The COVID-19 crisis has changed the world forever, from how we interact with others in our personal lives to the more complicated requirements of business operations. These changes have evidenced the need to accelerate the corporate digital transformation strategies that have previously been slow in execution.
Now, as your human resources (HR) department assists your organization in rebounding from the adverse impact of the crisis on operations and revenues, there’s much that needs to be done to ensure that your traditional practices can quickly evolve to the higher needs of the “new normal.”
Surviving the long tail of the COVID-19 crisis
At the height of the crisis, with people working from home or perhaps not working at all, there was an immediate need for new IT services and support practices to ensure that working employees could still work effectively and remain safe. For many organizations, “mountains were moved” in quickly creating the technology-based ways of working needed to keep things going. And employees hopefully appreciated the potentially new IT capabilities that enabled their remote working – both in terms of their personal productivity and the need to collaborate with others when working within business processes.
Now, with some employees returning to offices and others continuing to work remotely – at least in the short term – there’s a need to formalize and improve upon the “emergency” capabilities that helped your organization through the crisis. There’s also likely a need to respond to the mandated budget cuts that come as a result of the initial and ongoing effect of the crisis on company sales and revenues. Plus, the move to homeworking, in particular, has further increased the importance of employee experience and the need for organizations to maximize employee productivity.
In light of all these needs, and potential pressures, your HR department likely needs new ways of working that remove – or at least minimize – the reliance on manual practices, that while always potentially inefficient, are now difficult to operate in a distributed working environment.
Leveraging technology and service management principles to digitally transform
While digital transformation might seem like something that’s focused on technology and data, it’s ultimately about new ways of working and driving successful people change. So, while this blog covers the improvement possibilities available through the greater use of technology and IT service management (ITSM) best practices, there’s still the need to apply organizational change management tools and techniques to what might feel like a daunting change to many.
In terms of quickly transforming your manually-reliant operations, your organization’s IT department might already have the necessary ingredients for improvement at its fingertips. Through an approach it calls “Enterprise Service Management” – “the use of proven ITSM capabilities to improve other business function operations, services, and outcomes” – with this providing a backbone for the required back-office digital transformation in HR and other business functions. In fact, at a business-level, “back-office digital transformation” is a better term for this approach to leveraging technology and service management principles outside of IT.
Even before the crisis highlighted the many failure points of the traditional reliance on manual operations, IT organizations had already bought into the business benefits of enterprise service management – with the 2019 ITSM.tools Future of ITSM Survey finding that two-thirds of organizations either had or were planning to develop an ESM strategy.
How digital transformation will help your HR department
Whether it’s through the adoption of an enterprise service management approach or via another route to organizational improvement, the use of service management principles and the associated enabling technology will make your HR department all three of “better, faster, and cheaper.”
Examples of the ITSM capabilities that can be leveraged by your HR department include:
- Automated workflows for issue handling and request fulfillment – saving time and costs, and providing a better employee experience.
- Knowledge management – augmenting the knowledge of HR staff and providing the foundation for employee self-help, making for better, faster, and cheaper HR services.
- Self-service and self-help – empowering employees to help themselves via a now-expected, consumer-like capability. It also reduces the demand-based pressures on your HR support capability.
- Problem management for repeat issue minimization – preventing common issues altogether rather than simply trying to remedy them more swiftly.
- Greater insight into performance and improvement – with it easier to gain the visibility required for better decision making when work is no longer trapped inside personal email accounts and spreadsheets.
- The use of newer technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to improve across all three of better, faster, and cheaper.
Common HR digital transformation use-case scenarios
All of these proven ITSM capabilities, and others, can be successfully employed by HR departments to improve their service and support capabilities, the employee experience, and business outcomes.
Common examples of HR practices that are already benefitting from service management and digital transformation – perhaps via an enterprise service management approach – include:
- Employee query and case handling
- Employee on-boarding and off-boarding
- Learning and development
- Payroll and employee benefit administration
- Demand planning.
Using service management best practices and an ITSM tools, there’s no limit to how your HR practices can be improved to deliver the better, faster, and cheaper ways of working that are needed in the “new normal.”
At Preacipio Consulting, we can help your organization take advantage of the opportunities of digital transformation and enterprise service management to HR: Reach out, we'd love to help.