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HR in the Digital Era: Interview


Interview with HR manager Mr. Dědič from Engel strojírenská spol. s r.o. about why modern technologies are the key to more efficient work, more employee engagement, and the future we need to be prepared for.🚀 Find out more in this exclusive interview!

✨What were your first steps in HR?

My first steps as HR Manager were to improve, strengthen, and, most importantly, stabilize our company's HR team. In doing so, we recruited more than 400 new employees for various positions.

✨What attracted you most to work in the HR field?

For a long time, I have worked in various management positions where I chose the teams myself. My last big experience before joining ENGEL was building a new greenfield plant in Lázně Toušeň. Here, I personally recruited all the employees for various positions during the completion of the construction. What I took away from this experience is that when selecting new employees, the important aspects are personal adjustment, willingness to work and, continuous training in the field, and, last but not least, the employee's motivation.
We try to combine these requirements, among others, of course, leading to the satisfaction of all employees and the entire team to create the best possible working conditions. For me, this is basically a daily challenge.

What were some of the key moments or experiences that made you that led you to your current position in HR?

The key moment for taking on this position was first taking over our apprenticeship center. After the former HR manager's departure, I filled in for the HR management, and then it was just a logical next step.

How has the role of HR changed during your career? What do you consider to be the biggest challenges?

As I mentioned at the beginning, my role has evolved over time. I first worked as a sort of crisis manager, then took on the role of psychologist when recruiting new people to the team, and then took over the leadership of the HR department.
During this period, there was a huge pressure to recruit new staff for various positions. As we follow the HR and staffing industry trends, we try to adapt to them, which is why we have recently faced another big challenge in digitalizing (not only) processes.

✨What role does HR play in the company's strategy, and how does this influence decision-making in digitalization?

Digitalization is already, and will certainly be, the only way to go. We are addressing the digitalization of various processes across the company, and HR is an important part of the entire process chain.

✨How would you describe the importance of digitalization in the manufacturing industry today?

Digitalization has become a hot topic in all manufacturing industry sectors. If companies do not look for ways to digitize processes, not only in HR, they will face stagnation.

✨How can digitizing internal communication and processes contribute to the efficiency and competitiveness of a manufacturing company?

At ENGEL, digitizing processes and documents and communicating with employees are major HR projects. Internal communication is very important from our point of view. The importance of communication between employer and employees became particularly evident in times of covid, when employees needed to receive information in a timely manner, but it was not easy to contact all employees immediately about current measures or changes in legislation.

✨What are the main challenges in implementing digital tools in internal processes in a manufacturing company?

In my opinion, the main challenge in implementing any tools and innovations is to convince and gain the support of the company management and the IT department. Having the persistence and tenacity to push through new projects and communication channels to connect with employees.

✨How can digitalization help improve communication between different departments in a company?

The only communication channel was the use of the company email address, which only applies to administrative staff. The company cannot use the private email addresses of employees without permission. Installing a digital app on mobile devices is the avenue for all internal communication.

✨What is the role of HR in digitizing internal processes? How can HR support this process?

HR plays a crucial role in pushing forward the digitization of internal processes. In our company, we already use tools for communicating with employees, communicating changes, and processing tax returns.

✨Do you have a specific case where digitalization has significantly improved communication or processes?

Yes, we have two examples already underway of digital tools for internal communication, namely the system designed for annual tax settlements and JOBKA for internal communication between company management or the HR department and the employee.

✨How would you say that digital tools improve employee job satisfaction and productivity?

Timely, direct, and correct information makes the employee loyal to the company because the employee sees that the company cares about its employees, is dedicated to them, knows about their possible discrepancies and questions, and tries to solve them.

✨What are the most common concerns of employees about digitalization, and how do you think they can be overcome?

The fear of being tracked by the company app stems from the employee's reluctance to install the company app on their own mobile device. Direct information, repeated explanations of the benefits of apps, and thorough preparation are helping to get an increasing number of employees to install the aforementioned digital tools.

✨How do you see the future of digitalization in internal communication and processes in a manufacturing company?

Currently, digitalization is the only way to speed up communication between HR and management with all employees in both directions. Previously they could only ask their manager, but now they get the opportunity to ask the company management. Digitalization contributes to the efficiency of production processes, for example, in the case of reporting legislative or OSH changes.

✨How has JOBka helped you in all this? 😍

JOBka has helped us significantly in direct communication with production employees. We were able to reach out to administrative staff via mass email; however, production employees were still reliant on getting their information from a bulletin board or their supervisors. I see this as the biggest benefit—the timely communication of information to all employees indiscriminately.

✨What would you recommend as first steps for companies that want to start digitizing their internal processes?

The first step is definitely consistent preparation and direct communication with employees, which includes explaining the importance of the communication platform and its benefits. The support of the IT department and corporate management plays a crucial role in a corporate company.

✨How do you think the role of HR will evolve in the context of further digitalization and technological innovation?

We rely on proven practices but can't stand still, so we also look for new trends and ways to reach employees and try to stabilize their numbers and jobs. HR could use digitalization more, provided we have more support from our legislation. However, here, too, we all hope for a shift and the possibility of converting most documents into digital form.

✨What advice would you give to companies trying to create a digitally oriented company culture?

Don't hesitate to implement it; there is no other way.