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How Technology and HR bridges the gap in remote work

This excerpt was first published in the ebook titled  “The CIO-CHRO Agenda- Fuelling the Digital Workforce Experience” by PeopleStrong Philippines 

 

All over the world, remote work has become the norm. A large majority of businesses and organizations shifted their way of working, and have learned to run their operations in a way that was previously thought impossible.

And behind the scenes of these successful transformations of hybrid work is the dynamics between human and technology. Specifically, in the work environment, the partnership of human resources and IT departments. Here are some insights on how these two units work together to bring business and people to success. 

 

Reimagining the dynamics of HR and Technology Partnership

The cornerstone of new businesses nowadays is Digitization while existing businesses have significantly ramped up their Digital Transformation (DX) initiatives. A critical success factor of both scenarios revolves around the effectiveness of the Chief Information Officer (CIO)-Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) partnership.

Now more than ever, the CIO role takes center stage as businesses, regardless of industry, embark on DX to cope up with dynamic client demands to survive the onslaught of the economic impact of the pandemic. From ensuring sound and intelligent technology enhancements to streamlining experiences of both internal and external users to acquiring and/or developing solutions to gear up the competitive advantage of the organization. Uptake of new technologies and incorporating them into business processes as a norm requires careful consideration and this is how the CHRO role folds into the success formula.

To have a successful transformation journey, it’s inevitable to hack how the workforce perceives collaboration, process interoperability, and standard operating procedures. We have to reimagine the culture of how one operates and collaborates to effectively shift traditional ways of working. Entering the Human Resources landscape, we find that there are a variety of ways to teach individuals how to adapt to ever-changing working conditions. Backed by available technologies and analytics, the HR team can develop upskilling programs tailored to fit a specific workforce. It is vital to understand and appreciate the benefits of transformation and how it contributes to the overall success of the organization and employee work-life balance.

The synergy between the CIO and CHRO fuels the organization to thrive during challenging times and grow exponentially.

 

Challenges in HR Tech Post-COVID Era

During the pandemic, the collaboration and interaction between the CIO and CHRO significantly increased. As we shifted to new ways of working, our workforce needed to relearn the dos and don’ts of telecommuting.

One of the first challenges is the abrupt execution of telecommuting. It caught us offguard with little to no time to prepare and provide guidance. The CHRO together with the CIO had to race against time in identifying new channels to communicate with our workforce given its diversity and diverse business portfolio.

All eyes were on technology as demand for online solutions and the means to connect to it rocketed as the top priority, all while ensuring information security and data privacy controls are not compromised. 

Now fast forward to when all needed solutions and connectivity are all well-established, the business growth opportunity takes the stage. With the right resources and technologies, given our line of businesses, there was room to explore industries spurred by the pandemic to assist the country in its economic recovery goal as well as to provide livelihoods to those affected by the unfortunate situation.

In this new normal of remote work, establishing a People-first Digital Culture is crucial. And this can be achieved when HR Tech is effective in addressing employee challenges. 

However, like any other change program, there are challenges as well. 

One is demographics. This pertains to having the right campaign strategy tailor-fit for different groups of employees. There are slow and fast learners, tech-savvy and old-school individuals. It shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all campaign. We have to be aware of the needs of specific workforce groups and personalize the employee experience to be successful.

Another challenge is routinary manual processes. Automation is a default response, and we have Robotic Process Automation (RPA) robots already in the digital pipeline. However, learning from existing RPA rollouts and benefits, RPA does not apply in all situations. The absence of intelligence in the automation process can at times prove more expensive and counter-effective. Careful process review and analysis are required to determine when, where, and how automation should be applied.

 

Technology powers Human Resources Forward

HR Tech is front and center today. From sourcing new talent, processing onboarding, training and empowering, checking and monitoring health conditions, to off-boarding and clearance, technology is the lifeline for human resources processes to be efficient, effective, and fast.

And for HR Tech to be successful, the vision of the CIO and CHRO needs to be interlinked with each other to guarantee optimal synergy and ensure organization-wide support. Propelling the business into the future entails a tight-knit CIO-CHRO vision, a sound understanding of potential risks ahead, a clear vision, and a contingency strategy.

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Jason Miñoza is the Group Chief Information Officer and Data Privacy Officer of Asticom Group of Companies, a Philippine-based shared services company. He has 21 years of experience in information and communication technology, information security, and computer engineering. As CIO, he oversees and ensures that Asticom’s people, processes, and technologies produce deliverable outcomes. In his downtime, Jason likes to go on road trips with his family, and play basketball and online games.