Digitalization in HR management
How HR can best adjust to the challenges of the digital workplace
Changing economic conditions or spontaneously occurring crises, such as the current coronavirus pandemic, can suddenly cause many things to shift. Before you know it, working from home and new forms of collaboration, along with new IT applications, platforms and other digitalization issues, are part of everyday life at a company and within HR departments. And because things have to happen quickly in order for operations to continue without interruption, ad hoc solutions are sometimes of the essence.
The structural transformation of the workplace is gaining momentum around the world and heralding a new era of work organization, even independently of such events. New technologies, globalization and demographic change are dramatically changing the world of work. These factors are accompanied by rapidly evolving new working requirements, which companies always need to be on top of in order to remain competitive.
Sometimes, staying ahead of the curve can be difficult, especially for personnel departments, with their high volume of sensitive data, processes and strict security requirements. In fact, many are still lagging behind when it comes to digitalization. The right HR tools, the right digital HR processes and electronic files, a system architecture optimally adapted to a company’s needs or even a cloud connection can help save valuable time and money. And using employee or management self-services and collaboration tools can promote smooth and even significantly faster collaboration despite working from home or remotely.
We can show you what is important for human resources during the digital transformation of economy and society, and which technologies are set to shape the future.
Make life easier for your HR department and save costs with digitalization and the right tools
A lack of time, the war for talent, too much paperwork and as yet untapped digitalization potential pose major problems in personnel management. HR work often still involves reviewing and passing around a substantial number of paper documents, resulting in a lot of manual processing and filing work. Sometimes, HR departments use different HR programs in tandem, without any connection between them, on top of lists and evaluations in Excel spreadsheets. This prevents a seamless workflow and renders transparency and efficiency impossible. In addition, such situations can lead to gaps in the information available and tie up important personnel resources that HR managers, specialists and executives all need to carry out their day-to-day tasks.
Not all companies’ HR departments are optimally equipped for staff to work from home and do not yet offer their remote workers extensive access to work equipment, programs, tools and the information that they need.
In order for HR employees to meet the requirements of the new working world, they must be relieved of time-consuming, purely repetitive administrative tasks and provided with the right infrastructure. By automating, optimizing and standardizing existing HR processes, we can largely eliminate tedious, manual work duties.
With the help of precisely tailored digital processes, your personnel department can perform much more efficiently and quickly. Simple administrative tasks are reduced and replaced by value-adding activities. Automation helps make lengthy and error-prone administrative processes more precise and faster, and improves quality noticeably, which can save companies a lot of time and money. For example, electronic pay stub or travel expense claim forms alone can massively reduce postal costs very quickly.
Potential to be leveraged for HR departments:
Efficient personnel processes, optimized workflows and shifting time-consuming routine tasks to HR software solutions
More time and scope for your HR department to support employees and develop new HR concepts
Faster and simpler processes for HR, plus optimized services for the workforce and management through self-services
More transparency concerning human resources and for the employees themselves
Communication with authorities made easier
Support for strategic decisions
Lower material costs and excellent cost-benefit ratio
Improved communication and collaboration
Huge potential for optimization through digitalization
Below, you will find a selection of topics that many personnel departments are currently focusing on. The digitalization of these areas promises significant savings in terms of manual effort, processing times and costs:
Introducing the digital personnel file – reduce manual tasks and create more core availability
People in personnel departments still spend much of their working day on administrative tasks – or, more precisely, on searching for, finding, processing and filing paper documents. A single employee’s personnel file usually contains between 30 and 50 individual documents. In addition, IT systems in HR have often grown over time and are used without integrated solutions. For example, many companies previously only used elementary master data management in payroll accounting, or they have a varied solution environment with many different tools and processes in use, and no link or exchange between them.
The digital personnel file can bring a sense of order to the HR paperwork jungle. With a click of the mouse, employee information and documents can be accessed at any time. Electronic personnel files often receive information from different systems and include all data relevant to the employment relationship, from application documents, employment contracts, information on social security, health insurance and tax documents to personnel questionnaires, performance appraisals and training measures – and ending with warnings, letters of resignation and employment references.
Let us show you how to optimize your administrative processes with the right IT solution. By applying this solution intelligently and easily, you can speed up your work processes and save a considerable amount of time.
