How to humanize talent technology
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Over the last few years, technology has rapidly evolved specifically in the HR. The pace of change is fast not only because the world of HR complex, but professionals are acknowledging many creative uses of technologies. It is bringing together aspects from the technology ecosystem and integrating them with HR problems.
Why undergo HR technology transformation?
The true value of talent technology systems can be realized only when real human beings feel a difference. We are seeing this change happen, thanks to the impetus of progressing technology:
- Work is becoming more meaningful.
- There’s an ability to pool multiple data from enterprise sources as well as public domain sources.
What can HR do to Humanize Talent Technology?
But how much tech is too much tech? This is a question baffling HR and business leaders. Is there a loss of human touch due to excessive use of technology? And what can HR professionals could do to humanize technology from the people perspective. Here are a few points to reflect on:
- Understand how tech is impacting people behavior:
Employees are no longer excited by monetary increments alone. Technology is creating a level playing field where employer branding is important because everything is externally visible. Once HR understands how technology impacts the behavior of employees, it will be able to make the shift.
HR leaders need to understand how the larger context of social living is changing. That has always been the traditional role of HR - we have understood psychology, sociology and now technology is the third element for HR to understand.
- Selecting the right technology: HR must understand the following elements to bring in the human element while selecting a technology or digitizing or automating:
- How is talent technology enabling employees to perform better and simpler? For example, flexi-working is a hygiene factor today. It is not just about having a policy to allow people to work from anywhere, but also about enabling them to work from anywhere. Working from remote places, an employee should have access to the intuitive ease of an office environment, where he or she can reach out to any colleague. So, inculcating the social piece through human touch becomes important with a direct impact on engagement.
- How do we make work more fun? More people are choosing to look at work as not just the primary source of income, but a source of enjoyment. How can real human beings (and not machines) create such an environment? The answer lies in the ability to build social connect, healthy competition, wellbeing etc. in an integrated employee experience.
- Bringing the human element from a prescriptive perspective: The employee engagement question on Gallup tests, “Do I have a friend at work?” is highly relevant. When a person looks at a human being working alongside, he or she gives/receives advice and shares opinions as a friend, albeit a work friend. This seems to be possible only when you are working with humans. In a talent technology landscape, HR must create an environment which allows people to have such a human-connect feeling. Ask the question, “Can a similar feeling be replicated on a social platform or HR platform?” This will allow the technology-intelligence to give prescriptions that carry a human touch.
- What language are we talking in? Today, we have technologies that not only can prescribe certain things, but also prescribe them in a language that humans relate to. For example, chatbots allow us to ask queries through a machine but in natural language, not unrelatable programming language. HR should foster the next wave i.e. “How do you humanize through the language, (for example by using Natural Language Processing)?” This will create a very real employee experience.
- Support intuition: Intuition is a human characteristic. To humanize talent technology, HR should look for tech that supports this trait. A case in point in L&D is to deliver learning to employees right at the time when they need it. With regard to Talent Acquisition, it may mean understanding and looking into the new and untapped pools of talent. For performance management, it may translate to intuitively managing performance in real-time, i.e. measuring and enabling performance by, for example, building in coaching into the performance process. In the entire cycle of pre-hire to post-retire, HR must strive to build intuitive intelligence into every step.
Success in humanizing talent technologies is all about the “how”. HR needs to learn to rely on data to take more informed decisions and build enabling systems so that employees are more engaged with technology and not fearful of it. The right blend of man (or woman) and machine will create a strong human connect to technology. To make that happen, integration is the key. Today, employees want the systems to enable whatever they want and not have to depend solely on HR as this siloed operation of HR is employees’ biggest pain point.
Insights in this article are based on an Oracle webinar on the same topic