Tag Archive for: digitale Transformation

The Federal Administration is aligning its human resources strategy with the digital transformation

The Federal Administration’s personnel strategy 2020-2023 is all about digitalisation. With the two focal points of “shaping digital transformation” and “gaining and developing competencies”, staff are being prepared for the profound changes of digital transformation, writes our guest author Jorge Kühni, the Vice Director of the Federal Personnel Office. The new strategy continues to build on the personnel policy of the federal administration, which is defined in its main features in the Federal Personnel Law, but sets a clear focus in terms of content for the coming years. An important element is the direct approach to the target group, which is placed in the foreground. Employees, managers and HR professionals are invited to make their own contribution to the implementation in their working environment. Ultimately, they are the decisive actors in the cultural change that forms the basis for a successful digital transformation.

Creating conditions and enabling leeway

Central measures such as “standardising and digitalising HRM processes”, “realigning and digitalising the target agreement and personnel assessment process”, “defining new leadership principles and values” and “preparing HR specialists for their role in the context of the digital transformation” are intended to create good conditions in the federal administration for the upcoming changes. In doing so, the departments and administrative units should be given sufficient leeway to additionally shape their working environment with suitable activities. A prerequisite for this, however, is a self-critical examination of the digital transformation on site. Employees, managers and HR specialists are required to reflect on the expectations formulated in the Federal Administration’s personnel strategy 2020-2023 in their own context and to determine where they stand. This aspect plays a decisive role in successful implementation. It creates the necessary reference to one’s own working environment, where ultimately the changes take place.

Rethinking the role of managers

Technological and social changes are increasingly shaping everyday management in the federal administration as well. On the one hand, they offer many opportunities for shaping work; on the other hand, they present managers with new challenges. Mobile working, flatter hierarchies, compatibility between private and working life as well as meaningful, inspiring tasks are just a few keywords in this regard. It is undisputed that the leadership task will experience a strong change due to the current developments. The examination of one’s own leadership role, which is addressed in various places in the Federal Administration’s personnel strategy 2020-2023, is therefore of central importance. The digital transformation is increasingly replacing classic leadership models. It requires new approaches and a contemporary understanding of leadership, which must be lived by superiors and accepted by employees. In the digital world, managers must above all trust their employees, give them responsibility and be open to new ideas. In doing so, they increasingly take on the role of coach and enabler.

Preparing HR for the future

The tasks in the area of human resources will experience strong changes in the future. With the digitalisation of HRM processes, a central measure for the implementation of the Federal Administration’s HR Strategy 2020-2023, administrative tasks will increasingly be eliminated. Staff will have new possibilities to manage their own data and trigger transactions directly. HR will therefore be challenged in the coming years to expand its advisory services and strengthen its role as a strategic partner in the change processes. HR professionals must be well prepared for the digital transformation. This measure is also explicitly envisaged as part of the implementation of the strategy. Strengthening the role of HR is a challenging task, as it requires critical examination of its own processes and persuasion through ongoing dialogue with decision-makers at all levels. The latter must be convinced by the quality, commitment and transparency of HR services. Digitalisation offers HR opportunities to position itself strongly where personal contact is required and individual solutions need to be found. People are still needed for the digital transformation. Ultimately, they are the key to success.


  1. The Federal Administration as an employer: https://www.stelle.admin.ch/stelle/de/home.html
  2. About the personnel strategy of the Federal Personnel Office: https://www.epa.admin.ch/epa/de/home.html
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October-November issue: Digitalisation – Vision of fair participation for all

In 2011, the US social theorist and economist Jeremy Rifkin drew a positive vision of a “collaborative age” in his book “The Third Industrial Revolution”. Busyness was in the past, but in the future it will be replaced by the “spirit of cooperation”. At the transition between these eras, we at the BFH Centre Digital Society are working to understand and communicate this change from various disciplines. The fact that we are pursuing a normative approach in our scientific magazine SocietyByte and at the BFH Centre Digital Society is no coincidence, but rather an expression of a vision, which is briefly explained here against the background of the (transdisciplinary) October issue. SocietyByte, the scientific magazine of the BFH Centre Digital Society, is not only a magazine on questions of digitalisation, but also a social magazine. The Centre’s exponents from the various departments of the Bern University of Applied Sciences share a vision that Switzerland should exploit the potential of the digital transformation in such a way that everyone participates fairly in the achievements of digitisation. In concrete terms, this means that everyone is given a digital identity and non-discriminatory access to online services, but that informational self-determination and the protection of privacy are also ensured. The economy, which has changed dramatically – where the platform economy has already taken hold – should, according to the vision, generate sustainable economic growth and create value for society by enabling research, regulation and infrastructure to create good conditions for business and social innovation. The workforce should have a high level of competence in computational thinking and acquire digital skills so that a lively exchange and intensive networking of ideas, data and algorithms can take place. In this vision, the ageing society is not a scenario of horror, but a challenge to enable people to live more healthy years; the quality of living and life in general will increase. Distributed knowledge and know-how can be better shared thanks to digital communication networks, so that, for example, society is empowered to manage its own health and to shape social interaction, especially in old age. The universities – and especially the universities of applied sciences – play a central role in this vision; they offer broad education and training and pave the way for transdisciplinary solution development with digital support tools and instruments. In the digital context, research and teaching must investigate newer phenomena such as co-creativity, ad-hoc competitions and open innovation and also provide scientific support where such innovation processes are already being lived. This brings us to the heart of the contributions to this transdisciplinary issue. Nada Endrissat, a member of the New Work and Organisational Forms Group at the New Work Institute, examines hackathons as working methods for innovation, as was recently impressively experienced during the 48-hour hackathon “Bärn häckt” at the BFH Wirtschaft. Angelina Dungga, research associate in the Innovation Group at the Institute Public Sector Transformation, recognises in “collaborative government” a co-creative innovation process for public administration in favour of “public value”. This approach was discussed by experts from research, politics and business at the recent Transform conference. Prof. Dr. Sabine Hahn, Head of Nursing at BFH Health, uses the example of Japan to show how technology is used in an ageing society. Helping to shape the digital transformation is the mission of the BFH Centre Digital Society: in doing so, the vision outlined above helps to curate the lively research activity in this magazine in such a way that one keeps asking the value-based questions. Suggestions for this can also be found in the interview with happiness researchers Maike Luhmann and Joar Vittersø, who will be keynote speakers at the annual conference of the Swiss Society for Positive Psychology (SWIPPA). The editors of SocietyByte are not blindly optimistic that the digital transformation will necessarily lead to a better participation of society in economic progress, as Jeremy Rifkin propagates; but they share the vision that the digital transformation is an enabler for people, professions, companies and the state. For this vision to become reality, the right action is needed. With this in mind, I hope you enjoy reading, Prof. Dr. Thomas Gees.

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