From HR & Co. to CHRO

How digitization is transforming HR into a digital business leader.

From HR & Co. to CHRO

From HR & Co. to CHRO 1920 1080 Daniel Beckstein

Companies, and HR departments in particular, have undergone immense change in recent years and decades. Not least the pandemic was seen as a fire accelerator for the further development of tasks and challenges.

Change and transformation are usually accompanied by primal fears. But a change, wanted or unwanted, often also holds the chance to develop things in a direction to one’s own advantage. Namely, when challenges become opportunities. The opportunity to transform HR from a reactive department to a digital business leader with the help of digitization would be one such opportunity.

Driven by change and innovation

The catalog of requirements for modern HR departments has rarely been as diverse, complex and extensive as it is now.

On the one hand, the classic activities such as creating certificates for employees, payroll accounting, preparing training courses and writing certificates and much more are the daily bread for HR officers. Fast forward through the decades, starting with the rapid spread of computers and the subsequent triumph of networked collaboration through the Internet, these processes became moare digital. New programs supported human resource management, but the processes were not that different from the time before.

On the other hand, sociology and demographics, or the labor market, still pose many obstacles that affect all areas of HR departments.

> New employees want to be found, despite shortage of skilled workers
> Decentralized onboarding in times of Corona Homeoffice and New Work
> Employee development and motivation through an increase in new software
> Employee retention at any price, despite exploding fluctuation

HR managers mostly handled the classic HR tasks reactively and concentrated on the currently largest construction sites. And that’s not a bad thing – it’s just the way it is.

But the bottom line is that HR departments are rarely located at the CxO level. But how can a change in thinking take place or be driven forward?

With the three “A “s to the CHRO

There is good news – and not so good news. The not-so-good news: It is a Herculean task – and of course many people are already more than aware of that. You are faced with change processes that often have to take place in your head first. Change management or HR transformation are popular buzzwords here. Let’s take a closer look at the three As for successful HR change:


In order to take into account the changed ways of living and working, these changes must be recognized and actually lead to changes in change projects. The following aspects can be critical decision factors here:

| From a culture of mistrust to a culture of trust – from attended to unattended leadership.

Leadership is a complicated activity: responding to different people in different situations empathically but also precisely is not an easy task. In addition, there is now the physical distance – and possibly a corporate culture that is more “employee-pessimistic” than optimistic.

Preparing managers for this changed leadership role is one of the western tasks. Among other things, this involves making leadership more participative, developing trust in remote employees, and seeing freedom as an opportunity. However, those who believe that this can be done without rules will have to realize that, as with raising children, laissez-faire is not to be confused with anti-authoritarian. Unattended leadership requires trust – but also clear rules and SMART goals. This builds trust and ensures the necessary focus on results.

| Adapting employee DNA

But it’s not just up to managers. Employees, in particular, also need to be enthused about new freedom – and confronted with expectations for results. If there is agreement here, you achieve the best of both worlds: more freedom and higher productivity. Then you can also clear the lawn of weeds or bake a cake during a call.


| Modern working environments – working like at home

People want to feel comfortable at work. This has primarily to do with the task, responsibility and appreciation – but also with the environment. Modern working environments create different spaces for different tasks: team-oriented work zones, corners for concentrated work and areas for socializing. And home offices will increasingly be replaced by remote work, regardless of the time or place. The only thing that counts is the result.

| Help quickly available

Especially when working remotely, the provision of help even at a distance is becoming increasingly important. Here, modern digital adoption solutions help to provide help directly in the software when it is needed.


| Create dynamic capacity structures

It is becoming increasingly challenging to attract – and retain – employees of sufficient quality and quantity. In addition, employees are changing departments and need to learn new tasks and systems more and more quickly. Furthermore, employees in some areas are increasingly supported by freelancers in order to reduce peaks. This means that the workforce will become more dynamic in the future in order to adapt to these requirements in an agile manner. Digital adoption solutions are particularly suitable for onboarding new employees and also for communicating changes in existing software systems.

| Agile structures

In addition to personnel capacity, organizational structures must also be able to react flexibly to changes. Cooperative organizational and team structures are essential here. These usually understand processes as a whole and can adapt more easily than “concrete” organizational structures.

From our point of view, there is a comprehensive range of tasks here. But now comes the good news: you have it in your own hands. Become the “C” and business driver of the company. Everyone has to make the choice themselves: HR manager or CHRO.

Digital adoption as an opportunity for advancement

One of those cross-departmental projects that completes a lot of homework for modern HR departments in no time is Digital Adoption. Some examples have already fallen in the execution of the three As. The article “Digital Macher” from ihk Wirtschaft (07-08/2022) also confirms that many companies are looking for people to drive operational digitization and pull the strings of digital innovations. However, this does not only have to be technical topics such as digital stores or interface communications with suppliers, but above all internal company projects to increase efficiency or reduce errors. These are exactly the topics where Digital Adoption has proven to be successful.

The following graphic illustrates how AppNavi could be used in your company:

Do you also want to make a difference and give your HR department a more prominent role in the company? Then let us advise you on digital adoption or show you AppNavi – we look forward to hearing from you.


AppNavi GmbH
+49 89 262 025 490

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