Three Ways HR Can Lead In Times Of Digitization

Dr. Christian Schmeichel

We’ve all heard the expression “change is the only constant,” and this couldn’t be more true today in times of digitization. Across all industries, organizations are challenged to radically rethink their business models and transform their organizations to keep up with the changes.

It is crucial to enable your workforce to keep pace with the change as well. We need employees to be flexible, open-minded, and ready to go the extra mile that it sometimes takes for success.

Here are three things we can do in HR to support our businesses and employees with change in the times of digitization:

1. Rethink your HR strategy

In the digital era, an HR strategy needs to foster a culture that inspires innovation, leads digital change, and creates the ultimate employee satisfaction. It also needs to enable employees to deal with the change, the complexity, the speed, and the volume of today’s digital workplace. Resulting key strategic focus areas should be to enable individuals to learn and grow, and leaders to engage and to develop amazing talent.

To become truly leading-edge in HR, the strategy also requires an HR organization that is agile, “run simple,” and built on high-performance technological architecture.

2. Evolve your HR operating model

The technological innovations behind digitization automate and scale HR administrative tasks, which frees up resources to deliver specialized HR services like individual career consulting, strategic HR support for executives and senior-level leaders, and more. This requires an HR operating model with clear customer segmentation as well as an innovatively designed HR process landscape to allow simplicity, scalability, and continuous improvement.

3. Leverage state-of-the-art technology

In times of digitization, a business and HR strategy and the resulting HR operating model needs underlying technology that provides agility and mobility, an intuitive user interface, and fast innovation cycles. Supporting productivity and sustainability of the business is key requirement. It needs to offer smart applications to leverage new technologies such as analytics, cloud, machine learning, and mobile. To attract talent with state-of-the-art features like virtual cooperation to combine scalability with “human touch” is also important.

A cloud-based HCM technology landscape is the ideal platform to make a company a “best place” for employees to excel in their roles and lay a solid foundation for continued growth.

With change as the new norm in today’s digital environment, innovation cycles are significantly shorter. What used to take decades now takes a few years or less. It is our job as HR professionals to stay agile and keep pace with close-to-the-business HR strategies, up-to-date operating models, and state-of-the-art technology. If we do our job right, today’s digitization game-changers promise to be massive opportunities for future success.

For more on HR and change management, see Disruption Is The New Constant For HR.


Dr. Christian Schmeichel

About Dr. Christian Schmeichel

Dr. Christian Schmeichel is Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Global Human Resources at SAP.