Next year, more HR teams will go digital. Source: Shutterstock

Next year, more HR teams will go digital. Source: Shutterstock

Should more HR teams look at how they can digitize their operations?

DIGITIZATION is a priority for every business manager, however, it seems as though new and innovative technologies are something operations, supply chain, and finance divisions have explored more than any other.

However, there’s no doubt that digitization — and all the automations and other productivity tools that digitization enables — will have a big impact on other areas of the business.

According to Gartner’s analysts, Human Resource (HR) teams have recently made digitization a priority.

It is believed that new-age digital tools will help with performance management, bring in more people analytics capabilities, and drive productivity through the roof.

The Group VP of Gartner’s HR Practice, Brian Kropp, believes that CEOs are looking to the HR function to drive digital transformation efforts and increase innovation across the organization.

“The organizations that get it right and are able to improve their innovative effectiveness can increase annual revenue by as much as US$8,800 per employee,” explained Kropp.

Building the organization’s tech capabilities

One of the biggest challenges that HR teams face is deciding whether which is a better idea — buying digital talent or developing it from within the business.

Some chief HR executives call it the “build or buy” dilemma, a name it picked up from the tech world itself.

Gartner’s research suggests that companies should continue to do both, but warns that these strategies alone will not help them achieve their digital transformation goals.

Instead, organizations must work on changing the company from within if they want to foster a culture of digital innovation and build the right ecosystem for it.

Leading organizations recognize that standard practices for attracting and retaining talent are not enough to promote a culture of innovation.

Rather than strategies centered around building innovative individuals or innovative teams, Gartner’s research found a broader, more network-based approach to cultivating innovation achieves the best results.

To build a culture of network-based innovation, Gartner has identified three main strategies:

# 1 | Involve employees beyond the idea-generation stage.

Giving employees more visibility into and ownership of which ideas to pursue ensures more employees are actively engaged in innovation at their company.

# 2 | Shift leadership mindset to shared, not individual and risk-taking.

HR should help functional leaders collaborate to gain a deeper understanding of how to take better digitally motivated risks and chances.

# 3 | Supply employees with more guidance, not more access, on using networks to innovate.

HR leaders can gain traction and maintain momentum by considering how ideas move through their organization and equipping employees with a new outlook of who to work with — beyond the formal structure — and how to push ideas forward.