Technology and the HR function. Not always comfortable bedfellows. Looking ahead, what will be the major HR technology trends and challenges facing the HR profession in 2015?
What are the hot trends in HR technology? It’s a rhetorical question: put another way: what aren’t the trends? HR technology in itself, having profoundly changed the game, is the hot trend: it’s heated up our field in ways that allow us to leverage talent on an entirely different level, regardless of the size or scope of an organization and irrespective of the end goals, from short-term to future-casting.
Last year, the HR technology buyer began to really get in touch with their end users and look for technology designed to support people, not just processes, says Steve Parker, head of a business transformation at Achievers. “This meant moving away from the outdated but consolidated offerings that employees, managers, and executives used only when they had to such as HR “self-service” to providing tools that people used because they want to – technology designed to engage and help people be more productive.”
Parker argues that there are two major HR technology trends that will emerge in 2015. They are:
- Technology will provide transparency. Whether we like it or not, employees will be taking a page from the Yelps and Trip Advisors of the world and will rely on using tools like Glassdoor and social media to describe and evaluate their companies’ true employment brand. With today’s social-enabled consumer technologies, disengaged or disgruntled employees, like customers can immediately express their dissatisfaction, and prospective employees and customers can immediately see what those disengaged employees have to say. But it works the other way too, which means positive feedback can be shared just as easily. In 2015, HR will start embracing technology that creates this transparency and fosters an open culture where employees can easily recognize and communicate the great things that happen every day in organizations.
- Technology will finally help us do something about this disengagement problem. Disengaged employees cost the US economy $500 billion per year in lost productivity. And let’s face it, we spend more effort and resources measuring engagement than we do something about it. That’s about to change. While the tools for measuring personal attributes or capabilities have been around for a while, solutions that help organizations create—not just measure—an amazing environment will come into their own in 2015. We’ve all seen awesome employees get swallowed up by bad companies or bad bosses, so organizations serious about increasing their performance will begin to focus more on taking action on employee engagement by providing people with tools to connect across functions, catch others in the act of doing things right, and stay aligned to what’s most important.
Technology can aid the workplace and the HR function, but it will also provide a potential headache for HR teams and boardrooms in 2015 as organizations grabble with the need to embed new technology at the speed their employees are demanding, according to Tim Payne, a partner in KPMG’s People Powered Performance Team TISI -0.14%. He believes that this will result in workplaces where the generational divide may become increasingly difficult to handle.
“The digital divide that separates generations in the home will gradually creep into the workplace next year, as organisations adopt new technologies to stay ahead of the competition,” claims Payne. “On the face of it new technology sounds like a good idea, but the challenge will be whether organisations can adopt new technologies quickly enough to satisfy employee need whilst ensuring everyone is able to get the most out of it. Failure to do so may create conflict in the workplace with some people feeling empowered and others left behind.”
Author- Karen Higginbottom