Virtual technology is finding increasing use in all functions of an organization. Human resources in particular can gain from applying virtual tools and increase employee productivity and engagement.
Today business has crossed the geographical barriers. Organizations have multiple offices across the globe and customers at diverse locations. We see most business interactions happening through the digital world with the aid of collaborative technology. With international business growing at unprecedented rates, companies must adopt virtual technologies for business continuity and profitability.
The business potential of virtual technology is impressive. It improves the remote collaboration possibilities for all the stakeholders. Companies can hire and manage teams from any part of the world. They can also connect to the customers and demonstrate the products through digital platforms.
Regardless of the size of the organization, virtual technology is essential to ensure sustainability. It can be particularly useful for managing the complexities involved in a geographically dispersed workforce.
How virtual technology can support the changing human resource landscape
The human resource functions are increasing in complexity due to the wide geographic spread of the workforce and the new dimensions it brings to the virtual corporation. Here are some core areas where virtual technology can assist when organizations switch to remote working.
- Virtual hiring – Talent is spread across the world and today, many projects require skills of people from different geographies. Possibilities of remote working are making it convenient for organizations to hire people from any part of the world. In such situations, the hiring process goes completely virtual. Technologies such as videoconferencing, instant messengers, and online meetings can support all stages of hiring right from interview to online tests, salary negotiations, to extending the offer.
- Virtual onboarding – The collaboration tools offer the facility to onboard employees regardless of their location. HR can brief the employees over an online meeting and even provide them a virtual tour of the company and its policies. There can be interesting videos to familiarize them with the various facilities of the company, their coworkers, and the managers. This will help to remove the feeling of isolation that happens due to the distance. The technology could also provide new joiners with interactive sessions and chat facilities to make friends with the rest of the team.
- Virtual employee engagement activities – The significance of team bonding activities increases when employees are scattered in diverse locations and do not have face-to-face interactions. HR can deploy innovative solutions to create fun and engaging activities for the team. Some good ideas are virtual coffee rooms, fun contests, fun moments at home, talent boards, forums, and hobby groups. This helps to increase the team spirit and employee engagement of the remote team.
- Virtual learning and development – Employees need continuous learning and development programs to improve their skills and support career advancement. Physical distance should not hamper training and continuing education. HR can assess the training requirements using online surveys or virtual meetings and devise suitable training programs. Technology extends the opportunity to conduct group or individual training sessions and create a learning-oriented virtual workspace. Online tutor-led training can be conducted through video conferencing. Digital technology also facilitates providing recorded sessions and other online courses for self-learning mode. This gives the flexibility to view the course at a convenient time.
- Virtual two-way communication- Virtual technology offers an immersive experience. HR can communicate its policies, upcoming events, and organizational strategies to the employees through forums or online groups. They can also use instant messengers to send group notifications. Employees can receive timely feedback from their managers and also voice their concerns through interactive platforms.
As a business grows beyond geographical boundaries, it increases the need for a remote workforce. Organizations can leverage virtual technology to meet the various challenges involved in hiring, training, connecting, and motivating the remote team. The HR must explore the potential of offering transitioning the entire human resource functions to the virtual platform and make the organization future-ready.