Digital change: Personalizing employee experience and strengthening cultural values



Author: Rajeev Bhardwaj, Chief Human Resources Officer, ASC



August 27, 2019

Digital change: Personalizing employee experience and strengthening cultural values

According to a 2019 report by McKinsey Global Institute, most of India’s $200 Bn digital economy value comes from core sectors that provide digital products and services at scale, including IT and business process management (IT-BPM), digital communication services, including telecommunications, and electronics manufacturing. It’s only natural and imperative, therefore, that there is a lot of transformation happening within people functions like HR, and digital wave is at the core of it. Today, HR Tech industry is estimated to be at $65 Mn in India and approximately $400 Bn globally. 


As Indian companies adopt tech solutions in the workplace and embark on their digital transformation journey, there is a need for companies to clearly define what their digital strategy is, how it translates overall in business strategy and most importantly how it drives employee engagement and cultural values of the firm. 


While India has the privilege of being the largest talent market, one of the key pain points for Indian HR managers has been accessing the right talent or talent with right skill set. Digital–savvy organisations have successfully used technology to reinvent their talent and development strategy.


 “From building new HR models to embedding a digital friendly culture, companies are investing in up-skilling existing employees with key digital skills and nurturing poly-skilled employees (person with multiple set of skills) who are valuable resources and reduce recruitment cost for the company.”


Digital tech has also enabled companies to train new employees using e-learning platforms like bite-sized e-learning modules which save a considerable amount of time and are to the point with targeted information so that the employee can take it anytime anywhere, as compared to a full day blocked for an executive program session. Adoptions of other e-learning methods such as online classrooms, information videos, courses on intranet etc., have also helped companies reduce training burden on their HR teams.

Employee experience is central to the journey of digital transformation of businesses. According to KPMG HR 2019 report, over the next year or two, 60% of HR functions are planning investments in areas such as AI and predictive analytics. Analytic tools such as predictive modelling, forecasting, and pattern-matching all help companies make better workforce decisions. Employee engagement predictive analytics like chatbots help HR leaders analyze employee sentiment and plan talent flow to improve employee wellbeing and build improved employee engagement programs. Harnessing predictive analytics and AI will also result in HR teams spending less time on administrative or routine work and rather spend time strategizing towards business goals.

Next gen internal communication ways are also being adopted by HR functions to drive seamless customised 1:1 interface for employees at all touch points. Interactive digital experiences and tools like Facebook, Whatsapp, LinkedIn and Glassdoor are being used as means of communication and engagement with employees to nurture feeling of employee care and interconnectedness with the organisation. Some organisations are already using apps to provide 24*7 counselling to employees as part of physical & mental wellness programs

While companies have largely been focusing their digital transformation efforts on core aspects such as digitizing processes, use of AI and data-analytics etc., they are also using the digital transformation opportunity to enhance Employer Brand/ CEO image with the use of tools like social media platforms, blogs, intranet etc.

“Companies have been quick to realise that while digital transformation enhances interconnectedness between employees and teams, there is still a ‘distance’ between employees and the organisation’s leadership that needs to be addressed.”

Most digitally smart companies have taken on to benefits of social media for communicating with their employees through channels such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. This has especially been beneficial to companies with offices across the globe as they have an amplified voice online and are able to connect with employees in smaller markets and help them understand the values of the brand.


About Sun Life Asia Service Centre

Sun Life Asia Service Centre (ASC) in India provides Business Processing, IT, and Investment Research shared services to Sun Life's global businesses. The 24*7 centres also offer contact centre and enterprise infrastructure to Sun Life’s businesses. ASC India and ASC Philippines work in perfect harmony to support Clients through all stages of Client and software life cycle for Sun Life in Canada, the US, and Asia. Over the years, the ASC has achieved scale and operational maturity by integrating closely with Sun Life’s corporate functions. The centres support Individual Insurance & Wealth, Group Benefits, Group Retirement Services, Document Services and Client Solutions services for Sun Life.

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