Every business is going digital because customers are doing stuff using smart phones and the apps residing on their phones. You could be a bank, a factory, a retailer, doctor, lawyer, cabbie or an advisor. Your customers are all using their smart phones to place an order, ask a question, check status of their order, give you a feedback, make a payment or review past orders. So, all parts of an organization including their HR team needs to leverage the latest in technology to deliver superior results.
Put the foundation right
Employees are people who use smart phones to buy food, transfer money from their bank accounts, book cabs, plan holidays, and write reviews on the doctor they visited and so on. Do we provide them with an interface where they can do various tasks right from interacting with customers, colleagues, reporting manager and the top management to transacting simple business such as applying for leave, updating personal information and carrying out specific tasks such as referring potential employees and writing reviews about their experiences in the workplace? This is the first step for us!
Many organizations haven’t yet enabled their employees to carry out most activities from their phones. While there is a clear runway ahead, at the same time, we cannot afford to overlook the other advancements in technology such as analytics and BI (business intelligence) tools.
What are the possibilities?
When we enable our organization with digitized processes, loads of data come in and provide us with an opportunity to study the behaviours of the stakeholders. Based on these insights, we can make decisions which make our organization sustainable in the long term and keep it on the path of success. Right from the stage of manpower planning, acquiring talent, onboarding, managing performance to rewards, recognition, career growth and employee engagement, activities are typically carried out on digital platforms. Hence, we get tremendous insights about our employees, their managers, internal customers, business partners and potential employees.
Based on the insights derived, we can de-clog certain processes and simplify them. We can re-engineer work processes and redesign user interfaces by observing stakeholder behaviours. For example, inviting candidates for open jobs in the company is one of the many moments of truth that an employer brand delivers. We must use BI tools or analytics to understand if we are able to attract the right candidates, deliver a pleasant experience to them throughout their interaction with us, set the right expectations about the organization and the role.
Similarly, while managing performance, we can easily discover patterns and trends around goal setting and achievement of results. Apart from the basic need of tracking performance, we can analyse if the right targets are set. We should be able to go beneath the surface to spot the pockets of excellence, recognize them and understand the secret sauce behind the outcomes. We can replicate them in many more areas of the organization.
We can also easily identify the corners of sub-par performance and act on them. We can again use these tools to design a personalised learning path and track the progress being made by them on that path. We can counsel them; use the tools to gather periodic feedback and analyse them so that actions can be directed at improving organization performance.
There are numerous possibilities of using technology in the organization to improve its work processes, raise efficiency, engage with employees better, service customers better and make it stand tall among its peers.
Going the Tech way
Young workforce in our country can adapt to the Tech way easily. However, the bottleneck is the ability and intent of the senior managers to use technology in their day to day work. They need to revamp their thinking and reskill themselves. Often they hesitate to use the new tools and stick to the old methods they have grown up with. Organizations tend to underperform because they do not have the best of tools and equipment yet. And secondly, the managers do not take the effort of discovering the patterns and trends which can be easily viewed by them in a matter of a few clicks.
Leadership team has to go beyond expressing their intent of leveraging technology. They need to lead the way by using tech themselves and insist on their direct reports to do the same. Execution holds the key… possibilities are many and are waiting to be unleashed.