Building and deploying digital capabilities
Digital employees can be grouped into two main types: digital natives – those born during, or after, the rise of digital technologies – and digital immigrants – people born before the advent of digital technology.
The paradox here is that digital immigrants, for the most part, invented the complex technologies and systems that digital natives use so skilfully. This interdependency and growing diversity in the workplace requires HR to manage talent differently.
To identify digital employees and unleash their potential, HR is moving from process design towards people design, investing in digital employees and what they do, visiting their work sites, observing their behaviours. Armed with this information, solutions and programmes can be designed to increase productivity and engagement. Once solutions are identified, it is critical that organisations invest in building and deploying digital competencies.
HR also needs to understand the impact of digital disruption from an employee perspective. A digital employee is constantly connected, which adds to stress, and having to shift focus rapidly. He or she needs to be managed differently and carefully.
Ultimately, organisations – and their HR functions – have little choice but to embrace the digital transformation. There is a pressing need to re-imagine HR and the overall employee experience in real time.
This is a call to digitise ways of working, as well as products and services. With every employee now owning a smartphone, HR teams can automate, streamline and adopt a greater range of real-time and digital operations.
This must, of course, be accompanied by a fuller understanding of matters related to security, privacy and anonymity.