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BT Usha Baidya

Better together: BT’s Usha Baidya on the CHRO-CIO partnership

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Usha Baidya, HR VP for Asia, Middle East and Africa at BT builds a case for collaboration between the HR and IT function to ensure organisational success.

Technology has brought about sweeping changes to the way businesses operate, and is now integral to all departments beyond IT, even to the HR function. This means it is more crucial than ever that both HR and IT speak to each other, and speak the same language.

The urgency for this grows by the day: More and more workers are demanding digital tools that enable workplace flexibility. According to our recent 2016 Mobile Multiplier Study, 80% of employees will soon want to work on the move or from home through the use of technology, and if they do not have this capability, dissatisfaction levels will rise.

In fact, it already has – more than half complain about wasting time trying to get reach their colleagues (54%) and at least 70% of employees would rather their IT department invest in the best technology tools available for mobile working, than provide them with a company car. Employees also need accurate and reliable information, in real-time and on-demand, in order to perform their tasks efficiently and effectively.

As HR leaders we need to take these expectations seriously and partner with IT departments to discuss the type of workplace technology our employees need to do their jobs well. Collaboration with IT will deliver the ideal set of digital tools for employees to boost productivity, grow the business and drive customer excellence.

Collaboration with IT will deliver the ideal set of digital tools for employees to boost productivity, grow the business and drive customer excellence.

The results of equipping employees with mobility tools are clear: Stronger communication between employees would certainly lead to huge improvements in productivity and contribute towards an enterprise’s success. By expanding and enhancing IT capabilities for our employees, companies will be in the best position to attract and retain the talent required to grow the business.

HR and IT functions need to help each other identify gaps in the employee working pattern that requires attention, whether through a change in processes, systems or tools. Addressing these gaps accurately will be vital to maximising budgets currently allocated and, convince senior board members to invest in mobility tools when the results are evident to them.

Close collaboration between the HR and IT departments will also allow both teams to be aware of employees’ usage behaviour and how data security threats can be avoided well ahead of time, by finding the right tools that serve the desired workplace requirements.

The CHRO plays a vital role in reconciling the current gap between what is required for better employee performance and the digital tools currently offered to them. This means the CHRO must be able to understand the various IT strategies being implemented in the company in order to accurately identify key areas that can be adjusted to suit the specific needs of employees.

If companies are to become truly agile, the CHRO needs to work with the CIO to ensure employees get access to digital tools, particularly when they are on the go.

As the person who leads a company’s people strategy and also sits in the boardroom where the decisions are made, the CHRO can evaluate the type of working experience desired by employees and in tandem work with the CIO to effect the changes necessary for SMART digital tools and systems.

Employee adoption rates determine the success of any IT or HR initiative. If companies are to become truly agile, the CHRO needs to work with the CIO to ensure employees get access to such tools and data wherever they are, particularly when they are on the go.

When employees find it easy to achieve their work goals regardless of time and place, including communicating with their colleagues across borders and time zones, they will feel more satisfied and give their best to the company. It’s a win-win situation for all.

Photo / BT

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