Top 5 Digital HR Priorities for the year 2021

Top 5 Digital HR Priorities in 2021
A successful digital HR strategy should be aligned to the needs of the business, agile, focused on strategic enablement rather than just efficiency and effectiveness, and should be owned by HR in partnership with IT and other business functions.

Digital HR is much more than digitizing current processes and buying cutting-edge digital solutions

The year 2020 was full of unprecedented surprise, change, volatility, and complexity. As business activities restart and continuously resetting amid the ongoing pandemic, where organizations are also changing endlessly, the leaders needs to revisit their priorities for 2021. While digital transformation is one of the top priorities for the leaders today, digital HR has become an important function for the people and organization.

Digital HR is much more than digitizing current processes and buying cutting-edge digital solutions. It is the enabler for people solutions to drive high business impact and best-in-class employee experience. When considering the priorities for digital HR, HR leaders should completely focus on the people and rethink their organization with respect to culture, strategy, and operations. The demand from the pandemic emphasizes more on the human-centric experiences today, especially when the shift in work and workplace trends are on the propaganda for most of the organizations. Taking all these into consideration, below are the top 5 priorities for Digital HR for the organizations in 2021.

Focus More on the Experiences over Processes

Employee experience has become a company-wide initiative to keep employees productive, safe, healthy, connected, and satisfied. Today, the spans expanded from HR to IT, facilities, health & safety, finance, legal, and even the innovation units. However, there is a lot of room for improvement regarding the experiences, much more than just optimizing the processes. The moments that matter for the employees and the adoption of provided platforms are two of basic mandate.

In most cases, these EX initiatives are restricted to the employee journey and miss the wider organizational journey experiences from culture and technology to the workplace. In many situations, these initiatives do not extent across all the HR customer segments that exist from the candidates, managers to executives, blue-collar workers, and even contingent workforce. Going forward, it’s imperative that we not only introduce more experience-driven solutions in respect to process excellence, but we should ensure that we are integrating future digital platforms to provide a seamless end-to-end experience considering the rise of new way of working.

Keep Data and Analytics at the Center of the Function

People analytics has already turn out to be the center of many organization’s functions today. Organizations that make data-driven decisions about their people can achieve higher performance, better results, and a superior return on outcomes than those that don’t. However, for many organizations, it’s nothing more than reports, dashboards, metrics, and some nice fancy visualizations.

The right data and analytics can add huge value to the business, as it can support us in making better decisions for a multitude of business problems, whether they’re related to joining, leaving, performance, pay, retention, engagement, or culture. Current digital HR solutions are no doubt improving but there are still challenges that exist while integrating this with the other business data, such as finance or sales data. More emphasis needs to be placed on digital HR and analytics solutions that allow for seamless integration and collaboration with other business-related solutions, shifting the focus onto resolving business and workforce-related challenges.

Taking Digital Enablement and Change Seriously

A people-centric transformation is about creating a meaningful employee experience as the excellence of service organizations offer to the customers is directly linked to the experience they offer to their employees. Although,leaders believe that they need to change the way they engage with their workforce as they adopt digital technologies and ways of working, butin most cases, change management largely focuses on a change with usual approaches and models in use.

Digital adoption requires organizations to reform their internal processes, practices and behaviors to reinforce successful changes. So,introducing new digital technologies is completely useless,unless organizations redesign themselves to embrace digital culture and build right capabilities to increase the engagement of the users. To meet these requirements in the digital era, organizations need to usemore adaptive change frameworks which fit with their purpose and the change needs to own by their leaders. A good digital enablement initiative is an investment in organization’s culture, people, and its future.

Build the Digital HR Strategy and Roadmaps

The world is moving on with transformation irrespective of industries, countries, and business functions. Most of the successful digital HR investments result in an organization undergoing a digital transformation, and this can’t be done in a proper way without having anappropriate digital strategy and the right roadmaps in place. Developing a digital strategy begins with taking a deeper look at business priorities and validating how current systems and processes are supporting the business and how much it aligns with reinforcing the organization’s goals.

A successful digital HR strategy should be aligned to the needs of the business, agile, focused on strategic enablement rather than just efficiency and effectiveness, and should be owned by HR in partnership with IT and other business functions. In most cases, organizations lack this, despite their ongoing transformation initiates and this is no doubt one of the biggest reasons for mismanaging or failure. The ongoing pandemic has put a lot of weightage on the needs for the right strategy and roadmaps.

Bet on Integrated Platforms over Applications

We are in a platform economy, that should embrace a new set of economic relations that depend on the network, computation, and data. When exploring our digital HR platforms, it’s disappointing to see how far behind they lag to the platforms available in other business functions. The biggest challenge we’re experiencing in organizations today is the distinct lack of potential platforms that allow integration between existing HR solutions such as benefits, recruiting, learning and development, engagement surveys, and analytics to name a few, those that are available are often rather cumbersome and expensive.

The demands of integrated platforms are not new; but, the growth of application-driven businesses has put their priority behind them. However, integration platform as a service (iPaaS) which is a set of automated tools for connecting applications that are deployed in different environments including cloud and on-premise, are on the rise as well. Rather than seeing this as a problem, let’s look at it as an opportunity to leverage digital HR to drive real change for the business.

Other than the above priorities, increasing productivity and engagement, ensuring cyber security, proper data privacy and ethics, reducing costs, managing business continuity are some other vital aspects to consider in digital HR for 2021 as well. Emerging from the ongoing pandemic, business and HR leaders need to rejuvenate their organizations, and this renaissance always starts by recognizing that people are the key components of any organization.

A year ago, leaders were encouraged to adapt to the new way of work, where they had to respond to the fast technology evolutions. With this pandemic and from its demands, HR is at the center stage, and need to reinvent the way of working for a positive business impact. Digital HR is fetching into a vital function for the organization because of all these, mainly for the HR leaders to cope up with these changes and empower sustainability.


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