Digital transformation is essential to improving the challenges of HR leaders in the post-pandemic environment

By John Ellis, - Employee experienceFuture Workplace

Chief HR Officers (CHROs) are at the very foundation of a business’ success.

They typically adapt strategies which enable the right talent to thrive and provide the business with a competitive skillset. However, the remit of CHROs has had to expand to encompass more technology and borderless offices, as the business landscape dramatically changes due to the surge in remote and hybrid working,

These parameters have thrown up several challenges for HR, which Fujitsu are helping address through propositions such as Fujitsu Work Life Shift.

As part of this, Fujitsu supports organizations to implement Microsoft technology around the business to build greater efficiency and tackle common HR challenges head on.

In this blog, I’ll outline how the role of CHROs has permanently changed, and how Fujitsu and Microsoft are able to support a stable transition across HR and the wider company.


The current challenges of HR teams

If you’re a CHRO dealing with questions of business productivity and juggling unique employee expectations, you’re not alone.

Productivity levels are a particularly big focus right now. There’s research suggesting that working from home is better because people are comfortable and don’t have to travel. But equally, there’s research that says the exact opposite. It’s clear that opinions are divided. So, finding the right balance for employees and the business is an Everest-sized job for HR teams – and using the right tools will be essential to measuring this.

Productivity often stems from employees feeling supported and happy at work. Therefore, it’s important to listen to employees and understand what they need to do their best work. The right training, culture, and health and wellbeing initiatives are key to this. Platforms like the Microsoft Viva Employee Experience can be incredibly useful in enabling businesses to see where they could be doing more to support staff. The insight from the platforms can feed into future programs across the business.


Tackling two mode engagement and increasing productivity

Although time sensitive, the initial implementation and need of technology, like communication and collaboration software and endpoint management, during the beginning of the pandemic was a relatively straightforward challenge in comparison to now. At the time, HR teams were able to roll out sweeping new policies that applied to everyone – plus, everyone had the same technology.

However, now a lot of businesses have opted for hybrid models, meaning that policies and technology must be more flexible and inclusive to ensure everyone is operating at the same level regardless of location. For example, meetings are now commonly split between those dialling in from home and those working in the office. So, how can HR leaders roll out policies that enable everyone to have a voice within that meeting and feel included?

Technology is one part of this. Tools such as Microsoft Teams are making it easier by having closed captions, real time transcription, and video. But this needs to be supported by HR policies designed to ensure employees don’t experience burn out from an overload of video calls. Or perhaps encouraging new behaviours within the culture, such as taking breaks in between calls, or getting employees to post digital agendas and asynchronous input to ensure no one is left out of the discussion.

Another example of HR’s role within digital transformation is the implementation of low-code tools such as the Microsoft Power Platform which enables employees to act as citizen developers. It helps resolve the issue of digital skills shortages. However, it must be coupled with low code training and employees need to be heard on how they feel about their role encompassing new tasks and responsibilities.


End-to-end implementation

Digital transformation is by now a familiar concept to all of us. But I think it’s growing into an increasingly bigger task as the parameters of the office and the working day change.

Previously, transformation typically focused on providing more efficiency to information workers. Businesses did this by focusing on workplace tools, such as moving to cloud SaaS based services like Microsoft 365, which enable information workers to access work from anywhere at any time.

However, there’s almost double the number of front-line workers than information workers globally. These are colleagues who don’t sit behind a desk, but instead are often on-site in the field and directly engaging with customers. These employees must be included in these changes by being given access to applications such as, Teams, Shifts and Walkie Talkie which enable them to also reap the benefits of greater efficiency with intuitive digital tools and to be digitally included with the whole organisation and culture

Often front-line workers are the people that drive the business forward, receiving first-hand intel from customers on what’s working and what’s not, so it’s important they’re not left behind during times of transformation.

The inclusion of all employees within digital transformation underlines the need for HR’s policies surrounding technology to be ever more inclusive, which is why DE&I has become such a huge part of our relationship with Microsoft when it comes to Work Life Shift. But the importance of including every person in the business within tech transformation, highlights just how critical the CHRO’s role is in this.

If businesses are to harvest the results they hope for when it comes to transformation, IT teams must work with HR in really listening to employees on how they feel. And they must depend on HR’s expertise in building the framework that helps everyone to work productively and happily as new technological developments enter the workforce.

Fujitsu and Microsoft can support HR teams through digital transformation challenges – including changes like the upcoming Metaverse and what this means for your business. Find out more here


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