Digital hr, employee experience and organizational well being

October 25, 2022
The COVID 19 pandemic has brought with it many changes in the workplace, forcing all business figures to adapt in extraordinary ways.

In recent years, there has often been talk of Digital HR, a process of optimizing processes through social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technologies leveraged to make HR more efficient and connected to improve the employee experience, transform the traditional function of HR, which was responsible for hiring, firing or implementing company policies, into a proactive figure to impact the success of the organization.

Of course, the mere adoption of technology solutions in the company does not automatically transform the role of HR. Appropriate training and coaching are always needed.

To better explore this topic, today we have the pleasure of interviewing Piero Vigutto. Piero has been working in the HR sector for 20 years, founded HR&O Consulting, and supports companies in the optimal management of the HR department, its effective organization, performance appraisal, and empowerment by coaching and training to streamline management processes by improving the organizational environment.

Piero, besides being a work psychologist and trainer, is the author of a blog and 4 books. For the past 4 years, HR&O Consulting has also been organizing the #HRO event, to share the culture of people management in the company by promoting dialogue between the parties, exchange of best practices, and most significant experiences.

Hi Piero, to date you are one of the key figures in the HR sector in Italy and we at Beaconforce are very happy to be able to interview you.

HR has evolved dramatically in the last 3 years. You have a decade of experience in coaching and training companies.

The world of HR has evolved dramatically in the last 10 years, accelerating in the last 3 years.

To still confuse payroll, with HR management, would be a really big mistake that should not be made anymore.

The HR manager is a person who deals more with the human side, than with the economic side; the human emerged especially during the pandemic, a period in which there was a need to make people feel the warmth of other people and thus make them feel a real “presence” on the part of the company.

The HR manager should deal precisely with people and their needs by trying to explore their most human side. But, how can an HR best perform his or her role digitally? A digital HR uses technological tools to be close to people, not only in terms of recruitment but also in terms of getting close to them; he is a person who has the mastery of digital tools, a person who is present on social networks, a very smart figure, able to grasp not only the information but also the opportunities that come from social networks. It’s a fine job, which requires a lot of expertise, and I think in the next 5 years we will see an evolving change in what is the role of the HR manager, which will become more and more digital because that’s what the market demands and what people want. As soft skills, a great ability to communicate and understand what are the most appropriate tools and moments to approach a person is required. Finally, digital HR is someone who knows very well the market in which their company operates.
We know that, during the past 4 years, you have initiated the #hro conference “human resources, innovation, and strategies”: an event that aims to involve various corporate figures who have distinguished themselves by devising and implementing ethical, people development, and growth projects. a 2022 edition is planned for november. what are the topics of focus this year?

HRO was born in 2019 out of the need to discuss with those who have succeeded in implementing projects that enhance, not only the company but, also the people who work in the company and beyond.

Last year, for example, we had the pleasure of hosting a conductor who spoke to us about leadership “at a distance,” and on the same panel we had a CEO who described how the company was able to become even more deeply rooted in the territory by developing and managing personal relationships with customers. The president of the Italian association MDR Psychologists Psychotherapists spoke to us about emergency psychology in the security field. In short, the desire to give space even to people who do not do work in human resources stems from the need to have guests’ voices that may seem dissonant or discordant but bring added value.

This brings us to the fourth edition of HRO, which will gather 24 speakers over two days: eight panels that will go live online on November 24 and 25, starting at 9 a.m. During the two days, 24 speakers will be interspersed, three on each panel.

We will start on Nov. 24 with the “Sustainable Company” panel: by sustainability we mean not only the ‘green’ part but also the part that most addresses the internal customer, i.e., gender equality and diversity. This year the topics will be very vertical on the ‘gender pay gap’ and overcoming gender diversity within the company. In the second panel of the first day, we will show what are the different people management tools. You cannot miss a section on HR marketing, the first panel on the afternoon of the first day. HR and Marketing are two very distant disciplines, but they are increasingly close in terms of the role of Digital HR. We will have as guests several well-known figures in both fields, who will discuss this topic. Finally, in the last panel of the first day, we will talk about people and markets i.e., how the labor market is evolving, and try to answer one of the age-old questions now asked by entrepreneurs, “why can’t I find staff?” There will also be a focus on “Major Resignations.”

The second day begins with a panel devoted to the company’s ability to make a community and tighten around its values and the people who collaborate with it in achieving the company’s goals. We will start from the experience of some companies and try to understand what tools companies can use to achieve this goal. Another panel, “Employer branding,” will involve companies large and small that are gearing up and doing employer branding on various social and online: an extremely hot topic that has been around for a few years now and continues to be little known; which is why we wanted to give it space. In the first panel of the second afternoon, we will talk about safety within the company and what unfortunately often fills the news pages. We will end the second day with a panel titled “Future Nearby” where we will talk about what’s now, what’s ahead, and what tools companies need to equip themselves with to be able to handle unpredictable events.

