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Tag Archives: hr technology trends

Read the Latest Insights on Talent Management and People Development in Practice

Most of us are familiar with the idea of a Catch-22.  While it originally referred to a military rule in Joseph Keller’s 1961 masterpiece of the same name, we now use it to apply to any time you are caught in a frustrating situation, trapped by contradictory regulations or conditions. […]

Read the Latest Insights on Talent Management and People Development in Practice

Most of us are familiar with the idea of a Catch-22.  While it originally referred to a military rule in Joseph Keller’s 1961 masterpiece of the same name, we now use it to apply to any time you are caught in a frustrating situation, trapped by contradictory regulations or conditions. I think most of us can cite numerous examples of Catch-22 scenarios in the workplace, but recently more data has come to light to suggest HR and talent management, in particular, is currently plagued by a very troubling Catch-22.

Together with the Fosway Group, SumTotal recently completed extensive research into what’s working in talent management today and what isn’t. The work builds on a previous collaboration between our organizations, Transforming Talent in the Modern Workforce, which looked at how the workplace is transforming and the impact technology is having on this new order. This time we wanted to take a closer look at what’s happening in workplaces and HR teams across EMEA.

The results from the study highlight some common trends that stem from the fact that work is changing so the way organisations attract and retain new talent needs to change. However, while we can all agree on this impact, the question we asked is are HR departments meeting this expectation in the real world?

Not quite. Only 4% of enterprises have fully completed the digital transformation of their people functions. The majority (62%) are still in the process and therefore, yet to fully realise the full effects of digital transformation. In other words, most are still missing out on the potential of HR moving from being a “translator” of people processes (absence management, payroll and recruiting) into a strategic influencer and enabler for organisational success.

Crisis in innovation in HR

Almost 70% of those we surveyed believe their HR systems are not fit for the modern workforce. That’s an alarming figure given that everyone in the profession acknowledges that HR systems need to align with the expectations of both the employee and the business.  Only 9% think their tech is fully ready to meet employee expectations. I was surprised to learn that 33% are still using spreadsheets to execute their daily HR processes, and 14% are using nothing at all.

If you were to ask HR professionals why there is such a disconnect, I think most would agree that although HR needs to prove its ROI, it is hampered by its inability to automate and track the effectiveness of its practices. Here’s the Catch-22. HR needs to update its technology but to do so it needs to prove its worth and to do this, you guessed it, HR requires the technology to automate reporting.

Currently, HR is using these measures to prove impact and value:

When the conversation turns to areas like talent succession and workforce management, it gets even harder with over two-thirds saying they find it difficult to measure their effectiveness.

Making it even more challenging for HR is the reality that only one in three operates with a significant demand to prove their value add and a quarter have little or no demand. Again, we have a situation where there are no metrics to demonstrate the quantifiable impact; therefore, it is hard to prove the worth of HR efforts resulting in systems not meeting employee expectations.

Consequences of failing to live up to expectation in HR

Apart from the frustration felt by HR, there is also the issue around talent. Again, everyone is aware that we are facing a skills crisis so companies that excel in their talent management will be those companies that rule in the war for talent. Employees are looking at employer brand and are willing to switch employers to brands synonymous with developing its people and powering their careers. It is imperative now that HR systems have the features and capabilities to nurture and grow and deliver the experience workers find outside of their jobs.

 

How Collaboration Engages Employees and Drives Productivity

As a child, I dreaded the ubiquitous school class group project. Invariably someone in our group took charge, someone else did nothing, and perhaps one or two others and I did all the work for little or no recognition. […]

How Collaboration Engages Employees and Drive Productivity

As a child, I dreaded the ubiquitous school class group project. Invariably someone in our group took charge, someone else did nothing, and perhaps one or two others and I did all the work for little or no recognition. Fast forward to today, and I now view group work in an entirely new light. It’s not easy to ensure everyone has a voice and can contribute to truly collaborative group work, but when it happens, the effort pays off in impressive ways.

What are the benefits of employee collaboration?

Collaboration sparks innovation when each person brings their own experiences, knowledge and skills to the table. Legend has it that Microsoft introduced the idea of using a mouse to click on-screen objects to tell it what to do.  Xerox first adopted this functionality in their Alto computers, and many believe that this is where Steve Jobs first saw it, inspiring the graphical user interface of the Apple Macintosh.  Although this isn’t an example of people working in a team, it does demonstrate what can happen when people share and build off each other’s ideas.  Imagine the possibilities of employees learning from each other and generating new ideas.

Some of the other benefits of collaboration on an organization are:

  • Organizational flexibility – working together makes it easier to pivot when strategies and priorities change
  • Employees are engaged – when collaboration works, workers get excited to take on new projects and embrace change
  • Attract top talent – candidates want to work with people they respect and can learn from
  • Higher employee retention rates – employees are happier and more fulfilled
  • Different departments and different offices and skills can be brought together to make a project more successful.
  • Increased profitability – because of all of the above the bottom line will grow and propel the business forward

Not surprisingly, technology is now helping to make workplace collaboration easier than ever. This trend is reflected in the growth of the collaboration market from $30.40 billion in 2017 to an estimated $59.86 billion by 2023. Part of the reason for such a tremendous increase is that ever-changing landscape of the workforce. Everything from the rise of the remote worker to the new flexibility around work schedules is playing a part in why collaboration is now a daily part of an employee’s day.

