Building a Digital HR Strategy in Today’s Work Environment Requires Agility and Humanity

Building a Digital HR Strategy in Today’s Work Environment Requires Agility and Humanity featured image

Will the way that we work ever be the same after the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic? Not likely, and that means companies need to adapt and create a digital HR strategy. Digital requires technology, but that technology won’t work if it is deployed without the people who use it in mind.  

“Basically, work has changed forever,” said Jason Averbrook, global HR thought leader and author, in a recent webcast hosted by Rizing. “If we haven’t bought into that yet, we need to.” 

Of course, where people work has changed. Many more people are working from home, and while some are going back to offices, companies will utilize remote work more often from now on. That’s not all that has changed, according to Averbrook. 

People have changed as well; they are looking at a different level of humanity tied to their jobs. What matters to them and why they do their work has changed. In turn, businesses themselves have changed.  

The Importance of Agility

This year has highlighted the need for agility in business and HR. If your company stuck with an outdated strategy, perhaps the same one came in with at the beginning of 2020, it would be in trouble right now. That means companies have to possess the agility to change strategies. 

When it comes to building the technology platforms necessary to cope with new work realities, Averbrook stressed it should be workers that are at the center of that digital strategy.  

The workforce will drive our success,” said Averbrook. 

Communication has been an important piece of digital HR strategy for 2020. Communication is not about connecting people, but building connections with people, explained Averbook. Is that possible in a strictly digital environment? He pointed to his teenage children as an example that is, in fact, possible. 

“Teenagers build connections with people all the time without seeing them,” said Averbook. 

To create a connection, he added, communication needs to be real-time and relevant. From the employee end, tools like Qualtrics provide the opportunity to get instant feedback from employees on their work life.  

Learn More: Free COVID-19 SAP SuccessFactors Configuration to Help You Track Employee Data

Building a Digital HR Strategy the Right Way

We often talk about our technology journeys in terms of implementations. In Averbrook’s view, implementations are merely ensuring the technology works. What we really should be doing are deployments, those involve enacting a strategy that consists of the worker. 

To deploy, rather than implement, Averbrook offered up three things that a digital strategy needs to address before actually installing the technology.  

  1. Mindset and Vision—Does your organization have a clear vision and an established mindset? Do you have clear measures for success?
  2. People –Also know as the audience. Here were personas of the people that work at your organization. Not just their job descriptions, but what they do every day and what they need to succeed. 
  3. Journeys—HR might boil things down to processes, but those processes should consider the employee’s journey through a company from application to retire.  

Addressing those three things will put an organization in a better place to deploy, rather than implement, a technology.   

For much more on adapting to our current state of work, and creating positive experiences through HR, check out the full webcast on building a digital HR strategy from Jason Averbrook and Rizing.