HRO is an interesting 2-day event, and this year we will increase the number of participants: 300 seats for each panel, 2400 seats over the two days, and given last year’s numbers, we hope to fill all the seats also because, being an online event, all the seats are in the front row.

In my book “The Right Leverage”, I address the problem of managing teams. People engagement is crucial for companies, both in the people attraction phase and in the retention phase. “The Right Leverage” brings together academic studies and several practical examples dropped into the verticality of everyday life and is dedicated to all company stakeholders. For a long time, leadership seemed to be a factor and competence of exclusive prerogative of certain figures within the company, but this is no longer the case, especially in a historical moment in which companies have begun to “crush” this figure; even in the case of very vertical structures, therefore with various levels of command, all the people who have to manage other people today need specific tools to enhance what are transversal skills.

Many years ago we were already talking about leadership, for example, there were group courses held inside sports arenas, where thousands of people learned the management of assertive communication. It was nothing but an arrogant and aggressive way of hiding the insecurities of what was not a leader, but a boss.

Once, I talked to a manager about the “Leader-Sheep” style, which is somewhat different from “Leadership”: the former is the one who leads the sheep, and the latter is the one who leads the ship. Very often leadership has been mistaken for “leader-sheep,” which is why over the years this figure has begun to be inadequate. People do not need to be led like sheep; once they are given a clear goal, people do not need to be led since they already know where they need to go. But they cannot go in different directions, but rather all walk the same path to reach a common goal.

The new figure, described in “The Right Lever,” describes a companion, a person who accompanies you along the path, not leads you. This is why I believe that leaders must increasingly demonstrate that they are coaches who can support, motivate, value, and, above all, accompany their people along the path that the company wants to propose. The “leader coach” cannot be exclusively a technician but must be a person who helps, be empathetic, has communication skills, and management skills, and must also have great listening skills to be able to calm people down. In “The Right Leverage” there is considerable space devoted to these considerations, which I hope will become increasingly common for those who deal with people daily

“HR Pills” was born several years ago and for a variety of reasons: both because of my propensity, discovered late in life, for writing, since it is easier for me to put down on paper what I think, to make arguments on paper, even if in digital format; so the blog was born because I was looking for a space where I could express myself.

Space, which fortunately for me and with great satisfaction, has become a reference point for those who deal with people. It was also born as a possibility to express, not only one’s ideas but to give voice to the experiences I have had and continue to have with people within companies. I believe that experiences should not be an entirely individual asset, otherwise, they risk drying up. The experience must be shared if it can be useful to someone, it can be a stimulus for those who read it, but above all this experience published on the blog gives the possibility for a confrontation to originate, from which exchanges of opinions and ideas then arise. A phrase I often quote is very beautiful: “If there are two of us, I give you a coin and you give me a coin, we both go home with a coin. But if I give you an idea and you give me an idea, we both go home with two ideas.” There, that’s kind of the point of the blog.

When someone responds to me and tells me about their experience it activates something in my head that develops, as a result, further ideas and experiences. That’s the sense of the blog, but also of HRO, is to initiate a change and an exchange of ideas, to activate something inside people’s heads to develop new thoughts.

Piero, as you know, Beaconforce is a deep listening tool, based on sound science, that helps companies translate people’s voices into insights and predictive analytics, creating more engaging, sustainable, and high-performing work environments. The companies that choose us are innovative and cutting-edge, they care about the well-being of their people. Our platform facilitates the implementation of the “Digital HR” process, but also facilitates communication and connection between people, strengthening employees’ feeling of belonging to the company.

I believe that the adoption of digital tools, such as Beaconforce, is critical for all companies, regardless of their size.

The era of making decisions “from the gut” has, by now, been over for years. Today, making decisions this way means risking “losing control” and increasing the possibility of error, inevitably increasing costs. This will increasingly require digital and technological tools that base the analysis on real, real-time data and return to the decision-maker a very advanced analysis of what is within the group today. This makes it possible to make decisions, which are no longer gut-based but based on objective elements that can help the final decision maker make the best choices for himself and, more importantly, for the company, to reduce costs and have a forecast of what might happen.

The business climate is an extremely important element of people management. Macro-trends from trade associations, but also from independent companies that do research within the company, show that, especially for the younger generation, it is not so much the career plan that is important but, rather, that the climate within the company is good. Therefore, having an objective analysis of what is happening regarding the internal climate is crucial to then be able to intervene in time, and maintain a good climate within the company. It improves, not only the perception of the people working inside the company but more importantly the reputation outside the company; and that means being able to attract new resources.

So having tools like Beaconforce, which provide elaborate analytics, is so important for today’s entrepreneurs, and I hope that tools like this will be used more and more, not only within large companies but also within the small companies that make up 90 percent of the national economic fabric.

Thank you very much for this interview, Piero.

If you are interested in learning more about these issues, we recommend you watch the live broadcast by registering here.

Please note this event is in Italian
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