07. Technology - Implementation

What’s next for HR in the public sector?

Over the last decade technology has become central to change and software providers have been quick to deliver innovative solutions in support of process transformation. Sandra Walker, from specialist HR/Payroll software provider Frontier Software, considers how the application of self service technology helps ensure public sector organisations remain a great place to work in a period of change.

During the last 18 months, HR teams in public sector organisations faced challenges that left the workplace permanently changed. Many staff now work remotely, digital services were introduced at high speed and priorities have been adjusted and readjusted. Amongst public sector leaders, barriers to transformation have been broken down and there is now a much greater acceptance of digital technologies.

Looking ahead, public sector organisations must ensure the impetus derived from reacting to the health crisis is not lost. Projects that embrace the digital should remain a priority, especially as budgets start feeling pressure from the changes. The need to automate has never been greater and new ways of working should be adopted or built upon to achieve savings and increase productivity. But, it’s no longer just about the automation. Change should have positive outcomes for staff, especially with regard to their wellbeing and engagement.

Providing staff with the right tools to support them and deploying technologies that enhance their working day are essential. The idea is not to disengage remote workers or to remove collaboration, but to minimise the time required to complete routine and time consuming tasks. Administrative work is a necessity for many, but staff bogged down by admin can easily become bored and disengaged. They start to forget what they love about their job and a negative state of mind can impact productivity. With tools that streamline tasks and automate the routine, staff can focus on more challenging and stimulating tasks, including interaction with others, a factor that’s more important than ever before. Digital technology that supports and enhances the work-life balance is the way forward.

HR & Payroll solution provider, Frontier Software, recommends the introduction of self service applications to empower staff, through access to data 24/7 across a range of devices, including the omnipresent Smartphone.

Providing access to information via laptop, tablet or Smartphone means the staff member can manage data as and when it suits them. The benefits derived from using self service portals include increased autonomy for staff and their input to decision making, thereby enhancing engagement. Self service provision also forms a solid foundation for learning, development and performance management activities.

Self Service simplifies and automates routine processes such as leave administration, expense claims and access to payslips. It delivers cost savings and efficiencies. It is a practical, effective tool that will support engagement and produce positive outcomes for public sector staff. Furthermore, as we look ahead at meeting targets for going Carbon Zero, technology that completely removes the paper trail is a winner on the sustainability agenda.

What’s next for public sector organisations? From an HR and Payroll management perspective it’s embracing technology resources to support your human resources.

Article originally published on Public Sector Focus October 2021.