We had an interesting discussion for a few hours in a rainy October afternoon on digitalization and its impact on HR’s work and role.

Sarita Laras paints the big picture: ”Digitalization is affecting or should be affecting HR’s work from many different directions. For example, digital tools are an important part of company communication linking directly to HR. Digital era highlights the Importance and diversity of internal communication even more. Effective working tools should form the basis of present HR. We could lean back and wonder, what does so called traditional HR actually mean nowadays”?

”There is a lot of discussion about the attractiveness of working life. We at Atea have been combining this with the words meaningful and productivity and try to consider how the attractiveness is created. First of all, we can look at reasonableness from the user’s point of view where the user and the user experience play central roles. The user is surrounded by the working ecosystem which is largerly based on data. The user needs this data and there should be a smooth data access by any desired device. Often private individuals have better and more modern devices than employers provide. Consumerization has entered also working life and often in recruitment negotiations applicants ask if they have free choice of devices. Working devices should be appealing and efficient to make working meaningful. This in turn allows flexibility to work despite time and location depending of course on duties. All this forms the basis for productivity resulting in attractiveness and competitive edge. We often talk about the customer journey but the same way we should be talking about the employee journey. Unfortunately not all companies are investing time and money for this but it is the employee who is productive,” Sarita Laras states.

”Times have changed since we talked about HR 1.0 -period when HR was in the role of a generalist. The role was to manage the so called personnel department and see that salaries got paid. Digitalization has changed everything with automated HR processes which just need to function. Routine work should be a minor daily part of the work. The closer we are able to work with business the better we earn our position. We need to stop talking our traditional HR language and start talking business. One important aspect is to utilize existing data. We can ask ourselves what kind of information should we capture in order to support business? Also the productivity of HR is measured in figures, data and money. Digitalization has entered HR function as well.

We are facing big changes and HR needs to find the point in the changing environment where it can best create value to business. Now HR mainly looks for savings and streamlining. On the contrary, HR should focus on bearing fruit together with businesses and planning in investing in people, modeling organizations, creating talent paths and anticipating risks. HR plays on important role in shaping the organizational culture. HR is no longer just an administrational function but a value creator. The pace of change is so fast that it is impossible for us to predict what we have in five years. We can only envision the different ways how to compete on resources and develop our working community,” Sarita Laras summarizes.

– Jaana Sirkiä, Marketing and Communications Manager, Solaforce Oy

Atea specializes in IT infrastructure and delivers products and services that simplify the handling, operation and development of our customers’ IT environments. Atea has about 6800 employees in 89 different locations. Atea has been in Finland over 30 years and employs 350 people in Finland.

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