Digitalization does not stop in Human Resource (HR) departments. Automated processes are of particular importance here, because HR departments have to follow countless processes in order to recruit successfully or to master the diverse tasks of personnel management. Optimal service has long been just as important for Human Resources as it is for departments that deal with external customers. Expectations of internal customers and of potential internal customers, i.e. applicants, are growing; this increasingly demands optimized performance and highly professional services. HR transformation could be the key to meeting these expectations and paving the way for future-oriented work in HR departments.
What does HR transformation mean?
The name says it all. It is about change or a change process. Companies have been in the midst of such a process since the advent of the digital transformation at the latest, and this was reinforced by the pandemic as an additional driver. It’s all about process optimization, automation, technological support, adapted working methods and more flexibility. No company can escape this any longer – at least not if it wants to remain competitive and successful.
If possible, people would rather work in a highly innovative, digital, efficient and agile way today. This has an impact on the personnel situation in companies, because digital transformation is not about technology alone, but about a holistic process that naturally also requires and involves people, i.e., every single employee.
The implementation of digital transformation or change processes in companies can only be successful with an appropriate mindset and the right employees in the right positions. The classic HR topics, such as recruiting and personnel management, are therefore more relevant than ever.
At the same time, professional HR processes are a prerequisite for HR departments that work in a contemporary manner, i.e., using standardization and automation of administrative processes. Only these can make a relevant contribution to holistic corporate transformation.
HR transformation should, therefore, make HR work ready for the future and enable future-capable HR work in the long term.
Digitalization in HR management
It would not be true to say that digitization plays a major role in HR departments only because there are a lot of administrative tasks there. It is true that automated processes are essential for HR departments in order to meet the challenges, but this is now true of almost all corporate departments.
Customers are the most important thing for the survival of a company. But in order to deliver exactly what makes them satisfied and keep them as customers, the right employees are needed. For the development and enhancement of products, for handling inquiries, for training and customer care, and for everything that ultimately has to do with the customer. So employees are also one of the most important assets of a company and should be treated and served accordingly. They are internal customers.
The tasks are manifold. HR departments have countless processes to follow in order to conduct successful recruiting and personnel management beyond legal and data protection requirements, which must be followed anyway. Smooth recruiting process are often crucial for success in attracting new employees. Unfortunately, qualified employees are becoming increasingly difficult to find. Efficient processes in the application process are often the deciding factor for the candidate’s decision.
HR departments have long recognized that digitization and, as a logical consequence, the automation of processes offer considerable support, for example through business process management software.
It reduces the error rate and ensures professional processes and communication with applicants and employees. In addition, one benefits from the time savings.
Why is contemporary human resources necessary?
Today, modern HR departments no longer have only administrative activities. Of course, an HR department takes care of the creation and billing of contracts, the creation and adjustment of salary structures and the placement of suitable candidates for the various departments. But that is really no longer enough. Applicants have long since ceased to be dependent on this one job, but can often choose from several offers. Plus, in most cases, employees no longer want to be merely “pawns” who follow instructions, but are increasingly interested in developing entrepreneurial ideas of their own and want to be involved in decision-making.
HR managers must, therefore, also have a feel for the individual needs of employees or applicants and identify or create opportunities to support and promote them accordingly.
Human Relations instead of Human Resources
That is why HR at OTRS Group does not stand for Human Resources, but for Human Relations. Because relationships are necessary for the HR team to be more than a purely administrative department. Relationships mean getting to know people, listening to them, creating connections, building trust, and asking about personal interests rather than just strengths and weaknesses. The responsibility of an HR department that focuses on relationships rather than purely on numbers also includes giving values and corporate culture the space that’s needed and ensuring that they are lived. This begins with their definition or introduction and ends with continuous monitoring of their compliance.
A corporate culture is not something that simply “runs alongside” or is somehow “nice to have. It must be created, stringently lived, observed and adapted. Instruments must be created that serve as aids and orientation, such as a “Code of Conduct” that lays down rules of behavior. All of this is part of establishing relationships.
In addition, a corporate culture, value concepts and dialog with employees also ensure that understanding is created, for example, for changes. Things are not simply decided and determined, but actively involve people and are explained. This transparency is often crucial, especially when it comes to transformation and change processes. After all, digital transformation is a holistic, complex process that means much more than the introduction of new technology. While tools are an essential part and indispensable if we want to be successful, the human factor is just as important; the “human resource” involvement makes the change work. Real success can only be achieved if employees support a change process and actively participate in it – each according to his or her possibilities and ideally with his or her competencies. This requires openness and transparency. This is how you create trust, convince employees and get them on board.
