Sunday, November 28

Digi’s research shows employees willing to upskill to keep up with digitalisation

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Although the occurrence of the Covid-19 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 MCO. — Bernama photo

KUCHING: Human Resource (HR) operations have come a long way from the days of paperwork, filing documents and overflowing cabinets, a research by Digi reveals.

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 per cent of employees find their current traditional HR processes ineffective and unsystematic as it is labour intensive.

It noted that 21 per cent said it was lacking security to ensure safety of data and a further 21 per cent lament that it was difficult to track and measure growth or performance through these traditional tools. What might 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, the research showed.

Digitalisation might 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 revealed that 36 per cent 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 per cent say their companies do plan to move in that direction but did not have concrete plans as to when it would be rolled out.

Companies who did adopt digitalised HR platforms and instead reverted to traditional processes cited high costs as a reason (44 per cent), with 28 per cent of companies not seeing the need due to their small size and 17 per cent expressing that system inefficiency in consolidating all tasks was an issue.

A small percentage (15 per cent) were worried that digitalisation would make their job redundant.

Although the occurrence of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) 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.

The pandemic, and its subsequent lockdown periods has taught us many lessons in preparedness and efficiency.

How does one continue when ‘business as usual’ cannot go on due to a disruption in daily processes? How can employees remain efficient and productive in the face of a crisis? Will the way of work remain the same and how can we prepare for the future?

The answer mainly lies in the role that digitalisation plays in ensuring productivity and business continuity to be future-ready.

In the survey, 88 per cent 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 per cent) said that they were willing to upskill themselves to keep up with the changes, with 37 per cent viewing it as ameans to be more time-efficient and 29 per cent 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.

Digi’s chief digital officer Praveen Rajan explained that digitalising HR is an important step in creating a better employee experience that will lead to better output, and a great starting point for companies to embark on its digital transformation.

“The future of work will mean that there is a constant need to examine emerging skills, employee experience and key work trends. Employee expectations will continue to evolve, and HR has to move with the times to meet them,” Rajan said.

“Digitalising HR will help to streamline many processes that would normally take up much of an employee’s time and provide them with ease of work – in Digi we have seen the results of digitalisation in many areas and have created our own HR super app, altHR in our quest for a ‘perfect’ HR solution.