Keeping the “H” in HR software for big workplace gains

Technology can be amazing – so amazing that sometimes it’s easy to forget why we use it in the first place.

I started using Über for lots of reasons, and the app itself is genius. But one of the biggest reasons I got hooked on Über is that I found the drivers to usually be a lot more personable than cabbies, and I ended up having a lot of good conversations with them.

Then I realized I could save a lot of time by making or taking calls while in Übers going to and from home or airports. And this works out well a lot of the time – ultimate multi-tasking. But it also means fewer conversations with the drivers and maybe missing some good ones.

This hit me the other night when I was coming home from the airport in an Über. It was late, too late for calls. And the driver was listening to music pretty loud. I was annoyed, both because of the volume and because I felt like I was wasting time. But then a great song by Marvin Gaye came on (“Got to Give it up”). I started to talk to the driver about the song and we had an excellent conversation. He asked me if I’d ever heard Marvin Gaye’s rendition of the national anthem. I hadn’t, so I listened to it as soon as I got home. It’s so good it gives me goose bumps every time I hear it. And I never would have heard it if I didn’t have that conversation.

So, yes, technology is amazing, but it’s a means to an end. And that end, more often than not, is about making connections with people.

HR Software as a Service

By 2018 at least 98% of organizations will deploy at least one human capital management software-as-a-service application.

I’ve recently partnered with Gartner, Inc. to share my thoughts on how technology can help companies transform, change, grow, plan ahead, and streamline. They estimate that by 2018 at least 98% of organizations will deploy at least one human capital management software-as-a-service application. The good news for HR teams is that such applications allow them to shift more of their attention from routine administrative tasks to more value-added strategic contributions. And they will give HR teams a much more precise understanding of their workforce.

Ultimately, though, the “H” in HR technology can’t be forgotten. Technology is an important tool, but it’s just a tool. HR teams have to consider the human goals they’re trying to achieve with the technology. Ask yourself:

  • What business strategy are you trying to enable through people?
  • What differentiates your organization as a place to stay?
  • In what ways should the HR function itself create value in your organization?
  • How will you ensure sustained change in people’s mindsets and behaviors?

I go into more depth in an article on this subject with Gartner. In it, we also discuss how important real people are in those discussions. Technology sure can help, but it’s the people that make a difference.

I hope you enjoy reading the article and let me know what you think. How has technology changed your life? Or the way you work? You can also leave a comment about your favorite app – or Marvin Gaye song.

About Chris Pinc

Chris Pinc is the Global Director of Product Management at Willis Towers Watson, responsible for the vision and dev…
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