Merle Chen, Chief Talent Officer of the company shares her reflections after embarking on a digital transformaiton journey
On the third day of Talent Tech Evolve conference, Merle Chen, the Chief Talent Officer of ‘The Lo & Behold Group’ discussed the HR transformation journey at the company, the need for partnership with finance and how to prepare for the future in a conversation with Ester Martinez, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief.
Highlighting the need for an employee first approach and a culture to sustain it, Merle noted that even with the rise of artificial intelligence, people-to-people connection would be critical to the hospitality sector.
Building the business case
One of the first actions of the leadership was to study the need for technology. They asked questions such as ‘How much time is being spent on addressing HR transactions? And one of the clear indicators for the Group was the volume of HR tickets.
While looking for solutions, the company decided to partner with the finance department since both HR and finance had a similar problem: manual processing of a large volume of employee transactions. The Group went ahead with a unified software service solution and is currently on-track to launch the software by the end of the year.
Speaking about how to build a partnership with the finance department, Merle noted that it is important to focus on the common backstory and the shared future benefits to truly accelerate the business.
Making technology choices
Choices shape transformation journeys. There are critical decisions that companies need to consider while shortlisting technology for digital transformation which include:
1) On-premise or Cloud – Companies have to choose between technology that will be supported by cloud technology (software as a service) and on-premise technology. This decision depends on a number of factors including privacy or legal obligations, data confidentiality, country-specific regulations, floor space, etc.
From a cost standpoint, on-premise technologies are more expensive due to the need for infrastructure and maintenance cost. Cloud is less costly, easier to activate and update faster.
2) Bespoke solutions or Off-the-Shelf – Decisions also need to be taken regarding whether the company is going to use bespoke solutions, in which case there will be hidden integration costs. In ‘The Lo& Behold Group’ context, since the company was looking for a service that could integrate data with finance, they chose an ERP solution that addresses both.
Giving yourself time to streamline data and talent processes are critical to the success of an HR transformation journey, Merle says. This “hands-on” change management process ensures that the focus is on the user experience. In an age where decisions regarding new phone apps and tech tools are made within seconds, understanding what works for your employees and the organization is the critical differentiator for success.