Talent scarcity is driving businesses to prioritize upgrading the employee experience in an attempt to improve retention. This is no surprise when you consider that 40% of the US workforce changes jobs annually and 90% of the S&P 100 index are recruiting for the same 39 roles.
Despite massive investment in HR and related technologies in recent years, there is a significant gap between expectations and outcomes. Organizations have been trying to optimize their human resources strategies using technology for some 20 years, but in spite of this, most still haven’t quite figured it out.
This gap typically results from a misalignment between business goals and employee priorities and a failure to make employees feel like they are a priority.
Enhancing the employee experience is a key concern for HR leaders and many organizations are investing significant resources, yet 46% of employees remain largely dissatisfied, according to a recent Gartner survey.
There is also a pronounced mismatch between executives’ and middle managers’ perceptions of the success of HR technology implementations.
Given how high current employee turnover rates are and low employee satisfaction is, it’s incumbent on progressive organizations to rethink their approach to HR and technology as part of a sincere endeavor to improve the employee experience. Sugarcoating like beer fridges and unlimited leave days simply won’t cut it.
Implementing HR Tech in Your Company: Why Is it Important?
What Is HR Technology?
HR technology automates some of the key tasks and processes formerly performed manually by HR personnel and managers. Essentially, any task or workflow that consists of repeatable or predictable steps can be automated, resulting in more seamless and convenient processes that save time and effort.
Here are some of the HR processes that can be streamlined and automated using technology:
- Recruitment (applicant tracking systems, etc.)
- Onboarding (capturing employee information, getting W-4 and I-9 forms signed)
- Information management (HR information systems, SQL databases)
- Benefits enrollment and tracking (health insurance, 401(k)s, etc.)
- Talent management (performance and engagement management)
- Training and development (Learning management systems, etc.)
- Finance (payroll, paid time off, expense claims, overtime pay, POs)
- Digital time and attendance tracking
- Project management, task management, and collaboration tools,
- Process automation (digital forms, pre-populated data, electronic signatures, automatic approval routing)
- Self-service tools and FAQs
You might be thinking something along the lines of “those aren’t all strictly HR processes”, and you’d be right. However, if you concede that the goal of HR technology is to improve employee engagement and reduce turnover rates, each of these technology solutions has an important role to play.
For instance, while a collaboration tool that facilitates virtual meetings might not be considered HR technology, it can certainly be instrumental in HR personnel being able to perform their job effectively, particularly in the case of geographically distributed teams.
Likewise, process automation tools might not be HR tools in and of themselves, but they can certainly improve employees’ job satisfaction by improving the ease of access they have to resources and opportunities and speeding up the rate at which their HR-related requests are processed and addressed.
An engaged employee is:
- Confident that they’re equipped to perform their role and do it well – and that they can ask for help if they need support
- Challenged through tasks that require them to stretch and grow and not become complacent and bored.
- Content with their role and salary – and comfortable with raising the topic if that should change, instead of simply leaving
While HR technology certainly can’t address these needs on its own, HR workflow automation can equip your organization to create the kind of environment where these needs are met by allowing HR personnel to focus on these priorities instead of getting caught up in mindless administrative tasks.
Why Does HR Technology Matter?
Technological solutions that help to make your human resources processes more efficient and effective can have a ripple effect on the productivity and wellbeing of the rest of your organization.
Aside from freeing up your HR personnel to focus on meaningful tasks such as building stronger relationships with – and among – staff, HR technology solutions have a number of other benefits:
- Greater convenience and transparency makes for a better employee experience
- Seamless recruitment and onboarding thanks to digital forms, electronic signatures, etc.
- “People insights” allow HR personnel to offer employees the right growth opportunities at the right time
- Automation drives efficiency and accuracy while allowing HR personnel to prioritise humans
- HR Platforms make HR processes and information more accessible to employees
- HR workflow automation enables effortless compliance with labor regulations
- Digital processes cut paper-usage (save money and storage space while saving the environment!)
- Automated prompts and check-ins can help make employees feel seen and heard
HR technology can make all the difference between inefficient, outdated processes that make your organization seem like a dinosaur, and cutting-edge efficiency that make your organization a great place to work.
Tips For Implementing HR Technology Effectively
- Assess your business needs and weigh them against the real needs of your workforce and select tools that allow you to align these needs as far as possible.
- Select your tools wisely and remember that they need to be employee-centric. Involve key employees (not just management) in the process of choosing and implementing HR technology tools.
- Consider the cost of implementing various technologies and compare features, time to set up, ease-of-use, seamless integration capabilities with existing systems, etc. Also consider what degree of training or help (e.g. from I.T.) will be required. Ask yourself whether the technology solution really addresses your needs or solves the problem you’re trying to address.
- To get buy-in and drive adoption, demonstrate the business case to C Suite. Meanwhile, take the time to show employees how this new tool will impact their work lives (how it will make it easier to check benefits balances, etc).
- Don’t neglect change management – take the time to explain the purpose of your new tool to your team and ensure they know how to use it.
- Implementation doesn’t end at deployment. A person or team needs to own the implementation and continuously champion it and drive adoption through training and incentives.
- Measure success: what are the baseline metrics and what do performance metrics look like?
- Remember that HR technology alone can’t change your institutional culture, and new technologies married to old processes are a recipe for disaster. You may need to overhaul many of your current processes.
If your organization is anything like most businesses in today’s highly competitive employer landscape, you’ve spent a lot of energy and money recruiting top talent. Now that you’ve snagged them away from your competitors, often at great cost, you want to make sure you keep them engaged and equip them to reach their full potential. Implementing the right HR technology can help you to achieve this.
Ready to automate your HR processes?
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