HR's Role in Business Transformation
Updated: Jul 9, 2020
The business world is a high-pressure environment pushing companies towards constant innovation and adaptation to survive and thrive against a rising tide of agile competitors.
If a business isn’t undergoing some form of transformation, then you could easily consider its days as numbered. Innovative companies riding the cutting edge are reliant on HR to attract the necessary talent to create a culture which embraces change and can raise the organization to new heights.
There are disruptive forces at play which have the potential to change the face of business forever. Global pandemics, Mass globalization, AI, and Robotics are just a
few of the challenges faced by HR, but what is HR’s role and how can HR guide the business through the necessary transformations it needs to go through to realize the benefits?
HR can be a crucial department in leading the transformation of an organization by developing a multi-pronged approach which focuses on three core areas of business, including:
Business Continuity Plan & Tools
Disaster Recovery Plan
Developing a consumer-focused culture
Aligning and supporting leadership roles to advance transformative goals
Business Continuity Plan & Tools
All management levels should take an interest in their companies risk management program in order to plan for emergencies and mitigate as necessary potential risks and hazards must be identified and evaluated risk recognition can occur through many paths including inspections audits and job hazard analysis however a detailed risk analysis should be considered to mitigate risks for the business.
The benefit of the business continuity plan is to counteract the impact of risks and hazards. A business continuity plan may limit operational downtime due to unforeseen circumstances by prioritizing the needs of core business processes and establishing recovery time objectives. In addition to constraining the fiscal penalties, operational impacts can be detrimental to relationships with customers, the stakeholders and employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace to ensure compliance.
Don’t risk unnecessary prosecution, conduct a thorough workplace hazard assessment to identify if hazards are present or likely to be present. A comprehensive hazard assessment should include at a minimum workplace administrative policies and personal protective equipment to protect workers from the identified hazards.
Data is an increasingly valuable resource for organizations, so HR would do well to focus on developing a culture which realizes the value of data for developing more in-depth market insight and business intelligence. Data fuels strategic thinking and when correctly analyzed and acted upon can provide many transformational benefits to an organization, including:
Adding value to customer engagements
Improving employee productivity and engagement
Highlight inefficient business processes to reduce costs
Develop more detailed business metrics
As you can see, data can provide insights into every area of business and can be a driving force in improving results.
Developing a Consumer-Focused Culture Through Business Intelligence
Bringing onboard managers who understand the role and value of business intelligence will have a transformative effect on the organization through many different mechanisms. A team of managers focused on developing a consumer-focused culture could use business intelligence to improve customer experience.
Customers have a stronger voice when they are allowed to provide feedback in real-time. In many instances, customers are not even aware they are giving feedback. Customers provide business intelligence systems with valuable data every time they click on a purchase link, respond to an advertisement, read an online article, or interact with a Facebook or social post.
Maintaining constant contact with customers and talking with them every day will reveal information your managers can use to change business processes and keep customers happy.
It’s easy to know when customers are unhappy, but with BI, your managers will have a deeper understanding of why customers aren’t satisfied. Managers will also have the data they need to know where changes need to occur.
The Emerging Technologies Driving Business Transformation
Digital technologies are playing an increasingly important role in business transformation. Advances in software, AI, and automation are creating important tools organizations can use to boost their profit potential.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is not in our future because it is here now, and many companies are beginning to reap the transformative benefits AI can bring. Speech recognition, predictive technologies, natural language processing, automated candidate sourcing, candidate matching and machine learning are all aspects of AI organizations can use to improve customer engagements.
Mass globalization is eroding barriers to cultural exchange, trade, and communication. Organizations delivering goods and services are no longer limited to the domestic market. Instead, the customer base is now global for many organizations.
A HR department should strive to develop a culture which can take up the challenge of going global. The potential is there to triple, or even quadruple your business. If an organization fails to recognize the profit potential of a worldwide market, then it can be sure that at least a few of its competitors will be taking advantage.
When bringing new technologies on board, HR’s role will be to introduce the new systems in a way that is not too disruptive. Documentation and policies created in clear, easy to understand language will mean HR leaders can provide accessible training which frees them from doing a whole lot of hand-holding.
Investing In People
Ultimately, it’s people who drive transformations in business, so perhaps HRs most crucial role is in investing in the right people. Discovering talent with a growth mindset will ensure the people behind the brand embrace learning, eagerly accept challenges, and carry on through setbacks and obstacles. Other traits HR should search for when team building includes finding people who are:
Open to receiving criticism and feedback from all levels
Willing to learn from every situation and can critically examine an event to understand other people’s responses better
Ready to take on new things and try things a different way
Be on the Lookout for Bias
Bias can unfavorably guide decision making because it happens at a subconscious level. People rarely use logic on its own when making decisions. Emotions, however impractical, can often have the swing vote, which leads to a wrong choice.
HR executives who are consciously aware of the role emotions can play in the decision-making process can be on guard for blind spots. They can encourage discussion and expression of opinion that helps colleagues reveal new opportunities.
Choosing Inspirational Leaders
Choosing the right leaders is essential to paving the way for transformation to happen. Leaders who can be relied on to set the best example will help instill the values in the rest of the team needed to drive growth.
HR executives can provide support for leaders who can:
Remove the friction which are common to changes that are difficult to implement
Clearly state the goals of a project and each team members’ part in moving towards it
Inspire teams with the idea that change creates opportunity
Look at problems from different angles and find ways to make changes happen
It can be concluded, we can see from the above discussion that the three main driving forces behind transformation are a company’s people, emerging technologies, and how effectively it can use available data. HR’s role in the transformation will be to build a capable team which can embrace new developments, accept new challenges, and improve the organization’s focus on creating better customer experiences.