Transforming the workplace culture has never been as important to companies as it is now. If Human Resources was treated as a side function decades back, HR is now slowly easing into the centerstage to lead enterprises towards their digital transformation. This is not surprising; HR, after all, is handling what could be the most important asset in any of a company’s innovation efforts: the people. And there’s no better way companies can grow into mature digital organisations without developing their workforce talent.
HR: Far from minority today
To successfully digitise, companies must be ready to build a workplace culture where employees have a significant buy-in and where they can find a sense of genuine purpose. This isn’t only a matter of letting people adopt digital skills nor rewarding them with a fat paycheck; it’s more importantly a way of creating a new experience for employees which encompasses their “overall physical, emotional, and professional well-being.” When SAP Thailand was recently named as one of Aon’s Best Employers in Thailand for 2017, I thought it was a fitting recognition for what we, as a company, have been meaning to achieve all these years. As SAP’s mission is to help improve people’s lives, we have likewise sought ways to ensure that our own people are nurtured, that their needs are taken care of, and that their vision of personal success is complemented by a strong culture of support in the company.
Towards an innovation-led workplace
In helping SAP Thailand become a more innovation-led organisation, three workplace insights have been top-of-mind for us in the boardroom. These are: 1. Instill in your employees a sense of purpose. Today’s employees are the hungry kind—they crave purpose and value, and they want to be tapped for whatever will give them a sense of fulfilment personally and professionally. As such, the HR must take the charge in developing programs that will help employees envision a future with a company. This means understanding their mindset and knowing exactly how their personal aspirations align with the organisational direction. Millennial employees, for instance, are generally regarded to be purpose-oriented individuals. Driven less by paycheck, they embrace challenges and always want to know the “why” of what they’re doing. This should be every HR’s starting point—they need to be on top of their employees’ needs, so they can craft strategies to engage them better. 2. Develop cross-generational intelligence in the workplace. Managing multiple generations in an organisation isn’t easy. But this is something that HR can capitalise on to develop cross-intelligence in the workplace and promote diversity at work. A good generational mix is beneficial in so many respects: it allows employees to respect multiple perspectives; it provides opportunities to develop transparency in communication; and it bridges knowledge and skills gap among various age groups. A responsive HR should be the first to see this as an advantage in fostering harmony in the workplace and harnessing the strengths and experience of each generation. 3. Establish a culture of coaching and performance feedback. As younger talents enter the workforce, it becomes imperative for organisations to start rethinking their employee performance metrics. No longer can companies be doing appraisals once or twice a year; what’s needed is a continuous dialogue that highlights employees’ value in achieving the company goals. This is especially important for millennial employees who need a culture of coaching and collaboration to succeed and find purpose in what they do.
A people-centred innovation
Today’s digital economy is disruptive and unpredictable. For businesses to stay relevant, they must now transform their HR from a mere business adviser into a strategic partner than can drive outcomes for the company. Remember: Digital transformation is a people-centred approach, and HR must shape a new experience that will prepare employees for the digital challenges ahead. Learn how your company can harness your workforce potential when you visit the Power of HR today.