HR's Digital Outlook Needs a Multidimensional Approach

Natalie Britt, GM People, BAI Communications Australia

Natalie Britt, GM People, BAI Communications Australia

With technological evolution comes choice, and that means research. Picking the right tools to work with is more important than we may think. Firstly, they must be fit for purpose for your organisation, the HR team, and, ultimately, the needs of each tool’s end user. Importantly, they must integrate with each other, producing a valuable data collection.

We have more options and greater ease of switching platforms or providers than we have ever had – and we should use this for the benefit of our people and organisation.

However, while a certain tool or platform may be considered the best in market, it may not necessarily work for the people who should benefit from its output or from using it. The overall fit must be right.

Even then, once you have identified the right tools, you must continue to consult and engage with your stakeholders throughout the process of implementation, delivery and outcome to best measure and monitor success.

In any role or function, listening, being accountable, responsive, and proactive are keys to effectiveness and success.

It’s what you do with the data that counts

Smart technology producing comprehensive data is surely a powerful thing. However, the real power lies in what you do with the data: how you use it and how you present it. The key is to take your stakeholders on a journey.

A multidimensional approach combines the raw data reports and organisational context with insights derived through analytics, and implications identified by using predictive analysis. This will help you do two important things:

• Set the scene by identifying the problem you’re trying to solve and its direct impact, as well as medium- or long-term implications and any potential ‘ripple’ effect to other parts of the organisation.

• Build a comprehensive recommendation that addresses the immediate problem from various aspects and anticipates how those actions may need to be refined and adapted over time as they are reviewed.

Finally, give your communication plan adequate thought. More complex solutions, or a programme of work rather than a few actions, will require a more strategic approach to getting endorsement, approval, and engagement from the various stakeholders involved. Consider these quince of tailored touch points with your stakeholders and adapt the key messages and emphasis according to each group’s focus.

A case in point

The HR team at BAI Communications Australia recently undertook a gender equality review. We used this multidimensional approach to ‘working’ the data, which helped us identify and understand two opportunities for improvement. These we regender pay gaps and parental support needs. We also identified how we could address them with immediate actions, revising pay, and longer-term initiatives, such as policy changes.

When it came to wage parity, we used the Power BI platform to help us identify whether we had gaps in comparable roles across each level of hierarchy that needed to be closed. Our new–gender neutral–parental leave policy with additional pay and benefits aims to support every parent to have the opportunity to care for their children while maintaining their career.

The data, analytics, and our interpretations also helped to inform our understanding of the financial implications and impact that taking action, or not, would have on organisational performance, engagement, and culture in the near future and long term.

The subsequent investment and improvements that were made in both areas had immediate effect and will have tremendous positive impact over time. This result would have taken much more negotiation and much longer to achieve without the benefit of the technology we used and the way we used it.

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