Studies also demonstrate that utilizing innovative process and networking tools can improve productivity by 20 to 30%. I experienced this first hand recently when our team moved to a new intranet and shared, over our work social networking site, the necessary tips and tricks to make the transition as smooth and efficient as possible.

Furthermore, working collaboratively fosters employee engagement. Engaged workers feel more connected to their company, leading to a 21% increase in productivity, heightened passion for their job and a more positive attitude during coworker interactions. Working in a team can spark innovation because each person brings their own experiences, knowledge and skills to the table, allowing opportunities for ideas to grow and expand as you listen to each other’s opinions.

Additionally, collaboration can help organizations increase business velocity – bringing products to market faster by speeding up the process to make it easier to produce anything.  Sometimes this means putting people into a team who do not traditionally work together. Often this mashup can result in problems, so YEC Next collaborated and put together a list of how to successfully bring to the same table any team members who don’t usually work together.

  1. Inspire innovation by hosting “Team Innovations” sessions
  2. Keep individuals organized
  3. Ask them to tell their story
  4. Implement effective task management
  5. Encourage open communication
  6. Align their interests

Recognizing the power of collaboration, SumTotal helps today’s organizations foster collaboration with strong social elements like blog posts and communities that can share discussions, files and best practices. Ultimately, connections and collaboration keep your workforce performing at a higher level, supports retention and learning throughout the employee lifecycle—desirable outcomes for businesses of any size or maturity.

Elevate skills and connect with peers with gamification

For example, SumTotal’s social platform – shown here – is one of the features of the SumTotal Performance Management solution. Managers can create communities to share blogs, files and start discussions amongst teams. SumTotal’s social platform also integrates with other third-party platforms like Yammer to encourage idea sharing and problem-solving.

To learn more about how SumTotal can drive the success of talent development and demonstrate how technology can support this goal, watch the Talent Agility in an Emerging Workforce webinar.

 

Talent Agility in an Emerging Workforce - Watch Now

Human Resources is the New Epicenter of Digital Transformation and Technological Advancement

Today we have a guest blogger, Michael Rochelle the Chief Strategy Officer and a Principal HCM Analyst for the Brandon Hall Group.

Human Resources teams are not fully leveraging technology, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve their organizations. […]

Human Resources (HR) is the New Epicenter of Digital Transformation and Technological Advancement

Today we have a guest blogger, Michael Rochelle the Chief Strategy Officer and a Principal HCM Analyst for the Brandon Hall Group.

Human Resources teams are not fully leveraging technology, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve their organizations.

Consider the following Brandon Hall Group research:

  • Less than 10% of organizations can use data and technology to create “what-if” predictive planning.
  • Less than one-third of companies plan modest or significant investments in data analytics or technology selection in 2019.
  • In an age where continuous learning is essential to drive new skills and behaviors, fewer than half of companies effectively link learning to performance.
  • Two out of three organizations can’t prove their leadership programs significantly impact business objectives. Of those, 71% say they don’t have the data and analytics to demonstrate the impact.

Stemming the tide of challenges

Using AI, predictive analytics and other elements of data science, organizations can implement new ways to find and retain the best talent.  Here are just a few examples of how these tools can address many of the challenges HR currently faces:

  • AI can improve recruitment processes by leveraging automation to more efficiently and effectively build better candidate relationships and develop more impactful hiring and retention strategies.
  • Organizations must embrace a “learner experience” mindset which means learning must be engaging and attractive to the learner. Organizations need to leverage advanced technological platforms to analyze learner outcomes and automatically guide employees through a highly interactive learning journey to accomplish this.
  • To identify the right leaders and properly construct their development path, it is critical that leadership development programs now incorporate highly sophisticated self-assessment platforms and other cutting-edge analytical tools.
  • Organizations are becoming highly diverse. Technology, data and analytics are essential to fundamentally reshape how we think about diversity and inclusion, and help us to identify unconscious bias and remove it from the workplace.
  • By leveraging people analytics powered by AI, talent leaders can create a prospective view that directs how, where and when talent must evolve to meet future business needs. Talent development must be re-imagined to balance data and emotional intelligence to make critical workforce decisions.

Organizations are facing talent challenges more complicated than ever. However, with the advances in technology, the ability to solve these challenges is more powerful than ever before.  Organizations and HR professionals must push themselves to evolve with the times and embrace the new digital era of transformation and technological advancement.

Running with blinders on – reducing unintended bias in the workplace

Sometimes lessons present themselves in unexpected places. During a recent live BBC interview with international relations expert Professor Robert Kelly, on the possible impeachment of the South Korean president, two children suddenly burst into view. [...]

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Sometimes lessons present themselves in unexpected places.

