Digital tools strengthen HR: caring for people with data

Feb 15, 2022 | People Analytics

To work and compete in a digital world, we need people with the right training. Up until now, companies have invested in tools that have allowed their workers to work remotely, but adapting to the change that’s already taking place isn’t enough. It’s time to take a step forward and anticipate transformation. HR Directors need to develop new training programs that welcome the entire organization, providing people with the tools they need to make a difference in tomorrow’s markets.

Over the next two years, thanks to digital technology, 70% of workers will need to upgrade key skills to be able to carry out their everyday work. According to a report from the World Economic Forum, 84% of companies expect to accelerate the digitalization of their processes and increase the amount of digital tools used at work. It’s now becoming a priority for companies to upskill and reskill their workforce. Using digital takes on two roles: the goal of workers being able to effectively use technology and offer new training formats.

Focusing on digital soft skills

Employee training represents a key challenge for every organization. The trend monitored by the Innovation Practice HR Observatory at Milan Polytechnic  suggests that companies increase their spending on digital initiatives by 7.5% compared to 2020. Over the past few months of remote working, more than half of HR directors have encountered gaps in activities that support their people. The ‘digital change’ is driven by the need to guarantee continuity at work, as well as a desire to improve processes.

Today, 35% of organizations expect to increase their investments by up to 15% when compared to last year. This increase will focus mainly on training, analysis and developing new skills. As we move into an increasingly “hybrid” situation between the physical and the digital, corporate roles need to evolve. Many organizations are focusing on soft skill development programs, transferable skills, as well relational and behavioral changes to best maximize these new digital tools.

HR managers play a key role in this. They are strategic partners for management, with the aim of guiding internal development and sourcing external skills that can future-proof their businesses. That’s why it’s so important to instil a culture of life-long learning within their companies. HR Directors are called to create personalized journeys, both in terms of content and formats, that are engaging and efficient in digital settings.

Personalized, independent and flexible training

Everything seems positive so far. People working within organizations are aware of the changes that are taking place. Often, they’re more than ready to acquire new skills and abilities as they participate in continuous learning opportunities. As the technological transformation has offered new ways of working remotely, thousands of workers have developed a certain learning adaptivity. They have become more effective at learning new skills and abilities, allowing them to adapt to the changes that their job requires of them.

Today, more than half of organizations use digital tools to carry out microlearning. Training sessions provide continuous professional updates and facilitate the integration of learning within the everyday. This proves to be useful in engaging younger generations, as they’re interested in quickly learning through short content that they can immediately put to use in the workplace. It’s the new learning trend: personalized training that can be managed independently and fits into each schedule. 

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Using data and HR’s new role

Some things have become much easier, thanks to digital tools. HR Directors can now easily gather and analyze data, allowing them to personalize experiences for each employee. AI algorithms are able to suggest relevant content and formats to individuals, based on their own interests and needs. They can also show the organization which skills they need to develop in order to remain competitive.

Data offers so much potential, but few companies are actively putting these insights to use. According to Milan Polytechnic, only 8% of organizations conduct analysis exercises to predict future trends. In terms of training and development, HR teams often limit their analysis to the here and now, without diving into the data that they’ve gathered about the results that training has brought. Without this important element, it’s impossible to measure the effectiveness of training initiatives.

Data analysis, using digital tools to support HR processes and people engagement are three elements of “Connected People Care”. It’s the new role that HR teams are taking on to care for their people, personalizing their services, staying up to date with market needs and staying connected with the entire organization.

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