"The relationship between digitalization practice and human resource management strategies in Russian companies": Elena Zavyalova, Head of the Department of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg University (GSOM SPbU), presented a report on the results of a large-scale research at the 5th St. Petersburg International Labor Forum.
The presentation took place at the discussion on the topic “Formation of high-tech HRM”. The report presents the results of a research conducted by the department's team for two years (starting from 2019).
The authors studied the practices of 449 companies (150 small, 157 medium and 142 large enterprises) of Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Perm, Samara, Ufa. They represent different sectors of the economy — financial and investment, manufacturing, trade and services.
The survey was carried out on different groups of questions: on the organization of human resources management, traditional practices and modern programs of talent management, the features of digitalization.
It turned out that only 16% of companies had an active digital transformation of management processes at the time of the survey, but in 22% it did not occur at all. Speaking specifically about the digitalization of HR management, it is “in the active phase” in only 12% of enterprises, while 33% of the companies surveyed were not at all concerned about this issue. And this is on the eve of the lockdown, which was not possible to go through without digital technologies.
Answering questions during her speech, Elena Zavyalova noted that, according to the observations of researchers, the service sector and intellectually capacious enterprises are more than others involved in digitalization and at the same time focused on the development of human capital.
It is interesting that the most “digitized” area in companies' structure is document flow — it was transferred to electronic form in 32% of companies (only 12% use paper versions). Only 18% of digitalization has covered search and selection of personnel and compensation, and 12% of companies use digital tools in training and development.
Conclusion: Companies were not ready for the Corona crisis and were not ready to work in the new digital economy. Professor Zavyalova explained: “We tried to look at the obtained data from the point of view of the Harvard model, which assumes that the features of human resource management are related to the interests of several groups of stakeholders — these are owners, clients and employees. According to the survey results, 52% of companies noted the importance of achieving business results, 51% identified their main goal as customer satisfaction, 42% see their goal as gaining the image of a socially responsible company, and only 40% — the formation of human capital. At the same time, 8% of enterprises admitted that this direction is not a priority for them at all”.
What are the results of implementing digital HR technologies? In 18% of cases, companies noted that they contribute to increasing employee engagement, 23% said that they contribute to the achievement of the goals of the HR service, in 33% — the goals of the company in general.
Elena Zavyalova noted: "It is significant that a few years ago digitalization was the meaning of change, and now it is a tool for solving certain problems."
Based on the research results, firstly, we have to admit that the formation of human capital is not a priority in Russian companies in management activities: both in the choice of traditional practices and in the specifics of their digitalization. Secondly, the main targets remain the business goals of the company and the interests of customers — at the same time, the interests of their own employees are such to a lesser extent. Despite the fact that 40% of companies answered that their goal is to build human capital, their intentions are not realized in the selected HR management practices, including digitalized ones. Possible consequences of this situation include the opportunistic behavior of employees and insufficient use of their potential.
The 5th St. Petersburg International Labor Forum is being held for the first time in two Russian capitals at once and in a mixed format from 19 to 23 April 2021. The organizers of the Forum are the Government of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg University, the Interparliamentary Assembly of Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States with the support of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Russia, the Federal Service for Labor and Employment of the Russian Federation.