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With the new generation becoming more connected, embracing the beauty of digitisation and agility in HR is key, says Beatrice Oger, HR digital services director, Schneider Electric.
I know you joined Schneider Electric in 2012. How has your journey been so far?
Really intense, because I have been working in the area of HR transformation. Specifically, I am in charge of moving all our HR systems on cloud.
This year, it will be all about analytics and mobile application. We are trying as best as possible to innovate and do more for the next generation.
How did you get started in HR?
While I was studying economy and controlling matters, I had a good teacher expert in HR, and I found HR interesting because I realised it is a domain which clubs communications, psychology and logical skills together.
That is why, today, the HR function stays for me the most interesting one.
What is your view of how the HR industry functions today?
I’ve been in HR for 20 years now, of which 15 were in HRIS so my domain of expertise is really in HR digitisation.
The HR function is highly visible and needs to evolve on a regular basis. Hence, to be agile today, it is most important to adjust to people and business needs.
There has been so much talk about using such technology, especially in the HR division, but leaders and HR managers specifically have been known to lag behind in using technology.
They are still hesitant in using cutting-edge technological devices, as compared to functions such as finance or marketing. What are your opinions on this?
While it is true that we face this hesitance, I think we are moving quite fast, in HR, at Schneider.
We have a global HR system – as opposed to other functions such as finance. Hence, we are actually quite advanced in our organisation and comparing to other companies. All our HR processes are fully deployed on cloud technology for all the employees (150,000 employees in 110 countries)
Therefore, we have no choice today than to become more and more digital at work. The pressure is coming from our personal life where people are often permanently connected on smartphones and tablets.
Speaking of this, in the next five years, how do you think HR will evolve further?
The HR landscape will be influenced by the new generation where it’s all about being connected. People will have to set their own limits between work and personal life.
The regular processes, such as performance reviews, salary reviews and even leave management start to be challenged.
They are seen as time consuming processes and don’t bring as much added value for the business.
Here again the idea will be to be agile, and managers will be encouraged to do more regular feedback, employees could be able to take as much personal time off as they wish, as long as the work is done.
It could be the next trend, already in place in some start up.
What is the best career advice you have received?
Don’t listen to anybody else; just do what you want to do. It’s obvious, but you need to like your job.
Frustration in your position does not help. That’s why it’s important to be passionate.
If I were to tell you a sentence….I can’t imagine HR without…
Because companies are all about people. HR is a difficult function to be in because we are impacting all the employees and because our actions are very visible and sometimes also very personal.
This interview was conducted at Oracle’s Modern Business Experience Summit 2016 in Singapore.
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