Human Resource (HR) operations have come a long way from the days of paperwork, filing documents and overflowing cabinets. While it is common these days for small businesses to rely on computer programmes such as Microsoft Excel to capture and organise HR-related data, it is far from what technology can do to digitalise HR operations, and in turn, increase productivity for businesses.
With this in mind, Digi recently commissioned a survey titled ‘Human Resource Digitalisation in Malaysia’ with Vase.AI to find out the opinions HR employees across industries in Malaysia had in regards to digitalisation in HR
Results showed that 32% of employees find their current traditional HR processes ineffective and unsystematic as it is labour intensive.
21% say it is lacking security to ensure safety of data and a further 21% lament that it is difficult to track and measure growth or performance through these traditional tools. What may have been effective then may no longer be as effective now.
In these times where digital savviness is almost a necessity, many would think that digitalisation would be the easiest option. However, it is not always so simple. Digitalisation may pose challenges in various areas of a company, such as lack of education and experience as well as an unwillingness to change legacy systems.
The survey reveals that 36% of employees who do not currently have any experience using a HR digitalised platform do not know if their company has plans to do so; while 28% say their companies do plan to move in that direction but did not have concrete plans as to when it will be rolled out.
Companies who did adopt digitalised HR platforms and instead reverted to traditional processes cited high costs as a reason (44%), with 28% of companies not seeing the need due to their small size and 17% expressing that system inefficiency in consolidating all tasks was an issue. A small percentage (15%) were worried that digitalisation would make their job redundant.
Although the occurrence of the pandemic has been the reason for many companies to turn to digital tools, it has been effective in driving the growth and expansion of many others around the country long before the movement control order (MCO). There were talks at length on the emerging Industry 4.0 (IR4.0) and the adoption of digitalisation was encouraged through many government initiatives and grants to shift the country towards a digital economy.
In the survey, a whopping 88% of employees feel that working in a digital-led environment eases their workload very efficiently; whereas survey respondents who were not working in such an environment did see the value in digitalisation. More than half (57%) said that they were willing to upskill themselves to keep up with the changes, with 37% viewing it as a means to be more time-efficient and 29% believing that such tools will improve the accuracy of the data.
With most of the world latching onto this digital shift, companies who do not digitalise run the risk of losing relevance in an increasingly internet-heavy sphere. They may lose out on business competitiveness as other companies turn to social media platforms to interact with customers, and also see an increase in costs as they have to rely on age-old systems that may not be as streamlined as one single digital platform.
As the survey findings show, HR employees are willing to digitalise and view digital HR as a way forward, but many are held back by what they perceived as barriers to entry, which in reality are easily overcome once they are equipped with the right knowledge and tools.
While many businesses have adapted to the current climate by pivoting and finding alternative sources of revenue, the change does not stop there. Companies have to continue seeking out ways to improve, evolve and charge ahead in moulding the way of work for a digital future.
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