Should your focus on ROI be - Long term or short term impact measures? Does cost saving alone count as ROI? What are the questions you should be asking while evaluating HR products?
On Day 2 of TechHR18, a panel of experts reflected on some of these questions in a session titled “Innovating in HR technology strategy and adoption to maximize ROI”. The panel featured Aditya Kohli, Senior Vice President and Head of HR, Bharti Airtel, Prasad Rajappan, Founder and CEO – Zing HR, Joanna Riley, CEO and Co-Founder, Censia and Prashant Bhatnagar, Director Human Resources, Credit Suisse (Moderator).
Is there a gap in tech adoption?
Making a business case is difficult due to the lack of appropriate ROI measures, says Prashant. Citing a PwC Survey, he noted that while a number of leaders believe that AI and robotics will be important for the future, very few actually felt ready for an augmented workplace. He asked the panelists whether there is a gap between the need for technologies and the readiness of companies. And is this due to the lack of metrics?
“There’s a lot of buzz around technology. And everyone is talking about AI and bots. But the challenge is to think about the long term impact measures. There’s a far greater focus on the means and not the purpose in today’s world” says Prasad. “For example – AI is a means to finding the right talent and appraisals are the means to an end, it is not the purpose itself”. It is important for HR professionals to reflect on the long term impact measures.
“There is good technology and there is bad technology. And in an effort to speed things up, vendors are creating technology that is complicated to use,” says Joanna. “That’s part of the reason why there’s a gap in technology adoption” she adds.
How has the needle moved on ROI?
“There were very primitive metrics from an HR perspective, it used to be a constant struggle to show the value of technology” says Aditya. This is no longer the case. Leaders are asking much deeper questions. “Is the data secure?” and “Are we doing the right thing?” The conversations on ROI, according to Aditya are taking on a new route. It is far more focused on hyper productivity, hyper social and hyper scale.
“Gone are the days when using technology in HR was just about cost reduction” says Prasad. Today, companies are asking questions about the impact on the top line, and the value in terms of engagement. “It is not just about supporting individual efficiencies but also the entire department” says Joanna.
How to choose the right product?
Given the myriad of products that are flooding the market place, how do you choose the right one, with the right impact?
“Start by asking questions,” says Aditya. “Make a list of what you think will need to be the absolute basic impact. What is the impact to the organization? And what is the impact to the individual?” If you’re able to bring out that level of detail – then decision making and prioritization will be far more easier.
“Think about the impact to others in the organization? And is this going to be sustained impact?” says Prasad.
“You should be able to test products and narrow down the goals that you are trying to achieve” says Joanna.