Australian HR leaders lagging in digital transformation

CHROs in Australia are behind their global counterparts when it comes to improving employee experiences at work

Australian HR leaders lagging in digital transformation

New skillsets, automation and a strong demand for consumerising the employee experience are just some of the major issues facing CHROs today, according to ServiceNow’s chief talent officer, Pat Wadors.

Indeed, there continues to be major changes in the way organisations around the world are working, collaborating and enabling digital innovation, Wadors added.

Wadors’ comments come following new research which has been unveiled at ServiceNow’s Knowledge 18 conference in Las Vegas.

The research, The New CHRO Agenda: Employee Experience Drives Business Value, includes feedback from CHROs across 12 countries, including from Australia and New Zealand.

It has revealed that HR leaders in Australia and New Zealand are behind their global counterparts when it comes to embracing technology to improve experiences at work.

In fact, one in six (16%) HR leaders in Australia and New Zealand say they do not use technology to improve HR outcomes, compared to just one in 50 (2%) of Japanese CHRO’s.

Wadors added that the best talent today expects “great digital experiences at work”.

“Top talent can work anywhere, and they are choosing companies that embrace advanced technology to make work simpler, faster, and better,” said Wadors.

“HR leaders are creating a new employee experience as they realise that great benefits and cool office perks are no longer enough.

“Employees want great digital experiences that make work, work better for them. Companies that don’t offer this will find themselves losing out on, or struggling to hold on to, the best talent.”

Moreover, less than half (47%) of HR leaders in Australia and New Zealand say that the HR function is a driver of digital transformation at their company, significantly lower than regional competitors such as Singapore (64%) and Japan (65%).

This could be because around the world HR is increasingly seen as a strategic business function, with 78% of global CHRO’s believing HR strategy is an important differentiator for the company - however in ANZ this drops to just 51%.

Consequently, Australian and New Zealand companies are struggling to retain talent, with only half of HR leaders (51%) saying they are successful at doing so, despite 82% saying it is a top strategic priority for the business.

The research also found that more than half of CHROs surveyed (56%) say the ability to create a digital, consumerised employee experience will define their roles in three years, compared with just 6% who say their role will continue to be defined by traditional HR activities.


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