By Sandie Overtveld,
Vice President and General Manager APAC WalkMe
HR leaders today face a variety of challenges handling a distributed workforce that was forced upon them due to the pandemic. Some of these challenges include addressing employee mental health, remote onboarding, training, and managing the entire employee lifecycle. To overcome these challenges, HR leaders are turning to technology; however, with the advent of rapid digitalisation, HR technology solutions may actually be impeding progress rather than improving the employee experience.
To keep employees consistently engaged and motivated against the demanding nature of ever-changing work environments, HR leaders must balance the benefits of technology against the negative impact on an increasingly digital-weary workforce.
In Malaysia, HR tech is met with optimism and uncertainty in almost equal measure. More than half of Malaysian workers (77%), polled in PwC’s Upskilling Hopes and Fears 2021 Survey agree that technology presents more opportunities than risks. However, they remain anxious about the impact of technology on job security. This growing concern is spurred by rapid digitalisation strategies. Employees are weary, and leaders must take note of the challenges faced by their workforce to ensure operational resilience through employee satisfaction and success.
Putting aside varying states of employee fatigue and digital adoption rates, there is no denying that the pressure to build digital fluency in the workplace is a force that must be reckoned with on a global level. According to the 2021 EY Work Reimagined Employee Survey, Asia-Pacific employees indicate that technology is the enabler to support hybrid work with 64% wanting better tech in the office and 48% wanting home office “hardware” investments. All of this underscores the fact that in a few short years, going digital will no longer be an option for most workforces in the region. It is an imperative to keep pace with technological advancement.
The global pandemic has not only profoundly changed the workplace, it has also provided an opportunity to hit the reset button when it comes to HR methodology and workforce planning. Business leaders, particularly HR practitioners, have a meaningful role to play in making sure that organizations thrive as they journey towards a fully digital workforce. They have the responsibility
to cultivate a high-performance culture in a workplace that grapples with various pain points en route to a successful implementation of their digital adoption plans.
To prepare these leaders for the battle ahead, or at least provide some assurance that they are not alone in the fight, here are 5 technology challenges HR leaders must tackle in workplaces everywhere:
1. Too many applications
With an abundance of applications, HR teams and employees feel lost and frustrated, jumping from one app to another, not sure how to use them all, and unable to complete various tasks without the help of IT or another team member. Leaders must find a way to improve HR processes to benefit the organization from a business level, while also taking into account employee experience and needs.
2. Managing the remote onboarding experience
Taking into account the digital dexterity of organizations’ diverse employee base, leaders are expected to manage the onboarding experience for all user types, but struggle to overcome language barriers and costs.
3. Compliance requirements
HR teams struggle to ensure they do not violate any of the compliance requirements when updating documents. They also cannot track these updates, potentially leaving mistakes for others to find and deal with themselves.
4. Onboarding and training
Considering that HR software usage is infrequent and changes are continual, onboarding and training users to a desired level of proficiency has become a major challenge. HR professionals are finding it difficult to ensure employees complete processes accurately and efficiently across multiple applications.
5. Juggling a multi-platform HR environment
Simple processes become inefficient, lengthy, and prone to error when navigating an HR tech stack. Between HR departments working in silos, geographical compliance needs and migration of information across platforms, it’s challenging to measure employee productivity and software usage.
Transforming the employee relationship with technology
Organizations are finding new ways to connect and engage with their customers. HR professionals are speaking about the importance of mental health with candidates and employees. HR training and onboarding is constantly adapting to fit the changing digital worker’s needs. The number one takeaway from this is that technology goes hand-in-hand with the people who use it. Humans are at the heart of it all.
What this means is that HR leaders must invest in the right enterprise-grade work management technologies to help them overcome the challenges ahead in order to improve the overall employee experience and keep their organizations healthy, resilient, and more digitally proficient in the years ahead.
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About the Author
With over 25 years of international management experience in the technology sector, Sandie Overtveld is a proven leader with a track record of building high-growth teams for sustainable success, especially in the Asia Pacific region. Based in SIngapore since 2009, he is now responsible for the overall growth, customer engagement, and strategic brand direction for the Asia Pacific business at WalkMe, a leading provider of digital adoption platforms that enable organizations to measure, drive and act to accelerate digital transformation, and better realize the value of their software investments.