HR Tech in 2016: Empowering The Employee

HR Tech in 2016 - People Development Magazine
HR Tech in 2016 - People Development Magazine
Hugh Tonks
Hugh is the CEO of Thymometrics, a supplier of employee engagement surveys. He has over 34 years’ experience in IT in various roles, with a patent relating to Virtual Worlds, and he holds an MA in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge.

HR Tech in 2016

A wave of new HR technology tools will hit workforces in 2016. These tools will not just be for HR professionals to use, but will be targeted at the entire organisation, with the aim of making HR more collaborative and democratic.

There are a number of reasons for this shift. For one, more and more employees are seeing their bargaining power increase with employers. With the booming job market, staff can afford to be choosy, which is putting them much more in control of their environment and growth opportunities. The responsibility is now placed on brands to attract and retain people, which means HR teams need to understand, in depth, how to ensure employee satisfaction.

This is leading to a wave of new HR technology built for, and aimed at improving, the work experience for employees. The technology itself – which includes productivity apps, employee satisfaction surveys, and data-analytics interpreters – will ultimately make a HR more data-driven, open and social process in 2016.

A More Data-Based Approach To HR

Many HR teams have been slow to adopt “people analytics” strategies in their organizations, but this year the benefits cannot be ignored. No one working in the finance or marketing department would ever suggest a solution to a problem without hard data in front of them, so why is this not the case with HR? Modern HR teams will leverage employee data so that they can identify problems quickly, and are in the most informed position to come up with solutions.

The satisfaction survey is one of the most effective ways to collect employee data and to gauge sentiment, but most of these are still only conducted annually or biannually. This will change in 2016 with the always-on employee engagement survey, which provides management with real-time analytics on the health of their organization. Emotion tracking apps also, like Morale.me, allow HR to take a snapshot of the mood of their workforce at any time, so that issues can be dealt with before they escalate.

Most of these tools will have analytics and reporting tools included as part of the package. But there is also dedicated software available that can provide predictions and recommendations after the employee data has been collected. Kanjoya, for example, provides rich semantic analysis of open text, which allows management to spot trends in the employee data, and to uncover meaning and themes that aren’t immediately visible.

What Will The Technology Be Like?

As everyday employees will be the users of this technology, the design and functionality will have to be user-friendly. This means it will be intuitive to use, available on mobile, quick and efficient, and importantly, fun!

Millennials, in particular, will be instrumental in driving this demand. This younger demographic, which tends to value growth opportunities and work culture above all else, is set to dominate the workforce by 2020. As digital natives, weaned on social media and video games, they will want HR tools that are speedy, efficient, and social.

Mobility will also be a major factor with this technology, seeing as mobile is gradually overtaking desktop as the most popular engagement device. During the recruitment process in particular, Glassdoor estimates that 45 percent of all candidates now apply for jobs using mobile devices.

Offering a HR app will be essential for enhancing candidate quality, and ensuring they remain at the company, if hired. Ultimately, companies should evaluate the success of their HR technology by their employees’ engagement with these systems.

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