HomeFuture of WorkDigital HRHR TechnologyHow technology can transform HR in turbulent times

How technology can transform HR in turbulent times

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As the global workforce navigates recent turbulent times, technology is playing an increasingly vital role in transforming HR operations

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It has been three years since the start of the pandemic and the fabric of our daily work routines has undergone a dramatic transformation. With remote and hybrid work models now firmly established, the dynamic nature of teams presents HR departments with additional obstacles to overcome. In particular, it has become a challenge to ensure that remote workers remain closely connected to their peers and organisation’s culture.

HR teams are also having to navigate the UK’s turbulent labour market and challenging financial market.

A new survey from all-in-one HR solution provider Personio found that only 44% of UK respondents would be confident they would be able to replace staff who leave with internal candidates within one to two months. This is in comparison with 61% of respondents from Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and the Middle East who would be confident it would be possible.

Retention, company culture and employee growth are the top three priorities for HR teams, according to the survey findings. A notable majority of over 50% of respondents reported that they conduct daily HR operations using one or more legacy systems, while just 41% have cloud-based systems.

As organisations continue to adapt to the changing business landscape, they are also reconsidering the incentives provided to their employees, with 40% of respondents indicating that they will be enhancing compensation.

Considering the highly competitive UK job market and the expenses associated with recruitment, it is imperative for businesses to retain their top-performing employees. It is crucial that they remain informed about the potential departure of these employees, as unexpected departures can be costly to bear.

Why are UK businesses less confident about the future?

  • HR teams are currently facing a significant confidence deficit due to various factors:
    A lack of nurturing internal talent pools
  • A scarcity of internal candidates possessing the essential skills and experience required to fill positions
  • Inadequate internal HR processes that impede the evaluation of internal candidates’ suitability for replacement roles
  • Due to the allocation of budgets towards other areas, businesses may not have inadequately invested in employee development

Why internal movement is key

Instead of a costly and timely external recruitment programme, HR teams are advised to stop and look internally to vet which skills their current staff offer. Retaining top talent can help organisations maintain high levels of performance and productivity.
Looking at internal recruitment and promotion from a company-wide perspective also helps boost employee morale. It can create a positive work environment, which can lead to increased engagement.

Staff recruitment and retention can also improve customer satisfaction. Engaged employees often play a key role in delivering high-quality products and services to customers, so retaining them can help to maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The importance of data in a digital world

In an increasingly digital world, access to data has never been so important. Shockingly, Personio’s survey revealed only that 4.9% of respondents from the UK are using employee data to forecast when an employee is likely to resign. That is in comparison to 16.9% of businesses around the rest of the world who do use these tools.

Businesses using HR technology can also benefit from better staff retention. The ability to predict resignations allows organisations to implement measures to retain valuable employees, such as promotions or pay increases. An early warning system can also enable companies to reduce costs. It eliminates the need to rapidly source a replacement for a departing key staff member.

Ross Seychell, Chief People Officer at Personio explains why it is vital that HR teams have the correct digital tools: “While an HR tech stack is only one part of a great people function, it is often the foundation. If you don’t have the correct tools in place, you may find your organisation slipping in terms of efficiency and quality,” he says.

Seychell adds: “If you don’t have the tools to run a performance cycle, how can you focus on the quality of those conversations? You need to make sure they happen in a standardised and scalable way. The tools you have on hand should be there to make your core work more streamlined, so you can focus on qualitative improvements.”

The report highlighted that as we progress into the future, HR teams throughout the UK are anticipating and preparing for change. This requires additional people analytics to propel the business forward and deliver great employee experience.

For more insights on the survey findings, register for the following upcoming roundtable, Cracking the Code on Retention: Insider Tips from HR Experts here.

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