Revolutionize HR With New Technology

Human Resources professionals are in a fight for their time. Maybe more than any other department, HR spends an inordinate amount of time on administrative tasks.

This isn’t by accident — it’s what happens when HR loses the technology budget battle. Almost 80 percent of HR technology investments are eight years old or older, and a great deal of the infrastructure just functions to keep data in a secure repository, leaving very few resources for actually helping with daily tasks.

Combine this with commonly antiquated workflows — like the 56 percent of organizations that require approval of all common HR transactions, no matter how small or routine — and you get a lethal combination that results in an entire day’s worth of work each week being taken up by administrative duties.

World Economic Forum Calls For More Strategic Tools

Concerns about the functions of HR extend beyond the confines of the office. Even the World Economic Forum has advocated for an overhaul of the HR system. In its January 2016 executive summary “The Future of Jobs,” the WEF called for more strategic analytical tools for addressing trends in the talent pool or gaps in employee skills.

HR executives don’t have to resign themselves to a fate of inescapable busywork. If you’re one of the 65 percent of HR execs who want to play a more strategic role in your organization, there is a path forward. And that path is being paved by technology.

Technology Helps Take HR Back to the People

Recent advances in technology and software make it possible for HR to get out of the administrative game and back to the job of helping employees. Here are three technological advances that can help you reconfigure your HR department to get back to what it does best:

1. Truly Mobile Self-Services

HR in today’s world is a remote function. The HR team might still be centralized, but chances are many employees are scattered across the country or even the world. We use our phones to shop and even manage our finances — to fully embrace our new remote reality, HR can and should take advantage of mobile and create services that can be accessed by employees through apps on their phones.

HR Can And Should Take Advantage Of Mobile

Just like digital communication has changed our relationship with our network, HR will benefit from the power that comes with being able to reach people directly on that most personal of devices: the smartphone.

2. Personalization and Prioritization

People today are consistently overloaded with information, and this is especially true in the workplace. Newsletters, company announcements, HR memos, the latest deals, the latest policies — everything, whether it’s pertinent or not, comes to everyone. So what do people do when confronted with so much information? They stop paying attention.

Technology Allows HR To Better Tailor Information

For HR, this means massive work concerning follow-ups just to get people to read or listen to important details. However, today’s technology allows HR to better tailor what information gets sent where and how it should be prioritized. By simply reducing the information noise level for employees, HR can cut down on the amount of redundant work it’s forced to do every day.

3. Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence is often a term that conjures up sci-fi dystopias where robots conquer the human race. But the reality of today’s AI is a bit more mundane. Digital helpers like Google Now and Proactive (for Siri) are already on our phones, using algorithms to determine what you will do next in your day-to-day life.

Your Smartphone Will Predict What Workflows To Approve

These types of intelligent aides will become an integral part of the enterprise as well. Your smartphone will soon be able to predict what workflows you always approve and what emails you always archive without reading. It will know when you read news and when you need quiet time.

HR will be able to use these technologies to schedule training according to the learning behavior of the employee. It will be able to collect valuable data that could help improve employee workflows and could even use machine learning to detect potential fraud, saving time and money.

New Technologies Have Potential To Revolutionize HR

While the change won’t happen overnight, these new technologies have the potential to revolutionize the HR world. And as this tech continues to improve, HR executives will be able to craft more personalized, accurate, and efficient interaction with employees. This, in turn, will slowly exterminate busywork until HR finally has the freedom to focus on making work better for the company as a whole. —

This was initially published on HR.com

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