Can Technology Make HR More “Human”?
While human resources professionals handle a number of critical administrative tasks that make a business run effectively, in the end, their job is all about people. It’s about finding the people that will help a company run smoothly, giving them the tools they need to succeed in their jobs and motivating them to maximize their production, among so many other things. Because it is such a people-focused part of business, it’s fascinating to observe the explosion of technological tools available today geared toward improving the management and productivity of people.
For example, consider IBM’s recent introduction of its new “big data” analytics software and services, which is one of the latest solutions to use data supplied by employees through corporate surveys, social media, performance reviews and other employee data in order to “tap into the pulse” of an organization to improve employee retention, performance and morale. Tools such as this one can boil down employees’ skills, career aspirations and other personal information to understand how people, and their work, influence one another. According to Dr. Bob Sutor, vice president of business analytics and mathematical sciences for IBM Research, “Knowing what motivates people can boil down to the data you capture and how you interpret it.”
It makes sense for a massive organization to use a tech-driven approach to determine the work-related trends that can build more productive work environments. But how are smaller companies utilizing technology to improve employee engagement?
Among other things, many more companies are turning to the most social form of trending technology, social media, to find new talent and perform basic background checks of potential employees. And while some companies are trying to restrict the use of social media platforms among employees during business hours in order to improve employee productivity, others are embracing employees’ use of social media tools.
Remember all those years ago when asking a question of a colleague meant getting up and walking down the hall or picking up the telephone … and how that morphed into shooting off a quickly typed email? If your employees are showing you that they want to use social networks, consider an enterprise social application where they can easily share information with their colleagues—such as an instant messaging system within the confines of the corporation. Monitoring interaction among employees could give you new insight into employee interactions.
Adopting technology doesn’t have to mean taking the “human” out of human resources; it could mean a new avenue for boosting the exchange of ideas among colleagues and, ultimately, improving your workplace’s productivity.
For more on this social media and other tech trends, check out this month’s feature.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/americagov.