The value of an organization is no longer judged solely by tangible assets. Investors and shareholders all over the world now recognize the importance of intangible assets to a firm’s strategic goals and profitability in today’s global marketplace. Market leaders now recognize HR as a critical part of their overall business strategy because the workplace of the digital age has evolved tremendously.
Technology is changing everything so fast that traditional human resources (HR) tools have become increasingly inadequate to manage the new demands for organizational performance. The old model based merely on hiring, compensation and benefit simply does not work anymore for a company that wants to gain the competitive advantage in a fierce – and increasingly unpredictable – business environment.
Bercause people are important, intangible assets such as skills, knowledge, competencies, mentalities and attitudes that business managers and employees alike bring to the workplace count for much more than making the numbers. Any company that still sees its HR department as a cost centre is far behind the curve and risks going out of business or becoming a target for a takeover. The new business paradigm for competitiveness is built on speed, agility, innovation, short product life cycles, quality, and customer experience.
To remain on the cutting edge, an organization requires not only a workforce that is engaged, but also a workplace that provides great employee experience in order to deliver on the brand promise to customers and thus increase shareholder value.
Employees need to be both capable and committed. Furthermore, they require a digital ecosystem that fosters a culture of engagement and high performance.
The Nigerian business landscape is not isolated from the impact of globalization. However, the human resource value chain, which has been identified as critical to corporate competitiveness, has not been fully developed, managed and utilized. The level of productivity in many organizations in both the private and public sectors as well as in profit and non-profit organizations is comparatively low. A lot of time is lost to inefficiencies due to poor HR management practices.
Analysts and commentators have argued that a good number of Nigerian organizations are yet to fully embraced human capital as a strategic competitive asset. Hence, the widespread sloppiness in the way firms hire talents, develop essential employee competencies or create training systems that help employees learn faster than the competition.
Human resource management basics like performance-based compensation, cost per hire, employee turnover and employee appraisal are mostly haphazardly done. Such practices have a negative impact not only on the level of organizational productivity, but also customer satisfaction, profitability and shareholder value.
The implication of the foregoing HR problems in the Nigerian situation is that companies that adopt a different HR approach – one that is driven by the latest HR technologies – have a greater chance of gaining competitive advantage, especially when such technologies are aligned to the overall corporate strategy.
Today, the trend in HR management leans towards a focus on employee experience, digitalization of HR functions, people analytics, and what is known as the “Gig Economy” or on-demand hiring, which allows for freelancing or short-term work as opposed to full-time employment. To support these new workplace developments, there are several HR applications which can help companies make the transition from legacy HR processes to Digital HR, which is the future of work.
However, concerns among decision makers in organizations on the issue of biometrics and data protection are quite real. A recent research shows that companies and decision makers want to have sole control of their data/information without any third-party interference. In other words, companies require HR solutions that give them full control of their data, while at the same time, minimize security risks, minimize cost, avoid disruption of internet connection and improve operational efficiency.
With over 1,000 organisations in Nigeria and West Africa as subscribers, TAMS, a time managment focused cloud biometric solution is a robust HR system designed to meet those needs, thus giving users the control they want without any of the technicalities impeding speed, user interface or the overall user experience.
Adegbola is MD and Chief Customer Experience Officer of CFS West Africa Limited