SHRM Tech EMEA Conference 2020, was held at the Ritz Carlton on 24th and 25th February 2020. Bringing together regional HR & Technology professionals, and global speakers, and thought leaders such as Josh Bersin and Johnny C Taylor Jr.

Utilising cutting edge technology can bring significant value to organisations, help gain competitive advantage, deliver better value, reduce operating costs and improve bottom line.

Here we summarised the key topics and outcomes discussed at the event. Read what trend-setters in HR Tech see as the priorities for 2020.

Technology is evolving dramatically and organisations need to rapidly develop and implement a digital business model and ensure that their workforce is constantly evolving too. If this is compromised, they risk decline of market share, or become obsolete. A recent example of this is Blackberry going into administration due to their inability to keep up with the pace of change led by Digitalisation.

Building a successful digital transformation strategy is a top priority for organisations for current and future successes. It requires an organisation to develop a wide range of capabilities, in order to remain competitive.

Utilising cutting edge technology can bring significant value to organisations, help gain competitive advantage, deliver better value, reduce operating costs and improve bottom line. Organisations will unlock immense potential if they have the right digital strategy in place.

HR is instrumental in digital transformation strategy and leading culture and mindset change in a continuously evolving environment. Existing culture is deeply ingrained that it becomes challenging to impact change. Leadership often overlooks the importance of culture when planning their digital transformation strategy which creates a disconnect that hinders the development of digital culture.

To create a digital culture, the long-term programme will need to contain a number of elements and investments from key stakeholders. This will need to have the right blend of top-down and bottom-up approaches, so employees are inspired, engaged and empowered to build the culture change together. The more engaged an employee feels (sense of purpose), the more likely they are to be motivated to contribute towards organisational success.

Key areas to focus on to thrive digital transformation in your organisation:

  1. Set a clear vision and have visibility from leadership
  2. Effectively communicating the strategy is equally as important as devising the strategy.
  3. Hiring strategy – to consider behavioral traits and specific attributes (creativity, autonomy, innovative, fun-loving). Ensure Diversity and Inclusion, and avoid unconscious bias
  4. Deploy change agents, and empower employees to drive culture (autonomy, sense of purpose)
  5. Invest in digital skills that matter. Talent Development – Build the necessary skills to capitalise on digital trends. Adapt quickly to change
  6. Design new KPI’s focused on behaviours rather than successes or failures
  7. Initiatives for behavioral change. Incentivise/compensate for learning new skills/expertise
  8. Use collaboration tools (workplace by Facebook) to increase transparency and reach out to employees.
  9. Creating a collaborative culture, which encourages risk taking. (changing mindsets). New ideas arise through collaboration efforts, (cross–functional teams to implement digital initiatives).
  10. In a data driven economy, utilise information, such as facts, figures, statistics and trends from both internal and external sources, when making key decisions on the businesses, growth and direction.

Creating a digital culture is an enormous assignment, it’s a multi-year task, and requires, patience, determination and diligence. It is not a quick fix and the driver isn’t led by technology, but is underpinned by Digital Strategy, Culture, Collaboration, Leadership, Competency (Talent Development), and these are all essential for moving forward with Digital transformation.

Josh Bershin, SHRM Tech EMEA Dubai

SHRM Tech EMEA Exhibition, 24-25 February, Dubai, UAE