In response to the rapid acceleration of technology, organizations today are recognizing the need to 'go digital', whether it’s by digitizing their processes, implementing HR information systems or having most of the communications with the teams supported by apps.
Crina Ilie, People Function Manager at Genpact Europe and Nicoleta Capătă, HR Director at Flanco Romania were speakers at the 6th edition of the HR Executive Learning Breakfast - “HR in the Digital Era” - organized by Romania-insider.com and Ideograf on November 28, 2019. The event was supported by CBRE Romania, Maastricht School of Management in Bucharest and Sweeteria.
Over 30 HR directors, general managers and entrepreneurs joined in the discussion at the CBRE office in Bucharest. The session was moderated by Sandra Jitianu, Management Consultant & Trainer, Ideograf.
Nowadays, HR relies on IT to implement data and talent management tools, centralize intelligence, and create an open structure that allows a smooth flow of information. Additionally, HR should focus on attracting individuals who are digitally savvy and socially aware since they are key for organizations going forward.
Genpact Europe intensified their digitization efforts in the HR department 3 years ago, by developing an employee management system which includes a series of intelligent tools that are aimed at simplifying many HR processes. Crina Ilie, who manages a team across 21 countries in Europe, carried the audience through this transformation and gave several examples of tools that were implemented, such as distance recruiting using video interviewing, an AI culture assistant named Amber which reached a 50% adoption rate in only 3 months, as well as a chatbot that answers employees’ most often-asked questions.
Being typically considered as a cost center and not as a profit driver, the HR function is usually the last in line for changes. Even so, the new business landscape demands a reset of expectations from the human resources department. “New objectives of the HR functions include the ability to rapidly adapt the solution to internal and external changes, employee experience and engagement, as well as building insights from data to drive predictive, self-correcting and intelligent decisions,” said Crina Ilie.
“HR and technology do have some things in common. They share the need for simplicity, for trust and confidence, and they also share emotion”, added Crina Ilie.
The Romanian-owned retailer Flanco, which has 150 stores and over 1,500 employees throughout the country, started its journey to digital by implementing the Flanco Performance System - an evaluation tool for their sales teams.
Nicoleta Capătă, HR director of Flanco Romania, showcased this system that allows teams to monitor their performance in real time, so that they can influence their results before the end of the month. The system is used daily by over 400 of their sales team members. “The biggest challenges we had were finding a performance standard that is accepted by all employees, regardless of their level, and creating a culture of performance, where our colleagues are genuinely interested in having good results”, said Nicoleta Capătă.
Based on her experience with implementing the performance tool and also Flanco’s e-Learning platform Nicoleta shared her insights regarding a good set-up of a digitization project. Selling the idea to the team and getting buy-in a long time before the actual launch of the project, listening well to the organization and accepting the feedback one receives, clarifying ownership of the tasks, having high tolerance for ambiguity and choosing one’s partners wisely are among Nicoleta’s key learnings for a successful digitization initiative.
As a key takeaway, the aim of digital transformation is for HR to put in place new and innovative systems and processes that will revolutionize the employees' experience work culture. HR has to create and establish a working environment that not only increases productivity and efficiency but also improves employee engagement and wellness. Improvements in the processes of hiring, training and performance management will be mirrored by improvements in employee engagement, motivation, and innovation.
The last part of the meeting was a lively debate with plenty of questions from the audience made up of HR executives, business owners, and top managers.
The next events of the HR Executive Learning Breakfast series will continue in 2020 - full list here. For additional details please contact [email protected]. Sign up here to receive updates about this series.
The HR Executive Learning Breakfast is a series of recurring morning events for a meaningful exchange of ideas & HR best practices. Topics of future events include organizational change, growth mindset for organizations, team dynamics, managing performance and leading change among others. The audience includes Romanian and foreign HR executives, directors, entrepreneurs who want further inspiration and knowledge on the HR front.
Romania-Insider.com is the most-read English – language news and features website dedicated to Romania, read by over 3.5 mln unique readers from all over the world in 2019. Its publisher also prints a yearly expat and travel guide in English and offers a premium executive press review service in English.
Sandra Jitianu, business owner at Ideograf, is a management consultant, trainer and coach with human resources and change management background and +14 years project experience in manufacturing, financial services, oil & gas, utilities, retail, professional services & shared service centers. She has worked with teams in Romania, Rep. of Moldova, Spain and Switzerland.