Converting to electronic pay stubs – cut costs and reduce effort quickly
HR processes are evolving as the world of work changes. Individuality, mobility and connectivity are increasingly replacing familiar working models. Employees and companies want to and need to become more flexible.
Part of that is preparing and mailing pay stubs that are no longer physically sent out by mail, but can be accessed, stored electronically or even printed out by employees from anywhere in the world through their own individual mailbox.
All other documents, such as travel expense forms, can also be made available to employees electronically. Replacing the paper process here in particular may offer great savings potential and a considerable process improvement.
We can show you how you can save effort, time and money with the right digital payroll accounting system.
Use of digital vacation planning – automated processes that conserve resources and increase employee satisfaction
Nothing feels worse than wasting valuable resources. Time is often of the essence when applying for, and approving, leave from work. Digital vacation planning is the solution – it lightens a company’s administrative load, reduces paper usage, and saves time and effort for all those involved. It also ensures optimum transparency, as all procedures, absences and unused vacation days are reliably documented and easily understood by staff, management and the HR department.
Instead of carrying out each individual step by hand, passing around paper printouts and wasting valuable time in the approval process, submitting a digital leave request ensures all the necessary steps are performed automatically via a self-service system. Management staff can keep track of absences and pending approvals at all times and can also approve last-minute requests with ease using their smartphones. Additionally, such a system also allows for leave to be entered automatically in the applicant’s calendar, that of the temp staff replacing them, and that of the entire team. It can also pre-configure absence notes directly or cancel any appointments scheduled to take place during the vacation period. Automatic archiving ensures the HR department is not swamped with paper documentation.
Implementing a Digital Vacation Planning system ensures efficient, flexible and transparent processes, which therefore boosts morale and contributes to optimal staff scheduling and cost reduction. It’s also good for the environment.
We’ll advise you on which systems fit with both your individual needs and the procedures you already have in place in your company, and how to use them efficiently. We’ll also link them to your time management and master data systems, and your workforce scheduling tools. This is how you can generate quick wins for your company and your teams.
Implementing employee self-services and management self-services – involving employees and shortening processes
Employee self-service (ESS) is very important for the future viability of companies. Processes have changed, and the focus is now on employees. They are no longer just managed by the personnel department, but are placed front and center and want to act and respond independently regarding many matters. As a result, the roles are shifting very much from a centralist approach to a participative one.
Employees are increasingly being involved in HR processes. HR software solutions include employee self-service portals and manager self-services (MSS), which enable employees to independently manage some personnel processes that were previously the responsibility of HR. For example, they can create and maintain their own personnel-related data, start vacation approval processes or find out about and register for advanced training opportunities.
Let us show you how you can incorporate ESS and MSS effectively into your processes and systems.
Mobile working solutions – creating flexible work opportunities from anywhere
New working requirements, working from home and digitalization are now part of everyday life at many companies. Managers and HR departments are particularly busy supporting employees as they set up their office-away-from-the-office and driving forward the introduction of the tools that will be needed for this. In addition, companies must have clear rules for remote working, modern platforms and IT infrastructure in order to provide employees with secure access to all relevant information and documents.
Instead of face-to-face meetings, tools for chats, video calls, video conferencing and webinar technology are in high demand, along with tools and platforms that enable employees to work collaboratively on documents and projects in a simple and well-structured format. Flexible work opportunities – including flexible hours – can increase employee productivity and job satisfaction while at the same time significantly reducing sick leave and staff turnover.
Let us show you which infrastructure will help your HR department to better navigate the new working world and which HR topics should be initiated for the entire company.
What processes and documents should go digital, and which ones should not? Should they be based on a comprehensive human capital management (HCM) platform, or is a best-of-breed architecture consisting of separate solutions for each task better suited? Are these systems based in the cloud or on premises – or which hybrid solutions are suitable? All these questions and many more must be considered when developing tailor-made IT infrastructure for an HR department. Here is a small selection of relevant topics:
It may come as no surprise that the good old days of pen and paper are over, even in many areas of human resource management. After all, the advantages of a paperless office are apparent and significantly boost digitalization initiatives in business:
Printing costs are substantially lower, and fewer materials are needed.
Documents are available in a digital format and are secured through the use of backups.
Relevant data can be accessed within seconds from anywhere in the world, at any time of the day or night.
