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HR management in digital business transformation Larjovuori 2016

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My conference presentation on Nordic Working Life Conferene in Tampere November 2016.

Published in: Business

HR management in digital business transformation Larjovuori 2016

  1. 1. HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN DIGITAL BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION Riitta-Liisa Larjovuori , Jaana-Piia Mäkiniemi and Kirsi Heikkilä-Tammi Well-being at work – research group
  2. 2. THE CONTEXT OF THE RESEARCH USCO (Using digital co-creation for business development) –project conducted by Laurea - University of Applied Sciences and University of Tampere, School on Management in 2016-2018. • Project aims to understand what kind of: a) leadership, b) organizational culture, c) management practices, and d) co-creation processes digitalisation requires. • Co-funded by Tekes (the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) and eight Finnish organisations (including SME’s, large companies and two public sectors organisations) Please visit us at: uscoproject.fi Twitter #uscoproject @larjovuori
  3. 3. THE METHOD AND THE PURPOSE OF THIS PAPER To present preliminary findings from the sample of qualitative, semi-structured interviews (n=11 from two organizations, of the total of 48 interviews from 8 organizations) with the management of the organisations participating in the study. • Interviewees were responsible for e.g. service or product development, marketing, various customer segments or business areas and development of human resources i.e. the majority of them did not represent HR-function. • The interviews dealt with the phenomenon of digitalisation and what digitalisation means in practice in each organisation as well as employee well-being at work, leadership, the culture of the organisation, service development, open innovation, and co-creational practices in terms of how they are related to digital business transformation. The practical purpose of the interviews was to establish an understanding on each organisations “current state” related to digitalisation. The main research question of this paper is: • What are the challenges and opportunities of human resource management and leadership in a context where the organisation is introducing and increasingly utilising digitalised work processes (such as digital service production for customers, digital working tools, and digital communication and information channels)? 1/11/2017
  4. 4. HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND DIGITAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT In this paper, human resource management is essentially viewed as a strategic and invasive means of utilising, developing, fostering and mobilising human resources in order to support organisational goals. HR professionals and HR units have a role in the planning and execution of it, yet we assume in many cases the role of the first-tier managers and supervisors as well as the role of top management is emphasized. Gartner’s IT glossary (2016) defines digitalisation on a broad level and adopts a business transformation viewpoint; “Digitalisation is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business”. 1/11/2017
  5. 5. HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ISSUES RECOGNIZED IN THE INTERVIEV DATA 1/11/2017 Digitalisation as an integral part of the business strategy Open and solution-focused management communication Engaging the employees Close and persistent supervisory support Developing transferable skills Redesign of work
  6. 6. What and why do we digitalise? How does it affect our business as a whole? 1) Considering the digitalisation as an integral part of the business strategy • “Our strategy is all about digitalisation.. Well maybe not all of it, but it is well integrated and we take it account to in everything we do.” • “It was not introduced as a technical gadget or innovation, but it was proceeded through practice where the digitalization has been taken to the core.. It means that every line of managers here is strongly committed to put it (the digitalization) forward.” How do we communicate the strategy to and with the employees? How do we ensure that everyone knows how their work is changing and how do we deal with uncertainty? 2) Open and solution-focused management communication • ”The lack of communication often leads to individual surffering of conflicts.. Along with the digitalisation, the pace of the society is speeding up, yet the communications we use have been left behind, in the analogic world..” • ”The top management actually operates as a communicative front figure (for the digitalisation process), to carry it through..” 1/11/2017
  7. 7. How do we assure that employees are supported and encouraged to change their working practices? 3) Close and persistent supervisory support • “At least for the moment, the best way appears to be that the supervisor shows in practice how the process should go in the new situation. We have many web-based training courses, but they are not sufficient on their own. It just goes in one ear and out the other and after training people do as they always have done.” • ”The area managers’s task is to be a coach to their own subordinates. To be close enough to make sure that the subordinates succeeds.” How do we ensure that we have the capabilities and knowledge needed to transform the business and its value-creation logic? 4) Developing transferable skills • “Every time I speak to our people, I mention that what is going to be your future capital is your expertise, because it’s what a machine can’t [do]. When it is combined with empathy, it can’t be produced by a machine.” • “I don’t see the need for training on how to use a computer. It is more the kind of policy-training that is constantly needed. • (…) the (IT-)expertise to make the development work smoother, can’t be found - even with big money. 1/11/2017
  8. 8. How do we reform work processes so that the whole potential of the digitalisation is realized? 5) Redesign of work practices • “The digitalisation has also enabled us to organise tasks differently, as the information is no longer attached to the physical paper or location. So it has enabled, the organising the work and, for example, concentration, which improves efficiency.” • ”Do we use the right tools..? Quite often I hear comments like ”let’s have more meetings to keep ourselves posted.. We still think in terms of the analogical world..” • ”The problem is, that every time new modifications or applications are introduced,their effects to individual employees’ work are not examined. We don’t have such control.” How do we utilise the whole potential of our human capital? 6) Engaging the employees • ”Last year we updated our strategy, and we conducted a survey about how our employees think the world is changing. (..) The top management then circulated in the units and gave feedback. Last spring we elaborated the strategic targets from the viewpoint of the digitalization and an inquiry was made to out key specialist and midline managers, about 70 people altogether, about how they see our current state, when compared to the target state..” • “It is of great importance that the employees have been taken in the account. If the employees have been doing it themselves, it makes the implementation smoother: the user sees that “Okay, this has been made so that it supports the work I do”. 1/11/2017
  9. 9. IS THERE STILL A NEED FOR “HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT” AND WHAT IS ITS ROLE IN THE DIGITAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT? • Human resource management and development is increasingly “mingled” with strategic leadership, business and service development: business and customer understanding and “co- creation” with both employees and customers are essential capabilities. • In the digitalizing world, the knowledge of how the human mind works and thrives is maybe more important than ever: information ergonomy, learning and training, efficient communication… • Human resource professionals should be increasingly involved in renewing and redesigning the digitalizing work practices and organizational structures.
  10. 10. HTTPS://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=2NG-5ZZHVRC 1/11/2017 We are surrounded by change from all sides. In a world that is increasingly VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous). Human resources are prepared for the world we know, but they struggle with change. Resourceful Humans adapt to change, and are the only humans with the change of thriving in a VUCA world.
  11. 11. THANK YOU! You can change the world only if you know how it works. 1/11/2017 http://www.uta.fi/jkk/synergos/tyohyvinvointi.html https://www.facebook.com/tyohyvinvointisynergos/

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