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Digitalisation in a «topsy-turvy world»

This is not how Swiss SMEs should approach their projects

Digitalisation in a «topsy-turvy world»

Are you familiar with the children's game «Topsy-turvy World»? In this post we showcase 10 typical ways of thinking that people often use in practice to approach the digitalisation of HR processes - following the rules of the popular children's game, of course.

It is important when digitalising to replicate exactly what you have now on paper and in employees’ heads in the digital version. What's the point of best practices if things have worked so far? Everything’s going well. In the following examples we reveal how digitalisation projects progress in a topsy-turvy world.


1. No need for change management!

The big advantage of digitalising existing processes is that no change management is needed. The established processes have proven themselves, with good reason. It is therefore important to ensure that everything that was previously done on paper, using forms and via emails is replicated exactly in the new digital solution.

2. HR knows best what is good for everyone

The most efficient way to conserve company resources is for the HR department to manage the project on its own. Everyone is already working at full capacity. That way, targeted action can be taken quickly. After all, the HR experts know best what’s good for the company. Ultimately, involving the people affected only costs time and money.

3. Decide on a solution quickly

There are countless software products on the market that seem to provide the same solutions and answers. The future provider or solution should be selected as quickly as possible to avoid this problem during digitalisation. Personal acquaintances who work for a software provider should be given priority, because personal relationships are after all more important than obtaining references.

4. Only the best

The right approach to optimal digitalisation is always the "best of breed" approach, i.e. procuring a specialised solution for each process. You will be demonstrating that your employees matter to you and that only the best is good enough. After all, you can confidently assume that your employees will get used to different solutions.

5. Historical data migration

Frequently, a lot of knowledge about the past is lost when a new solution is introduced. It is worth migrating as much historical data as possible, such as employees who have left the company, to ensure that this data is also available in the new solution. Your internal audit department will greatly appreciate this extra effort, even if the information will only be used very rarely.

6. Stable, proven solution

A lot of time is invested in user training. It is therefore important for the solution to remain stable after implementation and not change again immediately. Stability engenders employee trust in the HR department and minimises the solution’s operating costs. Technical innovations with new functionalities and AI enhancements are, of course, overrated and are only passing trends.

7. Direct contact is important

Whether digitalisation is used or not - the HR department's personal contact with employees should not be disregarded. There are many examples of how you can promote dialogue. Have messages and requests such as accident reports and holiday balances sent directly to the HR department by phone or e-mail. HR employees can record this information correctly in the system.

8. Excel can do everything

A good onboarding process has to be personalised and flexible. The best solution for this by far is Microsoft Excel. Checklists can be created quickly, changes made easily and drop-down menus help to track progress. If the onboarding Excel file is stored in the future employee's dossier, all relevant departments can be kept informed of progress and track it reliably.

9. Pivot reports for optimum flexibility

Management depends on meaningful and reliable reports in order to make important strategic decisions. Thanks to digitalisation, all data can be downloaded as Excel files, merged and optimally prepared with pivot tables, and displayed as charts. At the same time, this process’s manual steps enable quality assurance and a "reality check".

10. Target agreements are best on paper

A good target agreement is made at the table, with direct eye contact over a blank sheet of paper. This is the only way to reach an open and fair agreement. Then send a photo via WhatsApp to the HR manager so that the agreement can be properly recorded in digital format. This enables line managers to ensure that deadlines are met without any problems.


Did this make you smile?

Even though the points mentioned above are highly relevant, the proposed solutions are not. In our experience over the last 25 years, it is usually the human challenges rather than the technical ones that are the most difficult to solve. Digitalisation projects are the perfect opportunity to challenge established ways of thinking and convictions. It is important to engage with new processes and rethink previous ways of working. 


P.S.: If you’re not familiar with the children's game “Topsy-Turvy World”, listen to it on YouTube . Have fun singing along!



Marc Dennler

Marc Dennler has worked for national and international companies in Human Resources. Today, he supports our customers as a Presales consultant in their digitalization efforts and is responsible for the HR Campus Suite solution.

Published: 11. July 2024

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