Sarah Stone, Director of People & Culture at Konica Minolta, explores how automation enables HR to become a trusted partner to the business.
HR leaders cannot rely on yesterday’s processes to manage tomorrow’s workplace. Too much is changing – and changing fast. To lead your business into the future, you need modern, agile HR processes; innovative thinking and fast, informed decision making.
How do you get to this bright new future? To answer that, it’s worth reflecting on the HR challenges and changes in today’s workplace.
For the first time in history, five generations will soon be working side by side. But whether this multi-generational workplace feels happy and productive or challenging and stressful is, in large part, up to HR leaders. How should you relate to employees of different age groups? How do you motivate someone who has a different aspiration to you? And what can you do to encourage employees of different generations to share their knowledge?
Work is evolving too. The watchword for modern employees is agility. They want to set their own hours and work whenever and wherever they can do their best work. Managers no longer just make certain work gets done; they act as mentors to their employees in support of career direction. Forward-thinking companies also realise that employee engagement is temporary, but building employee experience where employees feel valued at every step of the journey is much more sustainable.
Disruptive change is also having a profound impact on skills. Many of the major drivers of transformation currently affecting global industries are expected to have a significant impact on jobs, ranging from significant job creation to job displacement, and from heightened labour productivity to widening skills gaps. In many industries, the most in-demand occupations or specialities did not exist five years ago, and the pace of change is set to accelerate. According to the World Economic Forum, for example, 65% of children entering primary school today will work in completely new job types that don’t yet exist. The bottom line? Employees need to frequently upgrade themselves – just as they would their mobile phone.
Automate to accelerate
Faced with this continuous and dramatic change, HR leaders need to adapt and continually rethink what they do with processes, people and technology. Intelligent automation offers a unique opportunity to automate routine, repetitive tasks, giving HR teams a breakthrough opportunity to elevate themselves and work on more strategic tasks and innovate.
Automated recruitment, for example, can give you unprecedented insights into your recruitment processes, allowing you to measure recruitment success across departments and locations. Knowing how well your recruitment is working is vital and having the data to drill down into areas for improvement will ultimately improve the standard of your workforce going forward.
Likewise, the automation of on-boarding processes gives new employees a streamlined introduction to the company. A personal dashboard enables them to input everything from their personal information to their bank details. They can also access training videos, checklists and organisational information so they can be more productive and connected from day one.
Similarly, the automation of performance appraisals means metrics are continually updated and management receive accurate, timely information on any employee’s performance. And one integrated HR and payroll system eliminates a significant amount of admin work for HR professionals.
The underlying theme that should drive an HR strategy is this: work is no longer a place that employees go to; it’s what they do. You need to use technology innovations like intelligent automation to automate routine HR processes – allowing your HR function to be more agile, more data-driven and more strategic.
Director of People & Culture, Konica Minolta