The digital transformation has had a massive impact on the role of nearly every employee, and even the CHRO is not immune.
A CHRO at the top of his or her game is a close confidante of the CEO and therefore has to think about many of the same things that a CEO does. To empower her team to make personnel decisions that are in line with the CEO's business strategy, the CHRO must be knowledgeable, confident and well-versed in the technological changes that are driving today's workforce.
Here are the key tech trends that are reshaping the role of a successful HR leader.
The Workforce Is Now Global—Is Your CHRO?
To be successful, CHROs must be fully entrenched in what drives their organization internally, and have an understanding of the company's commercial and competitive pressures. But work today is fast-paced and, thanks to greater digital connectivity, integrated across departments. That's why by the time that CHROs accept their positions, it's important for them to have clocked up experience across all other areas of the business. Some 63 percent of executives in a Visier study said that the best CHROs come from finance, legal or other non-HR backgrounds.
Today's workforce is also dispersed and global, due to the possibility of remote work and collaboration. As a result, international experience is also increasingly important for CHROs, because it gives them a more well-rounded perspective. SpencerStuart research found that 36 percent of today's CHROs have direct international experience, up from 23 percent just three years earlier.
Data Is the Language of the Digital Age
It's hard to over-estimate the importance of being data-savvy. Today's CHRO must not only to be competent at analyzing data, but also a master at knowing what to do with it. They must bring to bear their experience and judgement to interpret the data, and have the confidence to apply that knowledge in a way that can influence future behaviors in their company.
Too often, HR leaders use data to look at past behaviors—that's no longer good enough. What's key now is to develop the technological prowess and the soft skills necessary to use predictive data to hire the best talent and manage existing workers.
Even artificial intelligence technology is only as objective and effective as the people that deploy it—CHROs must know how to interpret and apply the insight in front of them, and anticipate pitfalls. For example, they must be aware of bias in their hiring data to prevent biased practices from influencing their hiring practices.
Digital Disruption Is Creating a Cultural Shift
There are only two speeds in business today: fast and faster. That's why rather than constantly trying to keep up with the fast pace, CHROs need to shift from "managing change to leading it," according to a Gartner article.
Digital transformation is disruptive, and CHROs need to embrace that mindset as well. That means not being afraid to experiment with new tools and technologies, and finding ways to embrace changes to the traditional view of work life, such as more flexibility for remote work.
"Culture eats strategy for breakfast," world renowned consultant Peter Drucker once said. While CHROs alone cannot alone change company culture, they do play a central role in creating and molding a culture in which people perform to the best of their ability, while maintaining a keen eye on strategic objectives.
Getting to a point where HR is positioned to drive change and disruption isn't easy, HR needs to first gain the trust of the rest of the business. But, by making a tangible business impact with the right experience and mindset, they will gradually gain the respect and confidence of other business areas.
Photo: Creative Commons
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The Modern Workforce Favors Flexibility and Digital Collaboration
This is the third in a series of articles we’re doing around our annual State of Workplace Productivity survey. Read a summary of the full survey here . And for our findings on extreme workloads, click here. The always-on, always-working mindset has caught on, largely due to the rise of technology and the demand for more flexible workplaces. While initially introduced to boost employee satisfaction, flexible policies and technology use actually have a greater impact on productivity, and ultimately business performance. The environment in which people work affects how productive they are. Nearly two in three employees think a flexible and remote work schedule increases productivity, according to a recent survey by Cornerstone OnDemand. The most productive work environment is an enclosed office, followed by partitioned cubicles, open desk layout and working remotely, accordingly. While working in an enclosed office is the most promising for productivity, a good chunk of employees — 19 percent — say working remotely is the most productive environment, likely due to the fact that they can control the distractions around them. Forty-three percent of employees say impromptu visits by colleagues are distracting, according to the survey. Digital Communication Enables Remote Workers Even though some employees prefer work from home policies, only one in five are allowed to work remotely. True, employees can’t communicate with colleagues in-person, but the majority of workplace communication happens digitally anyway. Nearly two in five employees believe emails and instant messages allow them to be more productive than having in-person or phone conversations. The percentage of employees that prefer in-person collaboration compared to digital collaboration is decreasing — 63 percent this year compared to 71 percent last year. But there’s a fine balance for using online communication to boost or destroy productivity. Some employees find emails, social media alerts and instant messages to be distracting, so be sure that employees know what kind of communication their colleagues prefer. The key to high productivity and flexible work schedules is arming employees with the right technology. Almost two out of three employees agree that given the right technology, in-person meeting can be replaced completely. Digital natives are demanding a more flexible workplace, and companies are listening and changing accordingly, but more need to put their employees first and do so faster. To read more findings from The State of Workplace Productivity Report, click here. And take a look at our infographic on how workspace matters:
