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By Neels van Wyk: DSM Expert at T-Systems South Africa

One of the greatest impacts of the digital revolution is upon us. The individual.

With the introduction of powerful Cloud-based software, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation, the very nature of work is changing dramatically. Suddenly, entire professions are evaporating. At the same time, completely new jobs are emerging.

To navigate their organisation through the challenges and uncertainties of our digital era, successful leaders are adopting the latest in Human Capital Management (HCM) software.

A vast array of new HCM tools are starting to filter into corporate South Africa. They’re leveraging Cloud-based delivery models, intuitive interfaces that can easily extend services to mobile devices, and (somewhat ironically) incorporating the latest in artificial intelligence.

Workplaces are in a state of transition. Gone are the traditional structures and hierarchies, with teams stocked with only full-time employees that would remain in the organisation for long periods of time.

Today’s workforce is a dynamic mix of in-office employees, combined with contractors, gig workers, and other freelancers – offshore and onshore – working in agile ways where collaboration is certainly the name of the game.

Universal view

At the outset, advanced HCM tools can be used to map the skills that an organisation needs, against its broader company strategy and vision. This creates a single view, across the entire company, of where are the skills gaps that need to be filled, for the company to achieve its strategy.

With the right software, you can enhance the process of finding the right skilled individuals, avoiding the need to wade through thousands of CVs just to find the right person.

Once the right candidate has been recruited, the first impressions create a lasting impact. The induction phase is crucially important, and with the right tools you can ensure staff are made to feel welcome, with everything from induction training, to issuing laptops and smartphones, to setting up corporate profiles and access cards.

With all of this running smoothly, it becomes easier to bring new recruits up-to-speed on the broader company mission and have great conversations about their own role in achieving that mission, which helps to set the right tone from their first day onwards.

The onboarding process can be elevated away from being merely about the logistics of user profiles, laptops and parking cards, towards a highly-engaging process that inspires the new recruit and helps them to start delivering value immediately.

End-to-end employee experience

Once the new recruit is settled in, the exponential value of using organisation-wide HCM tools starts to truly kick in.

Leadership gets a crystal-clear view of every individual’s skills. As they go on new courses or attain new qualifications, accreditations and certifications, their profile is updated. Every individual gets a tailored career development programme, which is mapped against the company’s workforce transition strategy.

It’s a far cry from the static, outdated employee information held deep in the dusty drawers of the HR team.

This information updates everything from bonuses and increases, other incentives and rewards, promotion, benchmarking, as well as processes to work low-performing staff out of the organisation.

With this enhanced visibility, leadership is able to shift people from one area of the organisation to another, as their skill sets become needed for other projects. This gives people fresh opportunities and keeps them engaged for longer – helping to reduce the modern-day problem of frequent employee churn.

With every aspect of the HCM consolidated into a single system, companies can start to adopt the latest in new training software (like mobile learning, virtual and augmented reality, and video-based classrooms).

Social collaboration tools are also highly important in the modern workplace, so integrating new forms of instant messaging, group chats, file shares, and conferencing solutions should be integrated into the HCM system. In this way, staff and contractors are empowered with the tools to work in agile, iterative ways. At the beginning of this year, Forbes* famously branded 2018 as ‘The Year of the Employee’, saying that leading firms are focusing on the employee experience “increase not only employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention, but also brand equity, competitive advantage, and sustainable growth.

With this in mind, local firms looking to create the very best employee experiences, and accelerate their workforce transition, can quickly gain ground by adopting HCM solutions.