The need for office and storage space is significantly reduced thanks to fewer file cabinets for paper storage.
Labor costs are saved: processing, filing, searching, finding – everything is only a few mouse clicks away.
Confidential information can be digitally protected against unauthorized access.
Compliance is easier to implement.
Many HR departments are also looking for a way into the cloud. Since HR in particular deals with sensitive data in many areas, governance, data protection and access rights play an especially important role. The choice of the right technology forms a decisive basis for the digitalization of HR. Truly understanding the market for HR technology is getting harder and harder. The decisive question now is no longer just which technology to use for which process. Instead, it should be: Which technology portfolio creates the expected added value for employees and managers and provides them with the best support in their day-to-day tasks?
In many cases, hybrid approaches have been shown to be a good solution. Hybrid IT solutions are a good way to take advantage of both worlds. Traditional IT components and elements of the private or public cloud are combined in such a way that business and technological requirements are optimally met. The focus is on integrating new technologies as and when they are needed. At the same time, tried-and-tested systems are retained where these make more sense.
Managing data and documents in a hybrid IT environment means that companies avoid data silos, while access to documents remains simple and secure. Existing data does not necessarily have to be ported to the cloud. And individual cloud-based processes can be easily combined with traditional enterprise solutions. It is a first step toward the cloud world without having to turn entire IT ecosystems upside down, enabling companies to combine the advantages of the cloud with their established systems.
Many HR departments use either older SAP systems, such as SAP R/3 or SAP human capital management (HCM), or the current SAP SuccessFactors, which offers modern interfaces, simple operation and numerous predefined features and processes.
The discontinuation of maintenance support for SAP Business Suite 7, as announced by SAP, means that companies with legacy systems in particular are faced with finding out what to do with old SAP HR systems. Would it be sensible to migrate? What needs to be considered? What advantages and disadvantages does each solution offer?
Because we have many SAP experts on board who specialize in the various HR solutions, we are happy to advise and assist you with all these questions. However, companies do not have to migrate completely right away, even in the SAP world. For example, continuing to manage the areas of pay, accounting and master data on site is possible with a hybrid approach. These areas can then be enhanced with those processes from the cloud-based version of SAP SuccessFactors that bring the company the greatest benefits and the best return on investment (ROI).
We provide the following services concerning SAP in particular:
Enhancement of existing SAP systems such as Personnel Administration (PA), Payroll (PY) and Organizational Management (OM)
Migration of legacy systems such as SAP R/3 or SAP HCM to SAP SuccessFactors
Introduction of SAP SuccessFactors
Implementation of on-premise, cloud or hybrid solutions
Integration of other platforms and tools into the HR SAP world
SAP Business Suite 7 – end of maintenance and long support for successor S/4HANA
The date on which SAP will discontinue maintenance for its Business Suite 7 has already been set. The old systems can still be used after that, but there will be no more updates, security patches or new features once the extended maintenance period has ended. Companies should therefore not wait too long before dealing with the issue of system updates and migrations. But there is still time for good planning.
That is because the mainstream maintenance end date for SAP Business Suite 7, originally announced for the end of 2025, has been extended to the end of 2027. It is also possible to optionally extend maintenance until the end of 2030.
As a result, SAP is offering its customers both greater investment security and longer-term planning for the changeover to the successor product S/4HANA. For this solution, SAP also offers a maintenance commitment of around 20 years, until at least the end of 2040.
We are an SAP Silver partner
Lufthansa Industry Solutions has had a close strategic partnership with SAP since 1997. Over the years, many successful projects have been implemented across all industries for medium-sized customers and large corporations alike. With our certified SAP specialists for SAP SuccessFactors, S/4HANA, the HANA platform and all modules, we support all phases of SAP IT projects from planning to implementation and operation.
The potential target architecture for an HR department could involve using different applications to map individual subject areas, such as digital personnel files and drafting references. The areas are appropriately linked via interfaces and connected to SAP SuccessFactors in order to use those parts of the platform that offer the greatest added value for the company. SAP SuccessFactors and the intranet are also connected, meaning that the relevant HR tools and processes can be accessed using different systems from desktop computers and mobile devices.
Digital personnel file: A digital personnel file is a personnel file in electronic format. Instead of paper, you manage and store all employee data and documents digitally using software and can easily access them from various locations.
