Present HR: Out with the Old, in with the Newer

I like to cook, but I’m a bit cantankerous when it comes to adopting new kitchen technology. Sous vide? Gastronomy? A blender that doubles as a mixer, that triples as a stove? It’s ridiculous; they all seem more novelty than necessity. Give me a cast iron pan, steak, fork and I am set. Not to say I do not see the utility or progression in cooking all of those devices bring, because I do. Every once in a while, much to my own chagrin, I will buy some new gadget that makes my life easier, more efficient, and healthier. I quite literally feel like I am eating my own words. I feel this mindset feeds directly into the Human Resources department of today. There are a lot of new, fancy tools to make a Human Resources executive’s life easier, but many do not see an issue with their old method.

Newer is not always synonymous with easier

There is all of this new technology out there that brings HR to the 21st century and pushes it forward but I talk to a lot of businesses that seem to think new is antithetical to easier. There are many external variables that add confusion to HR now-a-days. Social media adds a grey line of when you are and are not in the office. Things previously said behind closed doors are now front and center on the internet. A company going green seems rosy on the outside but bringing that ideology to fruition is a painstaking process. The Affordable Care Act, good or bad, is adding a lot of confusion to businesses not yet equipped to tackle it. The younger generations believe newer is a synonym of easier but for many companies entrenched in the past, that may not ring true. At least not right away. How does a business implement and manage a new system to simplify all of this complex information for their employees?

This is where a new, integrated and automated HRM system can make a profound impact on a business. An effective HRM system has the ability to track an employee from interview to retirement and have all relevant information to their employment safely stored in the cloud, with the employee able to access that information at any time. Those features are just scratching the surface of what is possible with a modern Human Resource Management system.

Moving HR Forward with Immovable Employees

Many new processes coming to HR are intrinsically linked to the employee. This is a far cry from the previous method of the HR department chasing down employees when they needed critical information. The success of systems like Employee Self Service is dependent upon employees’ willingness to adopt and use a system to its full potential. We, as humans, like everything we use to be easier, more integrated, less confusing and more intuitive. Those attributes should carry over to our jobs. Employees need to be educated and conscious of the fact that taking control of their information benefits them as much, if not more, as the employer.

Teaching an Old Dog New Tech

Many businesses are treading in unknown territory with the baby boomer generation already in or close to retirement. How are they supposed to convince employees a few years from retirement to take new HRM technology seriously? I feel this worker demographic is the most imperative to pitch the utility of new HR technology to. Companies should take time to teach this level of employees features beneficial to them such as; how to access and shop their benefits from the comfort of their own devices, where to view their current 401k state, and how to view/edit W2s. While the learning curve may be steeper, the potential utility for these employees is through the roof.

More Info in Fewer Places

Human Resources has always been an information overload center. Every employee has so much information that needs to be entered, implemented and monitored and that list of information is ever growing. The HR of today has many tools available to them to take that information and keep it in an organized and protected place. The ESS feature of an HRM system can turn a nightmare into a dream with well-planned and thought out implementation.

The Future is Bright

Human Resources software is finally being developed in a proactive manner, as opposed to the status quo of reactive. HRM systems are being created with the employee as much of the focal point as the employer is. I am still a purist when it comes to cooking and I can sympathize with Human Resources purists but just as there are kitchen gadgets that make things possible that were not before, there is software that does that exact same thing for HR. For more insight on the future of HR, be sure to read next week’s post by Chris Travis.