10 tips on how HR can impact business

October 2, 2017 Geoffroy De Lestrange

We are in a time where digital transformation is affecting all parts of businesses, and the HR department in particular needs to adapt to these constant changes and new practices, whilst also continuing to support the company. A recent study by IDC and sponsored by Cornerstone, found that 80% of European operational managers think HR plays an important role within the digital transformation process. However, in order to achieve a successful process, HR departments must balance running day-to-day business smoothly and also participating in the development of the company’s digital strategy. 

Simpler, faster, smarter and more efficient. By following these four principles, you can succeed in transforming your HR function to better meet the expectations of your people. Here are ten tips to transform your business processes and create value throughout your business.

  1. Streamline your organisation

Break the silo mentality and encourage networking between departments that work together at the same time. Use tools that facilitate collaboration and communication no matter where your employees are located. Whilst start-ups are masters in the art of flat structures and flexible working (virtual meeting rooms, sprint modes, digital workplaces, and so on), they also realise that all the energy of the company needs to be directed towards a single goal: to create value for the customer.

  1. Change the way you work

Implementing change is not easy. To inspire the company and encourage new changes, discuss it with the key players in your organisation and try adopting a ""test and learn"" mode to push new work patterns that meet the expectations of your workforce. To do this, companies must endorse a real cultural change and not have a fear of failing. Instead, failure should be considered a source of progression. Take inspiration from the famous quote: “Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.”

  1. Optimise HR processes

If you are committed to transforming your business, you will need to revisit your own HR processes. According to the IDC research, 87% of UK organisations recognise digital transformation as a business priority, including the digitisation of HR processes.  These processes include areas such as talent and skills management, training and development, succession planning and adopting a lean management approach to HR. Focus on the highest value task at hand – but don’t hesitate to experiment.

  1. Be involved in strategy

Many HR processes can either jeopardise or positively impact the business. Know how to build a clear and effective global strategy plan for career development, employee expectations and technologies. This is the added value that HR departments can bring to companies today. If the company's performance is intimately linked to its ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment – such as the digital age – then HR must anticipate the effects of these transformations on the organisation in order to propose proactive means to take advantage of them.

  1. Get closer to management

Only four meetings per year occur between HR departments and managers. It is important to develop a relationship with management, to discuss strategy development with them, but also to provide them with effective solutions and approaches. As for digital transformation, managers are particularly important as they must anticipate its impact on both the market and their teams whilst also finding ways to gain a tangible, competitive advantage. HR can help this process by recruiting new talent, retaining key players and managing the well-being of teams.

  1. Meeting the needs at the right time

You have to work at the same pace as the industry. This of course, means providing your people s with the right tools to collaborate quickly and efficiently. However, it also requires solutions that allow you to follow trends and to provide corrective solutions at the right tempo. For example, the average recruitment time for an executive is now nine weeks, but in four out of 10 cases, it’s much longer than that. Social networks, talent pools, videos, recommendations, and more optimise the recruitment process, meaning that you can respond more quickly to the demands of your people.  

  1. Use the power of analytics

HR data requires precision, not instinct or guessing. The data is huge and you have to build skills in data management in order to serve your people and the future needs of your organisation. A study in 2016 revealed that 80% of HR professionals have never used Big Data technology. However, Big Data can be useful for many processes such as optimising candidate sourcing, streamlining the recruitment process, helping retain employees, following trends, improving employer branding and so on. Business growth is driven by technology and therefore is essential in directing HR efficiency.

  1. Invest in data security

Talk Talk suffered a 4.5% market share loss from personal data leaks, and the same could happen to HR data in any company, especially knowing that 63% of data leaks are due to poorly secured passwords. Be sure to invest in data security to help avoid any security flaw that could break trust with employees. The new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law will come into force in the UK in 2018 and will impose strict constraints on personal data management across businesses, . so, it is definitely something that HR departments need to bear in mind.

  1. Get predictive

To gain support from the C-suite, show that your vision is looking into the future. Adopt analytical tools that allow you to track trends and give your organisation a head start. While predictive HR may be considered controversial by some, it can optimise the recruitment process and help to find skills gaps, resulting in better planning management. If the risk of trusting an algorithm to make a decision will impact on customer or commercial relations, the final decision must of course be decided by a human. But let’s not forget that artificial intelligence is only in its infancy.

  1. Adopt the ROI culture

How you impact the business will come from your attitude to change; give reasoning to your decisions and model your projects. Understand the challenges of other departments in order to respond to their needs specifically and achieve concrete results. At the same time, apply these principles to your own HR activities by defining key performance indicators (number of recruitment appointments scheduled, number of job interviews, pool of candidates, delay in the recruitment process, recruitment satisfaction etc.) that will allow you to calculate the return on investment of your HR functions

For more recommendations on how HR can help with business impact, please click here.


About the Author

Geoffroy De Lestrange

Product Marketing & Communication Director EMEA at Cornerstone OnDemand

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