Preparing Your Workforce for Digital Transformation
Make talent development a priority in the age of digital disruption Ready or not – digital transformation is here. With technology developing more rapidly than ever, the way we do business is changing and it affects everything from customer acquisition and our product offerings, to our tools and processes, to our workforce and work environments. To succeed in a rapidly changing market, organizations must adapt their talent management practices to reflect new digital innovations and processes. Constellation Research discovered that industry-leading companies' ability to adapt to digital disruption was a key factor in their long-term success. As many organizations begin to radically reimagine how they leverage technology and processes, a need for a new talent development strategy arises. No organization wants to be left behind because they failed to adapt well enough or fast enough to the changing digital landscape. So, how can organizations disrupt their talent development strategies to help succeed in the age of digital transformation? How to futureproof your organization in the age of digital transformation It's a sobering fact: Talent development strategies that worked in the past may no longer work in the near future. Human Resources (HR) and Learning and Development (L&D) teams must become true business partners and create a continuous, hyper-connected development experience for people that aligns to the ever-shifting goals of the business. This eBook offers research-backed strategies that will show you how to create a digitally centered, learning-focused talent development environment that will help your organization keep its competitive edge in the era of digital transformation. You'll gain insights into: Determining your organization’s level of digital transformation preparedness Coaching strategies to prep your workforce for digital transformation How to champion a culture of learning to enable ongoing employee skill development Download our eBook to discover the talent development best practices you – and your people – need in order to futureproof your organization while putting your people in the driver’s seat of their own experience.
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5 Tips for Crisis Management in the Digital Age
Crisis management is a tool many leaders keep in their toolkit, but secretly hope they never need to use on a grand scale. While minor situations arise regularly in the course of business, larger scale issues can end careers and destroy entire corporate profiles if handled incorrectly. We need only look to Equifax and their epic data breach, which called for the release of their CEO and launched a Department of Justice investigation, to see the sweeping impact of poorly handled crises. Many of us might say what we "would" do if we were in such a situation, but until it happens, we really have no idea. This is where crisis communications becomes incredibly important, and HR plays a pivotal role. It's been said failure to plan is planning to fail, and never is this old adage more true than ensuring a strategy to handle a large-scale public relations disaster. As we now live in a time now where cloud-based technology is more prevalent, the digital realm is the new marketplace, and crises of this magnitude and type will happen more frequently, leadership must be prepared in advance to manage crisis in the digital age. Establish Personalities in Advance of the Crisis One of the benefits of social media and the 24/7 news cycle is that it provides opportunity to raise the public profile of anyone and everyone. While it's not necessary that all corporate leadership be incredibly active on social media from a personal perspective, it is extremely important that the company be proactive in building trust from the beginning. Get your leadership in front of your customers and communicate frequently across traditional and social media. It creates a personal connection with your company and shows there are people behind the issues. Gather Around the Message Immediately When the world of communication works on a 24/7 cycle, so must your leadership team. Have emergency communication protocols in place and ensure that they're followed. Your team must get on board with a strategic, unified message immediately and follow your crisis communication plan, which should be in place and reviewed every 3-6 months. Communicate with Employees Your best course of action is to communicate immediately and to arm all those involved with everything they need to communicate that not only are you on top of the matter, but that it won't happen again. This not only encompasses conversations with external media, but also includes conversations with your employees to ensure they can pivot with the leadership team and remain connected to your overall vision. Deploy Your Leadership Brand An established leadership brand is one of the greatest corporate assets during times of corporate strife. Your leadership brand usually emanates from your CEO, but it's more about what your leaders are known for in your organization, and it informs how your employees should act at all times. It also means that individuals at all levels instinctively know how to conduct themselves in a crisis because it's ingrained in the corporate culture and everything they do. They put the customer first, they protect the corporate identity and they remain focused on the cause. Practice Humility Finally, one of the greatest assets in our leadership arsenal is also the oldest in the book: be humble. In this fast-paced world, mistakes are bound to happen. Admitting fault and owning up to one's mistakes quickly is something that separates great leaders from those who inevitably fail. Photo: Creative Commons