As technology continues to affect and influence the HR and talent management environment for the better, is it, at the same time, slowly taking out the personal aspect of human resources?
It’s tough to say.
Organizations are struggling to find a balance between effective HR software while also bringing engagement and motivation into the workplace.
However, embracing technology, especially in an industry that needs face-to-face interaction, is possible when done in the right way.
Teresa Dietrich, CTO of Namely, explains the promise of human HR software:
“The promise of technology is threefold: to help us do things more efficiently and accurately, to make us better informed and to keep people connected. Technology should enable our personal growth and improve our lives, but in order to do that, it needs to be intuitive and approachable…All of us will interact with human resources technology–software that influences our day-to-day work, our personal development, and our career paths. Shouldn’t that software feel good to use, from frontline employees up to the CEO?”
As HR continues to transform, it’s important to use technology that will increase efficiency while still being approachable and personable.
Below are three ways to humanize HR software and motivate and engage employees to perform better.
1. Make training more engaging
Technology has had a big impact with training, becoming more interactive through rich media, design, and personalization. As such, emerging trends, such as microlearning and gamification have brought new ways of engaging learners.
Though organizations are seeing technology’s impact, it’s also important to make part of the training engagement process personal. After training sessions, companies should offer optional in-person meetings for learners to discuss what they’ve learned and provide a space to ask follow-up questions.
Another way is to provide mentors/experts to employees when they complete a course. Mentorships and access to experts creates a culture of shared learning and career growth. It also, not coincidentally, helps employees retain more of what they learned.
Lastly, there’s a difference between seeing that everyone passed the course and who is applying the skill(s) successfully within their work. The goal of online training is to apply learned behaviors to real life situations, so as an organization, you should test these behaviors through tasks. This doesn’t need to be done after every training, but instill trust with employees by giving them assignments related to what they learned, and provide feedback if necessary. Again, corporate training is successful when personable resources are in place and when the skills learned can be successfully applied on the job.
2. Respond to HR data
HR software technology is great for gathering data around employee engagement and other analytics, but it’s still on you to actually respond and act on that information. If you survey employees or collect suggestions, you need to let employees know their ideas are being considered or implemented. Hold meetings with your team and even create one-on-ones to discuss progress and the results of the data you collected. In the end, this can create a more collaborative culture.
As Vice President, Product Marketing at Acendre, Joe Abusamra explains,
“HR data comes from people. It comes from employees talking to and engaging with their managers, which comes about from smart executives working closely with and engaging their people managers. In successful organizations, it’s about making everyone better–and making the organization better as a result.”
3. Communication and transparency
HR software, can help reduce the stress of payroll, scheduling and other paperwork, but, it can also establish transparency within the workforce by letting employees track more aspects of their jobs. This transparency in turn can help strengthen employer/employee relations, and create a culture of accountability.
For instance, in the healthcare industry, it can be stressful trying to manage schedules for hundreds of employees, but at Ellis Medicine, their HR software has helped increase efficiency. Joe Giansante, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Ellis Medicine, explains,
“[S]pecifically, managers can track the schedule [with the new HR software] in a particular unit at any hour of the day by the number of staff scheduled, the number of absences (planned or otherwise) and the ratio of staff to patients. This adds transparency to the scheduling process and in the process builds a culture of accountability. Since its implementation, unscheduled absences have decreased ‘significantly’ — so much so that, in the 12-month period ending in October 2013, overtime costs dropped by two-thirds.”
When HR software is transparent with its operations, it can add to company culture.
In addition to transparency, make sure your HR software and communication is in line with your established company culture. For instance, make sure that the messaging applications, email etc. reflect in-person communication. If not, it could have a negative impact on relationships and create a toxic environment. This unhealthy environment could seep into other aspects of the business including engagement, retention and career growth.
All in all, it’s important to humanize your HR software in order to build better employee relations, retention, career growth and, more importantly, create a collaborative and understanding company culture.
Have you tried other ways of humanizing your HR technology? Share them in the comments below!
Header by Rachel Wille
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