions, HR is one area that is ripe for innovation and transformation.

There are various pieces of HR software that can help, and the existence of automation is helping many HR tasks get done quicker and easier. Unfortunately, not all digital transformations (HR or otherwise) are successful, and some end up failing miserably.

Companies need to be aware of what goes into a solid digital transformation, and what they can do to have the best chance of success. Without any further ado, this guide is going to take a closer look at five important factors that are necessary if you want to have a successful HR digital transformation.

A Consistent and Thoughtful Vision

First and foremost, in order to have a successful HR digital transformation you need a vision. You need to be aware of what you hope to accomplish by digitally transforming, and why that matters to your employees, stakeholders, and customers. Lay out a vision or plan clearly, and break it into sections to ensure it is easy to understand and share with others.

If you don’t assess your needs, you may not be sure how to progress and what the best way to transform will be. Your vision should be consistent throughout your businesses, and different individuals and teams should be consulted.

Think about the processes you want to change, how they can be improved, and the sorts of tools or technology you will need to use. Also, any goals you create should be SMART. This means that they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. It can take time to develop your vision or goals, but can help you along your journey and ensure you know what you are actually trying to accomplish by going through a digital transformation.

The Right Tools

Of course, digitally transforming relies on using different tools and technology. This could be communication tools, project management tools, or even Function-as-a-Service cloud computing. But with there being thousands of different tools out there that do different things, you need to be able to focus on the right tools that can help your particular business with its digital transformation-related goals.

In order to find the right tools, you need to know your needs and the things you want to accomplish. For example, if your goal from digitally transforming is to save time and reduce HR workload to free up their days, you could consider using an automation tool that can automate mundane tasks like filing, sending emails, or entering data.

There are a ton of different tools out there, and many of them won’t apply to your goals and thus aren’t worth spending money on. Once you have your ultimate goals for your digital transformation, research the different tools that can help.

Consider trying a few of them if they have a free trial, but if not, make sure to do your homework and check out reviews from other businesses to get a sense of which tools you should try.

Getting the People on Board

Another very important part of any successful transformation within an organization is getting people to buy in. If your team doesn’t support the change or isn’t ready or prepared for it, it is likely to fail.

A digital transformation can be a huge change and lead to several people having their job duties or roles get flipped on their heads. If you spring this on people or don’t allow any room for input or communication, it isn’t likely to be received very well.

You want to let your team know about the change well in advance, be transparent with the details, and make sure you are open to feedback or thoughts. The more honest you are about everything, the easier it will be to gather support.

A good way to ensure that everyone is ready and willing to go along with your digital transformation is to highlight the direct benefits it will provide them.

For example, you could share that using collaboration software will make it much quicker and easier for team members to stay in touch and work on projects together. You could also highlight how much new technology will reduce workload and simplify tasks. Overall, there are several different ways to show or explain the benefits of the transformation to your team. You want to make sure you not only focus on the personal benefits for the team, but also the ways the business will benefit from the change.

Some people might be apprehensive to start, but after highlighting the benefits and working with them to address questions or concerns, many people will be willing to support the transformation.

A Realistic Timeline

Next, you also need to have a realistic timeline in place if you want to succeed. Using your vision as a guide, come up with a timeline of how long it will take you to digitally transform. The exact amount completely depends on how willing your team is to change, how many processes you need to change, and the types of technology you are using. 

It can also be a good idea to create or use a digital transformation checklist. This can ensure you are able to complete everything and not miss anything that could end up being crucial to your success. Also, it can be a good idea to stagger your implementation. If you try to transform every single process at once, the stress is likely to be overwhelming and this could create issues.

Some digital transformations may only take a few months, but other ones (especially those within large organizations) can take years. Only your business will know how long a transformation will take based on what needs to be done and converted.

Make sure to also include things like testing in your timeline, and work in a bit of flexibility in case things don’t go exactly to plan. Delays and other issues can always occur, so make sure to account for them, or you risk your entire timeline being thrown out the window due to a single small issue.

Monitoring Progress

Once everything is put into motion and you are beginning the HR transformation, another crucial factor in your success will be monitoring the progress.

Always keep an eye on the results of your implementation, and ask employees how they are handling the changes. You need to know what parts of the transformation are working flawlessly, and which are causing some problems so that they can be adjusted quickly and effectively.

Also, keep tabs on the impact that your transformation is having. Are the new processes leading to more efficiency and lower costs? These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself to make sure that your transformation is going according to plan.

In conclusion, these are five of the most important factors to think about and keep in mind when trying to implement a successful HR digital transformation. They don’t guarantee your success, but can certainly help you have a better chance of digitally transforming without experiencing issues.

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