Now that the frenzy of the HR Technology Conference is over, it’s time for reflection and planning. We all know HR technology is evolving quickly, but as HR thought leader Peter Capelli warned in his closing keynote address, new and shiny doesn’t always translate into profitability. Just because something is possible doesn’t mean that it will revolutionize the industry. Still, the new technologies hitting the market do have the potential to transform HR as we know it.
With that in mind, let’s look at four big ideas from this year’s conference:
- Embrace Design Thinking—Design thinking focuses on creating compelling, enjoyable experiences for the employee with the goal of increasing productivity and employee satisfaction. Three-quarters of conference attendees believe HR needs to develop design thinking skills over the next 2-3 years. Those skills include digital and mobile app design, behavioral economics, and user experience design. Design thinking shifts the focus from process to experience with the goal of simplifying the work environment and producing better business outcomes.
- Enrich Organizational Culture—According to Adam Rogers of Ultimate Software, 75% of employees will stay longer at an organization if their employer listens to and addresses their concerns. Engagement, said Rogers, is primarily a culture issue, and it’s something anyone can address. That includes making sure employees have the right tools (including tech) to do their jobs, conducting regular, frequent performance management reviews, facilitating open communication with managers, and creating opportunities for professional development.
- Celebrate Diversity— Research demonstrates that companies with women in C-level positions experience a 6% higher profit margin. The first-of-its-kind Women in Tech Summit shone the spotlight on celebrating the contributions of women in the tech field and empowering more women to embrace leadership roles. In order to realize leadership potential, women must overcome their fears, find great mentors and coaches, and find ways to build a future bench of young women who are ready to step into leadership.
- HR Technology Is an Investment—Finding the right HR software is essential to moving your company forward into the digital era. According to the 2016-2017 Sierra-Cedar HR Systems Survey, 42% of organizations plan to increase HR tech spending over the next year, and 40% are planning to update or develop their HR systems strategy. Disruptive digital technology combined with increasingly pervasive cloud capabilities has created an urgent need for new HR approaches and companies are rising to the challenge as they discuss the best way to invest in technology for the future.
Peter Capelli’s warning about technology reminds us that ultimately, technology is a tool that should help us serve people better. It is not a miraculous solution that will fix engagement, culture, or other workplace problems. Still, the right HCM software can and should promote cultural values and place emphasis on positive employee experiences rather than simply completing processes.
What were your biggest takeaways from this year’s conference?
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