Hello PPMA friends

In this blog post, Emma Browes, PPMA digital theme lead writes about the importance of embracing digital as part of our roles as People Managers. She gives us some hints and tips about what we must consider and how to go about getting started.

“I am really proud to be digital theme lead for the Public Sector People Manager’s Association (PPMA), I think that this is one of the most exciting areas for People Managers to get involved in and add real value to our organisations. When out and about, chatting to people about digital, I often find some confusion about what this has to do with us as people professionals.

It’s totally understandable. The world is changing so fast and with the public sector in particular facing ongoing financial constraints – it can feel overwhelming just to keep up to the ‘day job’.  Even the term ‘digital disruption’ sounds scary. Disruption is what happens to the train timetable or when the WiFi is down – it doesn’t sound like something we would want in our organisations.

The problem is that ignoring this topic can have disastrous consequences. A quick internet search will reveal examples of whole industries, never mind just businesses, which buried their head in the sand and only looked up when it was too late – classic examples are Blockbuster, Kodak, Xerox. As this article from Forbes outlines – Digital disruption is not just an abstract concept – it is reality https://www.forbes.com/sites/insights-treasuredata/2018/07/17/the-reality-of-digital-disruption-how-to-stay-ahead/#40e3994c43c1 It  really is a case of ‘disrupt or be disrupted’.  So, what has that got to do with HR?

Our Memorandum of Understanding partners over at CIPD say that “if companies are to remain competitive in a digitally-enabled environment, they need to innovate from three perspectives: culture, talent and technology.” https://www.cipd.co.uk/news-views/nutshell/issue-69/digital-disruption

Which is where we come in. What is becoming clear is that the expertise that HR / OD can bring to digital challenges is fundamental to realising the benefits of digital to our organisations through our people.

To prepare ourselves to do this we need to be curious & proactive about what is possible, driving the conversation and working together with other professions in our organisations to deliver real benefits to all our workforce.

The PPMA know the importance of this, which is why we have dedicated a  whole strategic Theme to this work. With our partners and sponsors we will bring you the best practice, connections and innovation in this area.

But, with such a large and new topic – how do we even get started?

  1. Get Curious – find out what’s out there & what is possible. Don’t wait for your IT team to tell you what you can do.  Get into conversations with them, bring them what you’ve found, ask questions about what is possible for your organisation & people right now.
  2. Experiment – Think it’s too expensive? Think certain sections of your organisation wont engage with digital?  Get out there and find out. Don’t be afraid to fail, just make sure that you are always learning.
  3.  Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate – no one can do this alone, we all need to get even better at collaboration. We need to collaborate internally with other support professions, make friends with your IT department! Short on funding? Tap into local start-ups with something to prove to the world – come up with an imaginative deal with them. Collaborate with the robots – what dull, detailed or dirty work can they pick up and free up people to do the work that really motivates them and adds value to the communities we serve?

Is something holding you back from getting more involved in digital? Do you have examples of really great work that you would like to share? What do you want to see more of from this digital theme?

Get in touch & let us know – [email protected].uk Twitter @PPMA_HR

You can find more resources here – https://www.ppma.org.uk/lets-talk-digital/

Emma Browes, PPMA Digital Theme Lead