Can the digitisation of HR services alter employee perceptions of those services and the HR function at the same time as delivering HR operational cost savings to an organisation?

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Murphy, Alan
Issue Date
MBA in Human Resource Management
Dublin Business School
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The objectives of this research included gaining an insight into the levels of satisfaction amongst employees and managers with the digitisation of HR services and the availability of those services on mobile apps. In relation to employees, the research sought to ascertain if demographic differences such as age, industry or workplace had any significant impact on employee satisfaction with the HR function; the demographic aspect had not been considered in previous literature heretofore. Other aims of the research were to determine if always on connectivity with the workplace increased stress among employees, managers and HR professionals. From the perspective of HR professionals the research investigated if the digitisation of HR would lead to cost savings or a reduction in HR headcount. Other sub-themes under these main headings were assessed. The author, having reviewed various research philosophies chose a positivist, deductive approach using a cross-sectional survey to collect the data which was required to analyse the findings of the research. There were 105 responses to the online questionnaire. The main findings in relation to satisfaction with the HR function post digitisation were aligned with the literature and consultant reports in that there was an increase in this regard. The findings in relation to HR operational costs and headcount were not as the author expected, in many cases there was neither a cost or headcount reduction. The recommendations arising from this research in order to ensure successful digital HR transformation are; HR should create a clear digital strategy and roadmap; HR technology should not be seen as a replacement for traditional HR processes but as a more efficient facilitator of such processes; HR should create an expectation of redeployment of resources into higher value-adding HR activities rather than an expectation of cost reduction; buy-in from senior management along with robust communication and training plans are essential and clear policies should be put in place regarding accessing HR services outside of work time.