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How HR Technology Improves the Efficiency And Productivity Of The Workforce

By Derek Jones
Illustration of Carl the yeti pointing to a laptop with several different graphs.

We are so excited to publish this piece in collaboration with the team at Deputy, a global workforce management platform for employee scheduling, timesheets and communication.

The tricky thing about technology is that once it’s out in the world, there’s no taking it back. With more advanced AI and SaaS products available in the market, companies and organizations worldwide are going to be thinking about how they can leverage this change to their own advantage.

That is the case with HR technology powered by AI - not only is the once-controversial concept of AI technology now a reality, but it has pretty much entered every part of our lives in one way or another. The corporate world is no different, and AI is facilitating HR managers in all sectors in increasing efficiency and improving productivity.

What happened to the iPod, who ate a lot? He became an iPad. And what happened to the companies that refused to change? Unfortunately, they aren’t on the market anymore.

When companies start leveraging new technology to produce better results, competitors have to follow. The last thing organizations should want is to turn into the next Blackberry, Kodak, or Blockbuster - once giants in their industry who liked the way things were and refused to change with the times. That’s part of the reason why even the most “old-fashioned” companies are trying to see what HR technology can do for them, and this article will help shed a light on a few important points.

What are the benefits of HR Technology?

HR technology is the blanket term for all sorts of software and related hardware used to facilitate Human Resource departments in several organizations. This type of technology includes a whole range of things like scheduling software, employee recognition programs, administration software, and tools to manage and analyze useful data.

The corporate landscape today is more competitive than ever before, which is why a lot of organizations have been coming up with ways to make their workflows more efficient than ever before. Let’s talk about all the ways they’ve succeeded with the help of HR technology:

Automation saves time

No matter what the size of the office is, most managers will spend a lot of their time sorting out paperwork and stuff like employee scheduling or making payments for their employees. They might also have to spend a lot of their energy on supporting their team through all kinds of difficult situations, checking in with them, and providing regular feedback and opportunities for them to improve.

Managing the individual needs of a whole team like this can be very time-consuming, but not so much with the help of dedicated software and tools. These tools can include things like payroll automation, employee feedback and recognition tools, and the automated scheduling features found in scheduling software.

Better employee scheduling

When employee scheduling software is here to assist managers in avoiding bias in staff scheduling, making sure shifts are regular and employees are given enough notice before each shift, the workplace is much improved.

Managers are spending less time figuring out shifts, and employees have better work-life balance. This makes them happier at their job, and engaged employees are more productive.

Help with ongoing workforce management

To keep employee engagement and performance numbers up and improving, managers and team leads need to make sure they’re giving their employees the right balance between guidance and autonomy.

Employers also need to provide employees with opportunities to grow, improve, and develop their skills - but it’s not always easy to keep track of employee performances and their assignments.

image with text - Thanks to HR technology though, it’s easier to figure it out and swoop into the employees’ assistance right when they need it.

Thanks to HR technology though, it’s easier to figure it out and swoop into the employees’ assistance right when they need it.

Data and insights to help with decision making

It’s easy to figure out what to do and not do when there’s a pie chart detailing all of the triumphs and failures - certain HR technology does exactly this.

When there’s more data available to notice trends, figure out when and why performance drops, and what the team response was to recent changes in the workplace, HR managers can make better plans for the future.

Ease in receiving and processing employee feedback

HR technology can facilitate employee surveys to make the process easier from start to finish. Not only it will be easier to take surveys, but also keep track of whether employee suggestions are effectively being implemented or not, and which one of these new changes is working.

There’s also a possibility to keep track of employee engagement statistics based on these findings as part of a greater employee engagement program.

A better understanding of factors that drive performance

HR technology can help better understand what employees want - trends and demands are shifting, and employees are growing to ask for more from their employers. With the help of the right HR technology, managers will be able to figure out what the right incentives for their team are and keep employee engagement up.

What stands in the way

Though using HR technology might sound like a dream right now, some things are standing in the way:

Employee reluctance to share personal data

Having access to the right data (and enough of it) is a very important part of making HR technology work well - most of it incorporates at least some kind of AI or Machine Learning technology. The tricky part comes in convincing employees to share it with the HR manager or the new HR technology they’re trying to bring in.

Recent data leaks and privacy breaches have left people careful, and rightly so. This presents a challenge for managers though - as they are the people who need access to employee data for their software. Employees’ attitudes have shifted, especially ones about sharing their information online - they might not believe that any data they share will be used in their best interests.

Upfront cost

Bringing in and implementing HR technology in the workplace can come with a huge price tag, especially if it had been made for a specific organization. In most cases, HR managers might even need to hire an IT team or an expert to handle the process, manage it, and to train someone in the office on how to run the program. This upfront cost is something to be considered when planning for big changes in the HR department.

Data management can be a hassle

The more data there is for HR technology, the better it will perform. But, there are huge problems involved in managing massive amounts of data - from making sure it stays organized to maintaining data security

Steps towards implementation

Implementing HR technology isn’t impossible, and here are some tips that will help with the process:

Identifying needs

Before committing to any kind of software or technology, HR managers should take a long, hard look at what they’re trying to achieve with it. The technology they will need for improving the employee survey process is completely different from the one for providing better employee feedback and support.

Looking for feasible solutions

Once there is a clear goal in mind, HR managers should start researching the possible solutions on the market. Chances are, they will be able to find multiple approaches to a problem, and need to pick one.

Creating a plan

After they’re clear on the approach they want to take, HR managers should treat it like any other big project. They should have clear plans and goals in place for what they want to achieve with the new tech and put the plan in writing.

Defining quantifiable goals

In the plan, goals need to be concrete, clear, and quantifiable. Instead of saying “I want to spend less time on employee scheduling”, say “I want to decrease time spent on employee scheduling by 30% within the next three months”. Over time, they will need to revisit original goals and make sure they’re getting the wanted results.

If that’s not the case, there might be a need to go back to the drawing board and figure out a new approach - a lot of implementing a new piece of HR technology in the workplace (and getting results) is just trial and error.

Bringing everyone on board

For this change in the workplace to go smoothly, everyone in the organization has to be notified about it. HR managers can have a team meeting, open up the discussion in the group chat, or even write an email and welcome any questions - making sure to address any and all employee concerns regarding the matter.

This is the chance to gain their trust and bring them on board with the idea - once the employees know exactly what is going on, they will be more willing to share data and information, as well as cooperate to make sure the new software produces results.

Summing it up

image with text - Keep in mind that every solution has its unique advantages and can help with improving the efficiency and productivity of the workforce.

In today’s market, there are really a lot of potential solutions HR managers can choose from. Keep in mind that every solution has its unique advantages and can help with improving the efficiency and productivity of the workforce. It’s on them to utilize the advantages and be a step ahead of the competition.