The pandemic has shaken companies and has called for a general mobilization of all players, from management to Human Resources, not to forget labour relations.

Managing labour relations is, first and foremost, about defining strategies, standards and best practices within the company.

 Often, these tasks are clerical and require a lot of back and forth, meetings, etc. In the end, too much energy is spent for too little payoff.

Yet, healthy labour relations can lead to a more peaceful and productive dialogue within the organization, provided that the company includes these challenges in its overall HR strategy.

WHAT ARE THE OBSTACLES TO THE DIGITALIZATION OF LABOUR RELATIONS? 

Generally speaking, four obstacles can explain the delay in the digital transformation of most companies:

  1. The burden of the organization and legacy
  2. The lack of visibility on returns on investment
  3. The difficulty of centralizing and securing data
  4. A limited choice of tools for digitizing labour relations

1. THE BURDEN OF THE ORGANIZATION AND LEGACY

The question of digital transformation is not only a question of technological tools but a question linked to the company, its values, processes, vision and ambitions.

That is why the organization's burden, the lack of digital skills, the lack of financial investment or the confrontation of different strategic priorities are all obstacles to digitizing labour relations.

In addition, whether it is a question of grievances, follow-ups or collective agreement negotiations, there are many stakeholders with different objectives and expectations.

The elaboration of a digitalization strategy requires perfect knowledge of your organization and its processes. It also implies an internal reorganization and effort from the various stakeholders.

 

2. LACK OF VISIBILITY ON THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT

The second obstacle identified is the lack of visibility on the return on investment of the digitization of labour relations.

When we talk about labour relations, we don't talk about productivity or profitability. It is sometimes more challenging to understand the added value of optimizing these services, which often explains the lack of involvement of managers and their reluctance to adopt digital technology and the changes that can result from it.

On the other hand, within organizations, leaders are very much aware that the artisanal and manual management of labour relations results in financial losses that are generated by: 

  • lack of efficiency
  • delay in processing grievances
  • negotiations that stretch out over time

Having a centralized system allows you to work with reliable data that provide business intelligence and allow you to be more in control during negotiations.

 

3. THE DIFFICULTY OF CENTRALIZING AND SECURING DATA

Another major obstacle is the difficulty of centralizing and ensuring the quality of data. Without reliable and up-to-date data, relevant analysis is impossible.

A central tool allows you to capture and secure your organization's sensitive data and centralize all your information in one place.

Moreover, this data becomes more accessible: the actors concerned by these issues have access to it in real-time and can collaborate more easily on these issues.

In labour relations, as in any other field, data quality is also a prerequisite for any digital transformation project.

The data thus becomes a lever for equity between the various parties involved in these processes.

 

4. A LIMITED CHOICE OF TOOLS FOR DIGITALIZING LABOUR RELATIONS

Today, companies still have a (very) limited choice of solutions that allow them to address their needs when it comes to managing labour relations. 

Yet, having a culture that encourages experimentation and responsiveness can be critical to the evolution and effectiveness of your labour relations.

Companies that invest in digitalization are likely to accelerate critical feedback, maintain a healthy dialogue and reallocate resources to fund new initiatives and projects.

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DIGITALIZING LABOUR RELATIONS MANAGEMENT?

The first objective and tangible gain of the digitalization of labour relations is to simplify and strengthen the dialogue through more effective communication.

What can you gain from it?

 

1. EFFICIENCY AND AUTOMATION OF REPETITIVE TASKS

The first limitation of manual management is the time-consuming nature of clerical tasks, such as writing and sending out notices of meetings or managing contracts or agreements.

It is a necessary task, with little added value, that prevents you from allocating time to projects deemed more strategic for the company.

 

2. TIGHTER MANAGEMENT OF GRIEVANCES

The proper functioning of the organization depends on the application of the collective agreement by all stakeholders.

With a solution to digitalize and partially automate the grievance management process, both individual and collective, you ensure that follow-ups are done according to the provisions of the collective agreement. The goal is to increase compliance while reducing the time required to complete grievance-related tasks.

Ultimately, the organization's stakeholders have a solution that increases peace of mind, even in cases of conflict. When all data is centralized in one system and can be shared transparently, communication is facilitated.

 

3. EASIER SHARING OF QUALITY INFORMATION

You will also be able to generate reports with automatically updated data in total autonomy.

Providing compliant documents with clear and defined processes on a dedicated platform will improve the quality of the shared information.

 

4. CREATION OF BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE ON LABOUR RELATIONS

It is impossible to cross-reference information stored on different media (paper files, Excel files, Word documents, etc.) and extract value.

Yet, the history of any organization is an invaluable source of information to improve the quality of decisions and business dialogue.

Conversely, the more you centralize data in a structured information system, the more data will be used for the organization's benefit, employees, and stakeholders.

While people come and go in any organization, data and information must be accessible and usable at all times to make decisions based on objective data.

 

TAKE-AWAYS

Digitalization is becoming more critical for companies in adapting to change, especially when it comes to remote work.

A smooth running of relations must be maintained, regardless of the constraints present in the work environment.

Digitalizing your labour relations can help automate some time-consuming tasks, such as managing employee requests, managing your agreements, or managing and tracking department activities.

A centralized solution will allow you to communicate better and faster with the different stakeholders of the organization. It will facilitate collaboration between the various actors in the process and make remote work more manageable.

Tags Digital HR, Work Relations

André Kassis
André Kassis
National Accounts Manager

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