During a recent live BBC interview with international relations expert Professor Robert Kelly, on the possible impeachment of the South Korean president, two children suddenly burst into view.  Despite the interruption, Professor Kelly tries to continue with the interview, but it is clear that the news anchor has lost all interest in the subject and instead can’t help but focus on the source of the interruption.

Within hours, the clip went viral.

The video raises several questions about parenting styles, working with children, and perhaps most significantly, why everyone assumed the woman who followed the kids into the room and frantically rounded them up was the nanny?

This assumption, has everyone pointing fingers at one another and some commentators going so far as to suggest that we are all guilty of stereotyping. The family themselves aren’t too bothered, and when interviewed, en masse this time, they simply laughed it off. But it does serve as a stark reminder that no matter how open minded or non-judgemental we may feel, we do tend to categorize people.

In the workplace, this can lead to manager bias whereby a person is treated differently because of their age, race, ethnicity, or gender. This bias, or “blinder,” can be a huge challenge for organizations around the globe.

The question therefore is what measures can an organization take to ensure that the “blinders,” whether conscious or unconscious, are removed from workforce decisions?

The answer is technology. We all need to be using smart, common-sense technology to connect ‘people’ data to ‘numbers’ data and then basing decisions on this, rather than human instinct.

A simple example of this is to leverage a workforce management capability like occurrence tracking. Occurrence tracking gives managers, at their fingertips, objective data that removes subjectivity from tasks like performance reviews by including information like number of absences, how many times they helped their peers with shift trades and so forth.

Another example is scheduling. From within scheduling, managers can leverage capabilities to assign tasks by seniority, skill, and certification rather than selecting an employee because the supervisor is friends with them.

Additionally, providing employees with the self-service capability allows them to indicate their availability and therefore have a say in the schedule, rather than leaving it to a manager’s assumptions. Such assumptions can lead to bias if, for example, a manager decides that a student cannot do an early morning shift because of school.

With “blinders-free” data, managers can not only make decisions that are unbiased and based on fact rather than opinion, it also provides them with tangible evidence for any decisions. As the BBC video shows, we have a long way to go before we can completely and accurately say that bias no longer exists. But in the meantime, we can continue to use technology to progress and move toward a “blinder-free” workplace.

Read about some other trends and continue the conversation with us by requesting a demo.

5 Talent Technology Trends that Matter in 2014

So many talent technology “trends,” so little time. Wasn’t technology supposed to give us more time?

So many talent technology “trends,” so little time. Wasn’t technology supposed to give us more time?

The rapid pace of technology development can make it difficult and time consuming to keep up with the latest and greatest and understand what’s really going to help you achieve your HR and talent management goals. To help (and give you back some of that mythical “time” you were promised) we’ve identified five HR technology trends that will really matter in 2014 and beyond.

    1. Global, Virtual Work – Reports of the death of “work from home” have been greatly exaggerated
      Virtual work is here to stay. Though some organizations (Yahoo, HP) made news last year by eliminating the work-from-home option, many others are increasing their virtual workforce. Benefits of supporting a virtual workforce include significant cost reduction ($11,000 per employee, per year), less absenteeism, and retention, as, according to PWC’s 2013 NextGen: A Global Generational Study, many employees would choose work flexibility over pay.
    2. Collaborative Productivity – More than social for social’s sake
      A 2012 McKinsey study found that implementing social, collaborative technology can increase productivity by 25% and those organizations that don’t are missing out on their piece of $1.3 trillion in untapped value. And just having a discussion forum doesn’t count.
    3. Context-Aware User Experience – Tools that people use because they want to
      Context-aware HR solutions deliver hyper-personalized information and recommendations that increase the productivity of every employee, where and when the employee needs it. So instead of one-size-fits-all learning or talent programs, your employees get a unique experience personalized to their needs, and managers get the in-context information and recommendations they need to better manage their teams. The result? People will actually USE your HR systems and programs – and not just because you make them. When adoption rises, so does productivity and ROI.
    4. Analytics – Big data doesn’t have to be complicated data
      Organizations that use workforce analytics to effectively leverage their workforce see higher quality, productivity, customer satisfaction and market share, according to a recent Harvard Business Review survey. Unfortunately, most organizations have employee data siloed in 3 or more HR systems, as well as other internal and external systems, making effective workforce analytics seem like an impossible dream. New technology is available now to help you solve this without the expense and risk that comes with HRIS consolidation projects. Just read the whitepaper.
    5. The Cloud – Still unsure? You’re not alone
      The Cloud – specifically the public Cloud or SaaS has been a strong trend for a few years now and will continue in the future. The potential cost savings, scalability and flexibility make it the right deployment choice for many. However, there are some organizations that aren’t ready for the public cloud yet for a variety of reasons.CedarCrestone found that less than 18% of HRMS deployments are in the cloud, so if you are still on the fence – you’re not the only one. If you aren’t ready yet, be sure that your HR solution provider offers a choice of deployment — public, private (hosted), a combination (hybrid) or on-premise. The choice should be yours, and your vendor should support your needs today and have the ability to adapt as your requirements change.

 

To learn more about each of the above trends, read “Cut Through the Noise: 5 Talent Technology Trends That Matter.”