Process management: You can use a central portal to edit, design and control processes of any kind. The option to make the current status visible to all those involved at all times shortens processing time thanks to transparency and automatic reminders.
Document creation: A complete digitalization of HR processes in conjunction with integrated document creation accelerates all administrative steps, creates transparency and makes processes more efficient.
HR Document Box: HR Document Box allows employers to provide their employees with documents in a secure online data room. Via an online portal, employees can independently view, download or print out their documents at any time using any end device (desktop, tablet, smartphone).
Reference process: References are important HR documents, and their formulation must comply with many legal requirements. The reference generator makes it possible to create legally compliant letters of reference, speed up employee evaluations and dramatically reduce the amount of time and effort needed, resulting in high-quality, individual employment references in no time flat.
Reporting and analyses: You can integrate analyses into all HR processes, from real-time evaluations via key figure networks to early warning systems and forward-looking analyses. We develop ways to better understand and analyze the drive, preferences and behavior of your employees.
SAP SuccessFactors: SuccessFactors offers the world’s leading all-in-one solution for human capital management (HCM) in the cloud. Its various modules cover all areas of HCM.
Intranet: The intranet is the internal network of your company to which usually only employees have access. It is where internal communication and exchange takes place.
Optimal systems and digital processes for your HR
We support you in all aspects of the strategic alignment of your HR system landscape and IT architecture and accompany you during the entire transformation of your HR IT. We work with you to create the digital HR road map that is right for your company, addressing all HR topics such as traditional capacity planning, employee and management self-services, mobile apps, detailed determination of personnel requirements and sophisticated resource planning, as well as strategic capacity and requirements planning. Together we identify the suitable software providers or advise you on whether cloud, on-premise or hybrid solutions for HR are right for you.
IT consulting and strategy development in HR IT process management, system architecture and technologies
Design, optimization, development and implementation of your individual requirements for the digitalization and automation of your HR processes and services
Management and execution of implementation, migration and optimization projects in the HR IT environment
Identification of HR IT software providers, platforms, cloud services and archiving systems to meet the requirements
Interface management and operation of applications, solutions and system landscapes for human resources
Special SAP expertise: comprehensive support for SAP HCM and SuccessFactors
Introduction and adjustment of workforce management systems (capacity planning, self-services, mobile apps and determination of personnel requirements)
Consulting, introduction and adjustment concerning your document management system
We support a wide range of companies and their HR management:
HR departments from small and medium-sized companies to large global corporations
Companies in every sector
Years of experience in HR IT
Successful implementation of transformation projects at a variety of companies
We offer you:
Product-independent consulting with the background knowledge of a large corporation and many external customers, even at medium-sized businesses
Solutions for other IT challenges
Support for problems with infrastructure, software and strategy
How we digitalize your personnel management
We support you throughout the entire cycle of your digitalization projects and beyond, from small-scale test concepts and the implementation of simple applications to the expansion of complex IT solutions and the realization of large projects. We are also happy to work using agile methods to achieve initial added value and milestones for you as quickly as possible while also ultimately implementing the best solution for your requirements and responding flexibly to your needs.
Taking stock – digital maturity: What infrastructure and which systems does your HR department work with? Where are the weaknesses? What are your processes, and what do you want your future system to be able to do?
Concept and schedule: We work together with your HR department to develop a tailored system and define the implementation in practice.
Implementation: We set up the new systems, migrate or extend the legacy systems, redesign the processes and successively implement everything during live operation.
Operation: If required, we also take over the interface management and operation of the applications and systems.
Digital solutions for Covid-19 protection - whitepaper for download
The corona pandemic has fundamentally changed many business processes and poses major challenges for the economy, culture, tourism and healthcare sectors:
How to maintain or restart operations with the lowest possible risk of infection?
How to ensure compliance with the infection control rules and document them if necessary?
How best to track contact chains in an emergency?
How do you implement any upcoming special rules for people vaccinated against corona or people with a negative Covid-19 test result?
For all of these and many other questions, there are digital solutions; data protection included. In the whitepaper, you will find current use cases and technological implementation options.
Need any advice or support with digital solutions for your HR department? Please get in touch.
We look forward to learning more about the challenges you are facing. Together we will find, develop, implement and support the right approach, as well as the platform and applications that work for your company.