Perspectives

Sustainable HR in an age of disruption

Connect customers to what matters most

By re-imaging and re-architecting the HR customer experience, companies can deliver an experience that feels more like a world-class retail experience—one in which HR customers perform activities digitally, both at their computer and on the go, in a way that can increase both engagement and satisfaction.

Sustainable HR powered by the digital workplace

What if you could deliver an HR customer experience that is similar to how online retailers are creating customized shopping experience? An experience in which HR customers are able to clearly see their options, access information, and take action more easily? What do you think the impact might be on your employment brand, retention, and engagement ratings?

For those active in the realm of HR and business, “digital HR” and the “digital workplace” have been hot topics. But as is often the case with new terminology and buzzwords, they can mean different things to different people. Deloitte defines the digital workplace as what powers digital HR, which in turn enables HR to sustain itself in the face of disruption.

Sustainable HR is the goal

Today, business disruption is rampant—new business models, new technologies, a challenging economic environment, and the overall quickening pace of business are all disruptive to “business as usual.” Workforce demographics and trends such as retiring Boomers, high-expectation Millennials, workforce-on-demand models, team-based work, are more disruptions.

HR sustainability is about:

  1. Maintaining its stability and focus despite disruption
  2. Being adaptable in the face of disruption
  3. Helping the business be stable and adaptable in its response to disruption

Digital HR enables HR sustainability

​Next, let’s look at how digital HR enables HR sustainability. When Deloitte analyzed how HR becomes sustainable, we kept arriving at the same four capabilities—what we call the 4 C's.

HR should be able to:

  • Create capacity, freeing up time by eliminating mundane repetitive tasks and enabling HR professionals and customers alike to focus on more value-added activities.
  • Grow capability in its own people and in its customers via a rich, curated, just-in-time learning environment.
  • Empower community, tapping into a variety of internal and external networks as sources for information, learning, and collaboration.
  • Boost credibility within the organization by consistently meeting its customers’ needs.

Digital HR, a top 10 Global Human Capital Trend for 2016, enables HR to accomplish the 4Cs by applying digital principles to HR operations. While this could involve a mix of social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technologies, it encompasses more than technology. It’s also about using design thinking to reimagine HR service delivery and the HR customer experience, trying new approaches, gathering feedback, communicating bilaterally (company to employee, employee to company, employee to employee, company to company) and continually making iterative improvements.

The digital workplace powers digital HR

Finally, we come to the digital workplace—one of the ways organizations can accomplish digital HR. The digital workplace is a solution for engaging employees in all the services they have available to them at work. It’s about automating transactions that are manual today (creating capacity). It’s about targeting information and learning content to employees to help them do their jobs (growing capability), just as social media sites target posts based on member preferences. It’s about bringing the social communication concept to the workplace to connect people (empowering community). And it’s about harvesting data to enable analytics that provide informed insight about how the company is operating and how employees can better perform their jobs.

Learn more about how HR needs to continue to evolve and enable a 'digital workplace' to deliver better employee experience in this age of disruption.

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