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Tag Archives: HR Technology

What the H in HR Really Means

We are living in an increasingly non-binary world. I welcome this change. In particular, I look forward to watching HR professionals embrace this idea and apply it to their jobs.

We are all aware of the phenomenal impact technology is having on HR and its ally learning and development (L&D). […]

What the H in HR Really Means

We are living in an increasingly non-binary world. I welcome this change. In particular, I look forward to watching HR professionals embrace this idea and apply it to their jobs.

We are all aware of the phenomenal impact technology is having on HR and its ally learning and development (L&D). To say technology is revolutionizing HR and L&D is not an understatement. Apart from the more obvious use cases like recruitment, onboarding and performance reviews, technology is enabling HR to expand its strategic reach.

HR technology now produces such a wealth of data and insight, that HR leaders can drive strategic initiatives.  HR can identify flight risks, coordinate and implement an unprecedented standard of succession planning, and promote career pathing or journeying, whichever you prefer to call it. Plus, it is facilitating employees to learn in the flow of work. Such capabilities were unheard of not that long ago.

What does this mean? It means that because HR now can monitor employee engagement, attrition, capability gaps, and internal skills development, its influence is significant. The bottom line is HR data, and therefore, HR can change the trajectory of their business.

So, what’s the problem?

Perhaps there isn’t one other than the potential in a rush to exalt the wonders and contributions of technology to the profession; we can overlook the industry’s primary benefactors. After all, who does HR serve if not human employees? If we forget that and look to leverage technology solely to improve efficiencies, it means we will have lost sight of our function.

However, here’s where the non-binary approach applies. I recommend we develop a mindset whereby rather than an either-or mentality — human or technology — we build an HR experience that exploits innovation to imbue HR with a most human “experience.”

Making HR about humans again

The first step involves taking a step back. Remember, the best defense is an offense. Organizations must look at their people and determine what they need, what they want, what are their expectations. The next step is assessing the needs of the company. In the current tight labor market, where the shortage of skills is a potential threat, relying on external hires to plug the gaps is no longer viable. Today’s organizations must look to continuously reskill and upskill employees. Plus, this training must take in a broader perspective. It is not just about training employees in their job; it is a more holistic approach to development.  Whether it is equipping employees with the skills to facilitate a meeting, teaching employees how to make presentations or addressing best practices for time management.

However, it doesn’t stop there. Human Resources is also about:

  • Onboarding
  • Compliance
  • Performance
  • Succession

The beauty is that technology serves all these functions. Therefore, ideally, a company can provide the quintessential human experience with the aid of technology. Today, most HR systems cover learning, workforce management and talent management into one seamless system.  The beauty of such a capability is that all the data you need is at your disposal. It is simply a matter of ensuring that the technology works with and for your employees rather than against them.

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.

 

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.

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Do you like being defined as human capital? Didn’t think so…

No one wants to be defined as “capital.”  People are not widgets or transactions. Employees are not automatons and their knowledge, expertise and contributions within organizations are not transactional.  So why does the term “human capital” persist? It shouldn’t and we are on a mission to eradicate it.

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How The Oracle, Workday And Salesforce.com Cloud Partnerships Impacts HR And Learning Professionals

The recent announcement made by Workday and Salesforce.com to standardize on each other's applications and platforms, at first blush, sounds like nirvana. For many organizations, application integration continues to be an ongoing challenge regardless of how it's deployed, and the notion of leveraging big data across applications certainly is drawing appeal, at least at a conceptual level. Two camps are forming with pure Cloud vendors on one side and big enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors moving to Cloud on the other. But where does that leave human resources and learning when it comes to helping people be better at their jobs?

It’s not the size of the data; it’s what you do with it.

No term in the history of business applications has generated more fodder than the term big data. As vendors frantically push in-memory databases, data warehouses, intergalactic analytics and dashboards that make your head spin, most organizations are left wondering how any of it helps an employee, manager or executive make better decisions when and where they need it – while they are doing their jobs. But if you have experienced Amazon.com or similar software, you understand the power of an intelligent, contextual engine. Based on information about you, people like you, and business data around what you are trying to accomplish, the system makes specific recommendations for you to make better choices instead of forcing you to choose from a list of seemingly infinite possibilities.

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