Technology is a powerfully transformative force in human resources. New technologies allow for organizations to become more efficient in recruitment efforts, better track employee training, and improve interaction among employees located across the globe. Nowadays, training can even be done through online courses similar to those offered by Langevin and other virtual training providers.
These technological enhancements have done a great deal to improve the way HR offices run, provided them with richer analytics, and earning them a seat at decision-making tables far more frequently.
Yet these technologies come with a cost. Dazzled by databases and awed by analytics, many HR professionals are forgetting one core aspect of their work: the human part of human resources.
Business leadership needs to be visible
In today’s workplace, the dogmatic structures are not ideal. Directives from on high and autocratic leadership styles are neither effective nor credible in most areas. Instead, leaders would be well suited to be more visible. In a recent online article in Human Resources Magazine, author Chris Till advocates for workforces that empower and embolden employees.
In this human-centric workforce, Till writes, “workers have individual control, mutual trust is abundantly present, fairness and flexibility prevail, people are developed to reach their potential and organisations work hard to prevent worker isolation and discrimination while sharing information and encouraging people to care for their own health.”
Till also argues that organizations need to spend more time focused on the mental well-being of their employees. He cites data from the United Kingdom that a third of illnesses are due to mental health issues. Often these illnesses are directly correlated to work, poor managers and the always-on culture predominant in many workplaces.
Two sides to technology
Technology can be both a great benefit and major problem when it relates to human resources. On the one hand, employees will be more successful when equipped with the proper mobile and cloud-based tools to do their jobs effectively. As described in an article at DigitalistMag.com, companies must look to build agile workforces that are flexible and able to adapt as technologies change.
On the other hand, those devices may cause some employees to be overwhelmed by the need to be always connected and always available. It’s imperative that corporate cultures truly understand and respect the “life” side of work-life balance.
Technology also helps in emphasizing the human side of HR. As technologies become available, it’s time to take a closer look at what processes might be outdated, paper = heavy and cumbersome. Seek technologies that simplify and improve productivity at all levels of an organization.
Focus on engagement
Employee engagement has never been more crucial. Engaged employees are challenged with meaningful work. They understand the role they play in the organization’s short- and long-term success. They are provided opportunities to grow on the job, be promoted when appropriate, and contribute ideas without risk of derision or lost ownership. Engaged employees have a voice, are evaluated regularly with constructive feedback, and valued and rewarded for their work. Employees treated in such a manner are far more likely to become positive advocates, and go the extra mile when necessary.