Answers to 5 Common HR Transformation Challenges
Jolene Nicotina

By: Jolene Nicotina on August 1st, 2019

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Answers to 5 Common HR Transformation Challenges

Digital Transformation

Est. Read Time: 3 min.

By now, you’d be hard pressed to find an HR leader who dismisses the urgency around transformation. According to research by KPMG, 70% of HR executives recognize the need for workforce transformation—but the same study also showed that only 37% of executives feel “very confident” about HR’s actual ability to transform. It's understandable. Completely upheaving processes, tools and job responsibilities is a complicated, precarious project (but it can be done). 


To gain some perspective on the thorny aspects of HR transformation, I sat down with Rémi Malenfant, HR4HR Enablement Partner at PeopleDoc. He works with HR leaders on their transformation strategies by drawing on more than a decade of experience as both a practitioner and change consultant. 


Read what he had to say about some common HR transformation challenges (or scroll down to watch the video):


In your opinion, where do most HR departments go wrong with their transformation initiatives?

It’s not only about having new technology, it’s about the way you’re going to use it. HR transformation is always more than changing your HRIS. It’s mainly about changing your organization to empower managers and employees. HR does not need new tools to be more modern. HR needs tools that will help them to make the best decision, to better coach managers and to provide the best employee experience.


How can HR get executive buy-in for new technology?

When we’re trying to invest in new HR technology, we want to look at the cost to make sure that we’ll have a good return on investment. Obviously, we need to do that. But I think one thing that’s also very important is to think about what we’re going to get out of the new system, especially what the experience will be for the employee and how the system will improve the quality of services delivered to both managers and employees.


Our world is growing increasingly on-demand, which particularly impacts how HR delivers service. How can this function transform?

Think about your organization and what your values and goals are. If you want to be more services-oriented, rethink the way your organization is structured and consider having more people in charge of employee relations, support, and services. You can’t have roles where people work only behind a computer. HR tends to hire people with legal backgrounds who may not always have the ideal skill sets for managing people. Shift the way you support employees within your organization.


Change entire process, too. It’s not enough to just replace paper processes with digital ones. The more tools you have, the more noise. You have to change your processes along with the tools. Also, it’s important to prioritize processes that will serve the majority of your employee population. Don’t consume yourself with thinking about the exceptions, focus on what will work for 90% of cases. 


Download eBook The Key to Strategic HR: Process Automation


For companies interested in HR Service Delivery technology but who are also implementing a new HRIS, how should they proceed?

I think it makes sense to run the projects in parallel because when you’re working on your HRIS, you’re thinking about your HR processes, and obviously you want to improve them. Then, when you look at your HR Service Delivery project it’s the same question—how do I improve my processes? This time, the impact is on the employee. You’ll be asking yourself the same questions.


How should HR handle the change management aspect of digital transformation?

Involve the manager. There needs to be the right communication and the right training so they know why you’re changing things. Often, HR explains how to use new technology, but they don’t explain why they’re making changes or what the intended benefits are, such as the ability to provide more services and spend more time with employees to better support them. Most of the time, it just hasn’t been well explained. 


Hear Rémi discuss these HR transformation challenges in the video, below:




Interested in an HR transformation success story? Find out how HR at GoDaddy switched from paper to digital employee files and, by doing so, elevated the service they provide to their growing, global population:

Read the Case Study
Read the Case Study

About Jolene Nicotina

Jolene Nicotina is the Content Marketing Manager for North America at PeopleDoc, Inc. She works on making sure HR professionals have all the latest information they need related to HR service delivery, HR technology, and PeopleDoc, Inc. Prior to PeopleDoc, Jolene worked in marketing communications for the healthcare technology industry.