The HR manager’s greatest ally amidst all these developments has perhaps been technology. Ranging from general media like emails to specific solutions like employee databases with bolt-on hire-to-retire functionalities, e-Learning, telepresence, attendance tool etc., have made HR improve the quality and speed of its responsiveness to different organizational demands. “Knowledge is fast becoming the powerhouse of the global economy, its instantaneous exchange facilitated by the internet. Digital tools offer cheap, easy and fast communication, cooperation, organization and production, and workplaces are no longer tied to brick and mortar locations. In this climate, lifelong learning and networking are essential and will become engrained, as organizations will no longer be able to rely on traditional hierarchies and career paths,” says Gaurav Lahiri, managing director, Hay Group India.

Social media and mobile devices are raising the bar on HR service delivery. HR has an opportunity to use social media and mobile tools to create communities for sharing knowledge – and to support employees through direct yet informal communication. Today, social media ROI success stories and case studies are plentiful and provide compelling evidence for organizations to embrace openness, fuelled by collapsing boundaries, increased competitiveness and demanding customers.

“As employees interact with each other on enterprise social systems, the structure of the organization itself changes. Silos give way to shared networks, knowledge sharing and collaboration across locations and business units,” says Gautam Ghosh, a Social Business and HR Consultant in his blog post – How Engaging in Social Media Can Make You a Better Professional? In addition, cloud computing is changing the way people and businesses work, turning conventional ideas about time-to-value, service levels, infrastructure needs etc., on their head.

Experts say there are significant benefits to be had when HR managers can support their organization’s participation in virtual spaces:

  • Clearer and more consistent corporate visions and strategies
  • Access to unexpected knowledge capital outside of the formal organizational structure
  • Increased stakeholder ownership and accountability
  • Improved corporate social responsibility

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