by Cathy Koslowski
With various digital transformations changing how employees communicate, where they live, and how they can work globally, there are risks that they will lose some level of human connection with their coworkers and employers. A Harvard Business Review article by Martin Lindstrom titled “Don’t Let Digital Transformation Make You Less Human” details the ways in which companies and leaders can prevent losing human connection. The author states, “this isn’t a straightforward problem; it’s not possible or desirable to turn back the clock on digital transformation, of course, and it’s not always easy to re-engineer operations without losing the personal touch. That said, this is a particularly good moment to remember that efficiency won’t get you anywhere if emotional intelligence isn’t built into your operations.” This quote applies to human resources in terms of HR leaders needing more data but also more inclusivity and a personal touch that ensures employee engagement and productivity.
Tech to manage global mobility
Digital transformation also enables an expanding period of global worker mobility. Many multinational firms employ workers who might perform duties while living in multiple different countries throughout the year. Research from Ranjit Atwal, Senior Research Director at Gartner, notes the massive scale of remote work, the pressing need for digital change, and the challenges this shift poses for companies. He says, “Through 2024, organizations will be forced to bring forward digital business transformation plans by at least five years. Those plans will have to adapt to a post-COVID-19 world that involves permanently higher adoption of remote work and digital touchpoints.”
To handle the growing number of workers who live and work in different locales, companies need to embrace technology tools. These firms must categorize these workers for regulatory and tax reasons. It’s not an easy task due to the complexity and dynamic regulatory landscape and varying country-by-country rules. There are many kinds of traveling workers, including business travelers, remote workers, one-way travelers and posted workers, and HR mobility teams need to manage everyone. Handling the various paperwork, pay and benefits, and other complications with mobile workforces is tough task for HR departments using outdated manual processes. They need to navigate the strict conditions of immigration laws, conduct virtual onboarding to prep workers for a new country, manage visa applications and other paperwork, and stay abreast of the latest pertinent regulations.
Most teams cannot properly manage these tasks on their own, which then restricts their company’s global talent expansion, and at worse, puts them in an exposed position with regulators. Digital tools and analytics through providers give employers platforms to streamline global mobility programs. These platforms can manages paperwork such as offer letters, pre-authorizations, taxes, repatriation, and various other information. They may introduce automation and pre-filled forms to streamline processes, while ensuring the system uses the latest required documentation. They can additionally keep track of various deadlines, sets reminders, and serves as a single point of reference for mobility teams and HR.
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