The pandemic has brought a significant change in where we work, how we work, what we work on and who we work with. Remote, flexible working is the new norm with an expanded network and a new set of responsibilities on our plate. Not simply a series of unprecedented changes, what we have in front of us is an opportunity to face the challenges head on and attain a new level of success in the post-pandemic era with the right HR technology. At the People Matters TechHR India Conference 2021, Serena Huang, Global Head of People Analytics & HR Technology, Paypal provides insights on the steps that can be taken in creating that strategy well as maximizing the value of HR technology with people analytics.
“Don't start with technology. When you start with technology, a lot of times we're stuck thinking about just the pain points. Instead of how do we get past the pain points, I will encourage you to think about outcomes or work backwards,” Huang advises first.
She then goes on to outline three key steps in building the right HR Tech strategy:
An organisation needs to have clarity on the outcomes they want when investing in HR Tech be it a safe and healthy environment for your employees through solutions such as contact tracing, vaccine management, visitor management; creating a curious and open to learning workspace by using VR; building a connected and engaged workforce by relying on surveys for measuring engagement and definitely laying down the foundation for an organisation purpose that the people could align with and find meaning in; or even creating a seamless cooperation between onsite and remote employees where inclusion takes priority by gathering rapid employee feedback through tech solutions; and finally, faster onboarding through learning solutions and greater accessibility to company data.
Employee listening programs are key to measuring the way an organisation and its culture is moving forward and whether it is with the vision that has been outlined. Moreover, inspite of an overall vision, the outcomes that a company prioritizes will pave the path for the right HR Tech strategy.
Asking the right questions:
Certain questions take greater precedence in devising the HRtech strategy:
- What is the kind of experience you want your end users to have?
- How are you using the data?
- Can you roll out this technology to everyone and everywhere?
In other words, we must be certain about who will be using the technology and for what purpose, we must also deliberate about how the data pertaining to people analytics will be used in devising strategies and deriving outcomes and finally, because of GDPR (General data protection regulation), one must also analyse accessibility of technology solutions so that it’s not limited to a certain region or country.
Get regular user feedback:
This is critical when one rolls out a new technology. As organisations think about their future needs and what accordingly will be the right technology solutions, HR Technology review becomes important. According to Huang who refers to an article from Mercer, there are four natural time points when considering an HR tech review:
- System being unsettled
- Vendor contract ending
- Experiencing exponential growth
- Pain points difficult to ignore
These could be great opportunities for an organisation to think about HR tech and review it holistically. And then create a strategy which keeps the outcomes in mind for a successful post pandemic future.
In conclusion, while there is a general agreement about the significance of HR technology in adapting to and overcoming the challenges posed by the pandemic and post-pandemic era, the right strategy is absolutely essential in order to attain success. Although the questions and concerns might be the same, every organisation will have a different set of answers and based on that the road ahead will be mapped. At the same time, this mapping even on a long-term basis must take regular feedbacks and shift gears to ensure that its moving in the right direction.