March 2022

Digital transformation is not just upgrading your human resources management system (HRMS). Phrases like “user experience” are hot on everybody’s lips. All and every industry in every corner of the world is on the bandwagon to ensure users of the product or service have a positive, seamless experience for continued engagement.

HR is no different. Gone are the days when work was just work. We spend so much time doing it that it must be meaningful and fulfilling. Work is an experience where, increasingly, employees want to be engaged. The time is ripe for HR to follow suit and become digitally transformed. And the digital environment is fully geared to give HR a comprehensive management system, and create the ultimate employee experience.

What is HR Digital transformation?

When your HR processes become technologically automated, you can argue that you’ve accomplished HR digital transformation. But we’ve mentioned that employee experience is paramount in the labour market today. Clearly there’s more to digital transformation than just having the newest, shiniest technology. It should also give employees the incentives to keep coming back to the HR virtual realm for what we call career experiences. In the Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) HR industry, this gives companies a clear competitive advantage in getting the best of the best, and simplifying work for their employees.

What factors are important for successful Digital Transformation?

In the world of user experience (UX) design, people talk about the virtuous cycle. When your users come back time and again to join the experience that your product creates, then they remain within the virtuous cycle. There are many reasons for them to exit the cycle. So now the designer must look at the reasons for exit and how to get the user back into the cycle.

To create the virtuous cycle, a technological application or experience must engage and enrich the user to remain compelling. So the question becomes ultimately, not how we can sell our service, but what does the user want or need?

If this isn’t making sense yet, when you use technology, it must ultimately serve the users. In the case of HR digital transformation, the users are not only the HR team, but all employees, i.e. the entire company and all its people. To have a successful HR digital transformation, you must ensure all employees join – and remain – in the virtuous cycle.

Creating a Digital transformation plan

The plan is only a plan until it is executed. Creating digital transformation takes the plan, careful and patient execution and time that allows everyone to acclimatise to the transformation. Therefore, we’ve identified the steps of the process to help you through your organisation’s digital transformation.

1.  Set a goal

The goal would be the reason why your company wants or needs digital HR transformation. As much as it is a business decision, the focus point is to solve a problem for employees. HR technology is ultimately for the benefit of employees and should be designed primarily for that purpose.


2.  Evaluate your needs

It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how easily needs evaluation can fall by the wayside. Be clear in your analysis what your employees need from a digital HR system, and what they also want. Ask your workers and hear what their needs are. Also check in with what your organisational needs are when it comes to HR functions and have a clear idea what your must-haves and nice-to-haves are so that you can match it to your primary userbase needs and your budget.

Lastly, prioritise your needs, ideas and wants according to impact and effort. In doing this, you can start by implementing the low-effort, high-impact ideas to get you going and sell the business case to the financial decision makers in the company.


3.  Identify resources

Managers and HR personnel would take most of the responsibility for the transformation process. Managers are the interface with employees. The change in HR practices or processes have a direct impact on the employees and their managers. The change must improve life in the company. Otherwise, it serves no purpose.

Also invest in tools that you need to perform the HR digital transformation. Hire the additional people you will need for a successful transformation program. For example, if one of the new processes uses artificial intelligence (AI) to gain insight on engagement or performance, then it makes sense to hire a data scientist.

Get buy-in from key stakeholders

Part of the plan is execution, and this happens only through people. Identify key stakeholders, including but not limited to employee representatives, HR, management, and the accounting and IT teams. Ensure representatives are available from all the stakeholder groups to help with the planning, investigation and implementation phases.

Do your due diligence

Investigate your company’s digital HR options. See which providers fit best in with business and HR goals and the broader digital environment of your organisation. Digital transformation must make life easier and better, first and foremost. If it doesn’t achieve that, you’re worse off, and better reconsider your options.

Pick the right Partner

When you embark on HR digital transformation, the journey will be smoother and less stressful if you have the right partner onboard to assist in the process. Consider that your provider understands your organisation and specific organsiational needs, as well as cultural and geographic idiosyncrasies. Operating in the MENA region means that you and your employees have specific needs and experiences that a generic solution would not necessarily address as well as it should.

Book an HR Digitial Transformation Consultation with gulfHR Today

gulfHR specialises in MENA-specific HR software solutions, creating unparalleled employee experiences while seamlessly integrating with the rest of your organisation, locally and globally.


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