As HR leaders look to 2017 and beyond, a key question has emerged: How can HR teams and their organizations better enable their workforce to provide a substantial, competitive business advantage?
Many believe HR technology should be that enabler, but traditional talent management technologies focus on automating HR functions, often ignoring the most important “consumers”: employees. The primary goal of automating HR functions has been to increase efficiency.It’s true that the focus on integrated talent management made HR tools easier for HR pros to use by streamlining time-intensive, paper-based processes of the “personnel office” to make time for more strategic initiatives and saving hard costs for the business. Still, they may not be as beneficial for employees who are forced to interact with multiple systems. To keep pace with today’s self-service and mobile employees who guide their own skill and career development, organizations need more than process automation, and instead should opt for an employee-first mentality, internally and externally.
Shift Toward Employee-Centric Solutions
Forward-thinking HR leaders, who leverage technology, know their organizations must adapt to workplace preferences and the needs of new generations. Deloitte research shows that companies that want to simplify and improve the employee experience have extended their recruitment process via social media and made HR software much more focused on employee needs.In order for others to do so, HR technology and organizations alike must deliver a great employee experience and make time spent working more productive and interesting.
Applying employee-focused HR technology—one platform with flexible, mobile engagement apps, and connected to work with existing technologies for payroll, benefits, time, and attendance— offers major strategic advantages by creating a workforce of “activated employees,” and puts them at the forefront by:
• Catering to how and when each employee wants to work; on what device(s), etc.
• Delivering innovative technology that meets the professional development of employees .
• Creating a social, mobile, and consumer-oriented experience for employees inside the company.
• Enabling organizations to engage employees at the most opportune time.
Traditional employee engagement often consists of a series of disconnected individual touch points that don’t directly align to strategic outcomes. Instead, talent activation empowers organizations to realize the full potential of the modern workforce to achieve better business outcomes. Talent activation transforms traditional talent management into a measurable continuum of experiences that connect and empower employees by leveraging technology that:
• Integrates employees from the start. Maximize socialization via mentoring opportunities and exposure to positive team members who are excited about the company and its purpose during onboarding so new hires feel more connected to the culture, motivated to perform, and eager to contribute.
• Moves beyond simple sourcing and onboarding. Create a journey prioritizing experiences and introducing opportunities to engage and activate toward measurable outcomes through continuous learning and mentoring.
• Maintains the momentum. Ongoing employee engagement generates opportunities for development and career growth; leverages continuous learning and development models that begin on day one and continue throughout the employee lifecycle.
• Offer development goals that directly tie to those of the organization to help employees feel connected to the bottom line while building their capabilities and career.
By prioritizing the employee when considering HR technology solutions, businesses can better source and retain top talent and maximize contributions that boost the bottom line. From simple employee-focused dashboards to learning modules and gamification techniques, employee-centric technology enables the workforce to access the information they want when they want it, driving value for the organization by enabling employees to take control of their development and understand their impact on strategic outcomes.
For HR leaders and executives seeking to activate their workforces, leveraging employee-focused HR solutions connects the dots between employees and business outcomes. This ensures that those desired outcomes guide the empowerment, performance, feedback and progression of employees.
Amber Hyatt, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is vice president of product marketing for cloud-based talent management solutions provider SilkRoad. She can be reached at Amber.Hyatt@silkroad.com.