One in four HR departments in large organisations still depend on ‘outdated’ tools to manage people data, research has found.
A survey of 100 C-suite executives and 120 HR managers by HR consultancy and technology provider AdviserPlus found that 26% still see email and spreadsheets as a key part of day-to-day operations
Fifty-six per cent said their HR department uses self-service and automation as part of a line-manager led process, while only 18% have an agile and business-led HR function that empowers managers and facilitates continual improvement.
Sixty-five per cent said HR transformation has been delayed because they encountered barriers. When asked about the barriers to HR transformation, half of HR managers said they lacked resources or time.
Seven in 10 organisations planned to undertake an HR transformation project within the next 12 months, the HR transformation conundrum report found. Changes to the working environment, such as greater remote working, was the main reason driving the need for HR transformation, followed by a changing recruitment market, diversity and inclusion needs and a growing skills gap among employees.
Michael Campbell, commercial director at AdviserPlus, said: “It’s surprising that, in spite of the digital transformation acceleration that’s taken place in the last couple of years, a significant proportion of large enterprises still lack the connectivity and data visibility needed to deliver a data-driven approach to people strategies.
“With a quarter of respondents considering their HR functions to be ‘generalist’, this demonstrates an urgent need to address the skills, technology and analytics gaps that will enable the function to become business-driven and agile.”
The research also found that:
- only 65% of HR professionals said there was a culture of continuous improvement in their business, compared with 89% of C-suite executives
- C-suite executives and HR professionals had different opinions of the benefits of HR transformation; HR managers ranked “empowering managers to deal with day-to-day employee relations matters so HR can focus on strategy” as a top priority, while business leaders placed “improving employee experience to reduce attrition” top
- three in five organisations felt line managers were capable of managing ER issues.
Campbell said: “It is interesting to note that ‘Reducing the cost to serve’ is the lowest on the list of priorities for both groups, suggesting that organisations are not prioritising cutting back investment in people teams with their transformation initiatives, even though cost efficiencies are one of the key benefits delivered by effective HR transformation.”
He said it was positive to see that cost-cutting in the HR function was low on the list of business priorities. “This will help accelerate decision-making about investment in people teams and HR transformation solutions as HR leaders can set clear objectives and measure success against these benefits.”
Meanwhile, Gartner research reported in Bloomberg found that half of HR professionals were in the process of introducing polices to regulate the use of OpenAI’s ChatGPT at work.
“They’re probably questioning how much guidance, which roles will potentially use it or will not be able to use it, and if they should completely ban it or not,” Gartner senior director analyst Eser Rizaoglu told Bloomberg.
“A lot of leaders are working with IT, legal, compliance and auditing to understand: What are the risks, what are the potential impacts? And then how do we take an approach accordingly?”