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Businesses operating today face more uncertainty about the future than ever before. Historically, companies have always had to weather external shocks that create major disruption. These include wars, recessions, natural disasters, changing demographics and shifting trends. Navigating these types of external stock required the judicious use of management theory, financial wizardry, operational prowess, and timely capital investments. The level of uncertainty being faced today however is magnified by the rise of technology-powered competitors that are upending traditional business models. On top of this, is the most devastating pandemic in a century that has shattered norms and created a new paradigm in how the world operates.

Most SMEs and MNCs operating today still trade in traditional business models. Over the past four decades, many of these companies incorporated technology to digitise different part of the business to improve profitability. Despite the billions invested in technology, many traditional businesses continue to face the twin threat of slowing growth and declining margins. Macroeconomic and demographic changes over time have also conspired to make the general business operating environment more challenging. As companies take stock and make the hard decisions needed to ensure their long-term survival, a key factor is becoming apparent— winning the talent strategy is the main determinant in futureproofing a business that wants to adapt to a changing world.

Successful human resource revolves around engaging the workforce. Engaged employees are more motivated, perform better, and feel more of a connection to the business. These qualities are crucial when a business needs to adapt to a changing environment and even more important when the business wants to transform itself to be more competitive. Engaged employees are happy and confident in their jobs, and they are optimistic about their future at the company.

Digital human resource has been deployed more and more by people managers who are looking to use technology to boost how they engage their employees. One of the most common applications of digital HR is in improving employee communication. By enhancing communication internally, employees find it easier to collaborate on projects, communicate with managers, and complete tasks. Using communication tools in the workforce removes a lot of gridlock in the workplace and reduces the negativity of work-related frustration and stress.

The second element of employee engagement has to do with learning and development. As jobs become more complex, companies need to increase the investment made in giving employees the skills and knowledge needed to perform their jobs. Technology that helps human resource teams deliver job-related education through mobile learning platforms, and gamification engines can drastically increase how engaged an employee can be. Currently the largest generation in the workforce, millennials rate professional growth and development opportunities as the most important factor in job satisfaction, according to many recent studies.

The ultimate expression of an engaged employee is when they feel confident about the progress of their career. As companies hire new generations into the workforce, human resource teams will need to consider how they provide career pathing to employees at all levels. Using career pathing software and AI-powered performance management tools can create well-defined paths for employees to chart their future and upskill themselves accordingly.

Strategically implementing digital HR tools in the organization can help human resource teams improve employee engagement by enhancing communication, education, and career pathing. An engaged workforce is a company's strongest asset in futureproofing itself, by embracing innovation and transforming its business model to adapt to an uncertain future. 

Source: Cllement Tan, Founder and Group CEO, RAMSSOL Group Berhad