HR is about to be ‘Ubered’. As technology continues to infiltrate our lives, today’s people-savvy line manager is building a lasting relationship with ‘eFriends’ and ‘Advisers’. Skilled at all aspects of social media, managers are embracing the changing social expectations of employees and are now engaging better than any HR professional can do. In short, managers rely on Google and YouTube rather than contacting HR to solve their issue. And if it is to be believed, it is a sad inducement of the situation facing HR directors.
But given the fact that the global spend on HR-specific technologies is already excess of $148 billion and growing, are HR directors falsely investing, wasting their money, falling behind the curve and crucially missing the trick when it comes to HR technology and software?
The implementation of HRIS can be highly complex and time-consuming. It also takes investment and time to get the return on investment. Thus employers can be reluctant to commit using HR technology. Even with a cloud-based solution, implementation of an HRIS remains difficult to manage, which drives HR departments to run on a shoestring and do not have the luxury of being able to take time needed to implement a new system to drive better employee performance.
However, workplaces must change. Like it or now, virtual technology will take over, allowing people to collaborate together despite being miles apart. We have seen now many organisations allowing remote work, being emotionally connected and physically distanced. At the same time, data is everywhere, but it should not be seen merely as it is. Instead, data needs to be used in making any decision, not the reason to do or not to do something. People are inherently intangible and an algorithm is not going to be right.
Cloud-based training and development will be a real game-changer for people teams, allowing businesses to effectively train and develop at all times, saving time and money on training venues, and the whole concept of stand-up delivery will take a new form. There will always be courses because people learn from people and HR leaders always get more from being part of a group. Most of all, information can be a few clicks away.
Virtual reality (VR) could end up having a big impact on HR. The idea of VR to help people learn and grow has gained traction. In the sailing world, teams are using VR so they can simulate scenarios, train, try new stuff out without being on the water when the conditions are not right. This means teams can learn in a safe environment and, if things do not work out it is ok. Yet, to remain viable and not just protect the future of work, HR needs to tap into society’s expectations and stop focusing on outdated HR methods.
The investment into something like VR is substantial but the reward in the end is mind blowing. This is where leaders need to harness the tech-savvy start-ups to help the business out; as a profession HR teams are not the best at keeping up and being cool, so HR teams should recognise that and find those who are.
Moreover, HR professionals place on HR technology in spearheading their development plans but also a definite need for HRDs to empower themselves to embrace these technologies before the opportunity to use them to their full potential has passed.
To remain viable and not just protect the future of work, HR needs to tap into society’s expectations. Stop focusing on outdated HR methods of delivery and focus on delivering technology-based solutions that add tangible, quantifiable business benefits. HR needs to stop designing eForms and start producing user friendly apps.