People Matters, 07 Jan 2014
The father of modern day innovation, Steve Jobs, once said “Innovation happens at the intersection of technology and humanities”. The development of technology for humanities or Human Resources has been no different. Its systems and technologies have evolved parallely for more than four decades now. Right from the time when technology enabled HR by automating employee records, managing employee time records and grievances, to the present day systems that facilitate in strategic planning – helping HR to be more aligned with business (armed with utilization, productivity and real-time performance data of employees and its impact on business numbers), the impact has been phenomenal.
Technology and its related innovation are at its peak in recent times. Never before have so many technology platforms converged together, be it web, mobile, cloud, social media interaction or analytics – each day brings new advancements.
HR technology is not untouched by this “wave of change” and is quickly catching up with the pace of innovation. It has taken a major leap by shifting its core focus to an employee-centric system, as compared to the earlier traditional employer-centric or HR manager-centric system.
Imagine an HR technology system which has the ease of Facebook, the experience of Salesforce, the ability to engage its user like the best in class CRM system and the capability to help HR managers predict like pilots in BVR (Beyond Visual Range) cockpits used in modern day avionics. This is the future of HR technology!!!
To reach this level, new-age HR technology would need to be based on the principle of 3Es: EASE, ENGAGE and EXPERIENCE
Today’s generation expects technology to be easy to use. Anything complex is a complete turn off. Perhaps that is why, of the 3E’s, EASE is the one which ensures maximum acceptance of a system by masses. One needs to take inspiration from websites like Facebook and Google that have kept evolving to meet user needs. For instance, when mobile markets seemed to grow (Mobile is already 62.5 per cent of traffic in India compared to 37.5 per cent for desktop and this number is expected to grow manifold), Facebook, Google apps quickly registered their presence. They gave a clear message “We will travel the extra mile for you” to the users.
The second E refers to ENGAGE. HR today is far more diverse and integrated with business and hence has muti-faceted user groups, spanning employees, HR administrators, business users, line managers etc. The Engage principle ensures that each user group is engaged with the overall HR business life cycle at the transactional, functional and strategic levels. From employee self-service, manager self-service, administrator self-services to cross integration self-services – these are the new horizons that a futuristic HR technology system needs to reach.
The third E: The EXPERIENCE of using a system and its impact on business is the most valuable addition of the new-age HR technology platform. Today, along with the advent of cloud and mobile computing and its integration through advanced technologies, it is possible to replicate consistent user experience through a large segment of diverse business demographics. The Experience principle also focuses on new-age analytics platforms, which transform the way the interaction is defined between HR and business. An HR system that imbibes the essence of 3E’s would undoubtedly establish its place in the “Digital” life of employees. And as more and more employees are added to the “Virtual” workspace of an organization, it is this very 3E transformation that HR would need to make happen in order to meet the ever changing need of business.
This article is part of PeopleStrong & PeopleMatters Learning Initiative