Is technology the answer to HR’s people problem?
In theory, human resources is about humans. People. You and me.
But in practice, that’s not always the case. There are paperwork, budgets, business priorities, and other factors that sometimes get in the way of the direct concerns and needs of employees.
But today’s HR leaders want to get back to putting employees front and center. In a recent of 500,000 business leaders and HR professionals, 70.6% called “influencing the company culture to have more authentic, people-oriented managers” their top HR priority in 2016.
Although it sounds counterintuitive, HR tech can actually help managers be more people-oriented. Here are a few ways to use technology to create a culture that focuses more on people:
Automate Time-Consuming Processes
Paperwork is inevitable in HR. There’s paperwork to fill out when onboarding new employees, when conducting performance reviews, during open enrollment, for payroll — the list goes on and on. Managing these mountains of paperwork takes time — time that’s better spent with employees.
HR software doesn’t only automate payroll, benefits enrollment, onboarding, and more — it can make those processes paperless. That means less lost documents and less headaches for everyone. Automation frees up more time for HR managers to strategize with the company’s leadership, find and secure top talent, and work more closely with employees. Through more hands-on relationships, you can focus more on what employees want and need.
Identify which processes take the most time and use HR tech to automate them. Be sure to also choose a system that integrates with your current HR processes seamlessly.
Facilitate Constant Feedback
Feedback is crucial to people-oriented management, but employees aren’t getting the feedback they need. In a recent , more than 75% of respondents believed that feedback is valuable, but less than 30% said that they receive it. What gives?
Traditionally, employees receive in-depth feedback once a year during a performance review. But employees and managers can benefit from more feedback, and HR tech makes that possible. HR software can help managers provide real-time feedback, facilitate peer-to-peer feedback, and encourage employees to assess management.
Use HR tech tools to better track and measure performance, using the data to provide frequent and meaningful feedback. In addition, use software to allow employees to rate their managers and their peers, keeping everyone accountable for their work.
Make Better Decisions with Big Data
Big data has been talked about as a major HR trend — and it’s not all just hype. In fact, a CareerBuilder of leaders at multi-million-dollar companies found an overwhelming 90% of CEOs think it’s important that HR leaders be proficient in workforce analytics, with 35% saying it’s “absolutely essential.”
Big data and predictive analytics allow HR professionals to make better decisions about recruiting, retention, and where to invest their budget. With analytics, HR professionals can make decisions that benefit employees and the business as a whole.
Use HR tech to track and analyze data to better understand employee needs, find gaps in talent, and boost engagement and satisfaction.
Professional development keeps employees around, but employers aren’t delivering the education employees want. A recent Intercall found that although three out of four respondents participated in job-related training programs in 2015, those same participants reported their being significant room for improvement. More than one third of employees surveyed said they felt training programs weren’t a productive use of time, while another third said they weren’t interesting or engaging.
HR tech can make training programs more effective and engaging for employees. How? By taking training online. 41% of respondents said interactive online courses were effective in helping them retain information. Use tools that actively engage employees through collaboration and other interactive methods to get the most from training and development.
Keep Employees Engaged
Today’s HR leaders know that engaged employees stay longer, advocate on behalf of the company, and are more productive than their disengaged counterparts. In fact, 85% of executives in report ranked employee engagement as a top priority.
With employees working more cross-functionally than ever, it’s important to give them a place to connect with colleagues who may not physically work in the office, whether they’re remote, overseas, or simply in a different branch. Internal networking facilitated by online solutions can be a great way to connect staff members, exchange best practices, and encourage internal mobility.
Put the Human Back in Human Resources
It may seem counterintuitive at first, but the truth is implementing HR tech can help to put the human back in human resources. Explore tools that help your organization develop more people-oriented management today.
Has your company invested in HR tech? Which tools have helped humanize HR?[avatar user=”MattStraz” size=”thumbnail” align=”left” /]
Matt Straz is the founder & CEO of , the HR, payroll, and benefits platform built for today’s workplace. Connect with Matt and the Namely team on , , and .