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With their immersion comes increased knowledge of the culture of your company before they set foot in the door and increased expectations in terms of what an innovative, digital-forward work environment looks and feels like. It has thrust the war for talent into the digital age where every employee – prospective and current - needs to be treated like a customer and brings those same consumer-like expectations to work on a day-to-day basis. It has created a situation where HR organizations must find new ways to recruit, develop and maintain a high-level, productive, and innovative workforce. Their success in doing so will largely determine their ability to compete in tomorrow’s highly digitized business environment.
HR in the Cloud
The challenge is that today’s workforce look at work through a different lens than prior generations. They have been living in a world where the lines between work and personal life are faint at best and they carry the expectations from one to the other seamlessly. According to Deloitte’s 2016 Millennial Survey, almost 90 percent of respondents wish they could start and finish their work when they wanted to, and 77 percent want greater mobile connectivity, via tablets and smartphones, while they work.
And millennials aren’t alone in demanding a more user-friendly workplace. Virtually all workers have now become so accustomed to living in a cloud-based, app-driven world, and are just as likely to want to flexibly blend how they work with how they live.
In response, many companies have already begun the shift toward so-called consumer-driven IT, and are fast developing the app-based technology environment their employees have grown so accustomed to. Others, however, haven’t been so quick to do so. This is especially true of the HR function, which is surprising, given how critical HR has become in fighting the war for talent.
Even many of the fastest-moving companies have yet to update their HR technology, continuing to depend instead on outdated on-premise legacy systems rather than the new cloud-based HR solutions, which can provide operational flexibility, more powerful workforce analytics, and lower costs, while offering employees full suites of easy-to-use mobile apps for all kinds of HR tasks. Approximately 40 percent of HR executives who responded to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends report said they are only now beginning to make the move to the cloud.
Why the delay? At some companies, getting funding for HR to make the transformation can be tough. Even if the company as a whole has begun the process of moving to a cloud-based environment, more seemingly business-critical functions are likely to move there first. Other companies may have recently implemented an on-premise HR solution and prefer to wait until it has achieved the desired return on investment.
Still others may have spent years customizing their HR systems and worry that they will not be able to customize new cloud-based, apps-driven technology to a similar degree. And the cloud continues to raise security and privacy concerns, particularly at global organizations with extensive operations in Europe, given the often very sensitive nature of the employee data HR must maintain and protect.
Bridging the Gap
The need for companies to move their HR technology to the cloud is real. But for companies that are in the midst of the process, or haven’t yet begun, it may take months or even years to get there. That’s why some companies are turning to solutions that effectively bridge the gap between their on-premise present and their cloud-based, apps-driven future. They recognize that the workforce simply won’t wait.
Built on top of HR’s current technology, these solutions can take little time to implement, and can be designed to incorporate all of the integrated functionality of the on-premise system, including your current customizations into a user-friendly, mobile apps-like interface. Such systems let HR move ahead more quickly to provide the work-life balance and boost the high levels of employee engagement that can help attract and retain top talent. They don’t require huge amounts of development time or costs, and they give companies some breathing room in their efforts to move to the cloud.
The talented millennials you’re hoping to hire, and the most talented employees you need to retain, can be demanding and impatient in their expectations for what their work life should be. And the disruption in today’s most stable industries has created increased competition for talent as companies now have to compete for the best and brightest against some of today’s most innovative companies. And many of those companies are already moving to implement their own cloud-based, apps-dependent work environments—or they’ve already done so.
So if your organization is still pondering the potential benefits of moving to the cloud, a solution that is designed to offer cloud-like benefits may be the best way to bridge the gap between your reality and their expectations.
Erica Volini is a principal & National HR Transformation leader at Deloitte Consulting LLP.
Kris Khanna is a managing director in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Human Capital Practice.
Source: Deloitte Consulting LLP
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