A future-oriented HR department has recognized this and acts accordingly. It can control much of this, create foundations and influence how successfully changes are implemented. It’s all about the mindset – the attitude of the employees. Because not everyone is positive about change per se. Many are afraid of the unknown, need the familiar. Not leaving these people behind, but actively involving them when it comes to transformation, can be supported and accompanied by modern, relationship-oriented HR departments.
It can therefore be clearly seen how closely everything is interlinked and how one conditions the other.
More complex working environments require HR transformation
Routine work has long since become just one part of an HR team’s activities. There is also a lot to manage strategically, because HR work now means maintaining an overview and keeping pace in an increasingly complex working world – as a contemporary and future-oriented employer. But only an HR department that is engaged with current issues and challenges, and is itself undergoing transformation, can support the success of company-wide transformation and make its contribution. And this contribution is needed. Against the backdrop of change, HR is taking on a completely new role, defining itself differently.
Only with this understanding is it possible to keep a finger on the pulse of the times. And this is becoming increasingly difficult – the current buzzwords confirm this:
- New Work
- Change Management
- Agile Transformation
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Employer Branding
- Corporate Culture
- Talent War
- Generation Z
Keeping track of the right measures in the context of these movements and trends and prioritizing them correctly can become a challenge.
It is conceivable that an HR department that still sees itself as an “administrative department” will find it much more difficult to handle these topics than a department that feels itself to be in the process of transformation and contemporary, and one that places the relationships between and with employees in the foreground.
Employees of an HR team oriented in this way approach these topics or issues without fear of contact, openly, creatively, with the necessary curiosity, with the required calm and a professional perspective. They see themselves as listeners, sparring partners, impulse providers or simply doers.
How to start the HR transformation?
Like any change or change process, HR transformation needs time. It also needs the awareness that such a change will not simply be completed at some point, rather, it is alive. This is the very reason that it is happening: because of changing work environments and circumstances. And these are changing more and more frequently and faster and faster, which means that the transformation process of an HR department has to be adapted again and again. In some phases more, in some less.
That’s why flexibility and agility are two of the important key terms when we talk about transformation. In terms of a company, agility describes the ability to perceive changes at an early stage and, above all, to react or adapt to them accordingly and quickly. In other words, more flexibility, significantly faster ability to act and innovative, creative thinking, instead of sticking to outdated processes are needed.
So starting with agile working in HR transformation definitely makes sense. In this way, HR in its new role can be a significant supporter in the company-wide introduction of this way of working, an important element for the entire digital transformation.
The transformation of HR work does not happen by chance or in passing. It needs to be planned and structured. And it should be done with sufficient resources and, ideally, expert knowledge. After all, HR transformation is also individual and must fit the respective company in order to be successful in the long term. It is worthwhile to give the undertaking the necessary attention.
Clear responsibilities are always helpful. Companies often feel overwhelmed by the complexity of change processes and, therefore, do not even tackle them. That’s why involving experts is a great help in getting started as quickly as possible, but also in an organized and structured way.
Take stock — look at your structures, role distribution and workflows.
Automated processes relieve the burden on HR teams
Due to the daily work, there is often no time for the necessary, strategic approach to HR transformation. That’s why you should start with process automation. As in most departments, automating processes frees up time for other, more creative tasks in the HR department, which in turn leads to greater satisfaction among employees. Processes are also accelerated. Plus, transparency and quality increase. The free space created is precisely the capacity you need to tackle the “project” of HR transformation on a large scale.
When routine processes are supported and automated by BPM software like OTRS, it significantly simplifies the daily work of HR managers.
An international OTRS survey with 500 employees showed the following:
- Time savings: 27 percent
- Cost savings: 23 percent
- Reduction of data errors: 19 percent
- Improved employee satisfaction: 16 percent
With a BPMS, all HR processes can be systematically supported, from the application process to workplace equipment, further training and vacation requests to offboarding.
This is achieved through standardized processes that can be easily triggered and automated, taking into account all required resources, approvals and responsibilities. This significantly increases the quality of collaboration within the company.
Get started immediately with preconfigured HR processes
It is most convenient when HR teams can access a preconfigured solution. OTRS offers a special HR Management solution for this purpose that is ready to use without any additional consulting effort.
A large number of predefined, typical HR processes, such as applications or vacation requests, can be accessed immediately and without complication. This not only ensures a better user experience for employees or applicants, but also guarantees consistent quality and a reduction in the administrative workload of the HR team.
Real success can only be achieved if employees support a change process and actively participate in it - each according to his or her possibilities and ideally with his or her competencies. This requires openness and transparency.
The tasks of HR departments, just like those of most specialist departments, are becoming ever more extensive and complex. A transformation is unavoidable if one wants to remain competitive. Therefore, contemporary HR management with optimal processes must be supported by BPM software or, even better, by special HR management software.
Create the basis for a successful transformation and start with your daily tasks. Good luck.
If you want to know how OTRS can support you with automated HR processes, contact our experts.