How are HR departments supporting staff digital capability?

We are about to start a short review of how Human Resources (HR)  departments in educational institutions support staff with the development of their digital capability.

HR departments in universities and colleges increasingly recognise the need to contribute towards supporting staff to respond to challenges and opportunities offered by technologies. In 2016 their annual conference focused on the  The Changing Face of Work where they explored ‘How can we best equip our organisations to respond to our increasingly digital world and to meet the needs of our Generation Z employees?’  Helen Beetham presented at the conference about the Jisc digital capability work.

HR teams have a range of roles that require an understanding of the impact of technologies on staff:

  • recruitment
  • induction
  • staff health and wellbeing
  • conflict management
  • CPD support

HR staff also need to effectively use technologies and tools to deliver services. They need to ensure that their own digital capabilities are sufficient to make the best of available data and metrics and be aware of how social media and other technologies can impact on the changing relationships between students and staff. It is timely to find out how far HR departments are engaging with these challenges and to identify new and interesting practice.

Organisational approaches to developing digital capabilities

Jisc has been working with educational institutions to consider organisational approaches to developing digital capabilities and produced a supporting guide earlier this year. We hope that this work will build on those relationships we have already established with some HR teams and help us generate new links.

The work will review practice of HR departments in colleges and appropriate professional associations, and will also include an exploration of the role of trade unions in digital capability discussions and identify opportunities for developing strategies for their involvement.

Contribute to this review

The review will be carried out by Lou McGill and Tim Gray. If you are interested in contributing to this study, or know someone who may be interested, please contact Lou McGill. We will be launching an online survey soon to capture a snapshot of current practice.

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