This one may just get me in trouble with some of my clients and partners but I can't help myself. Just like professionals from other industries, human resource professionals are dependent on technology. However, the pace of advancement means some technologies become outdated very quickly.
It might just be time to replace these six HR technologies with something a little more modern.
1. Licensed Human Resources Management Systems
According to a survey from Cedar-Crestone, more than 40 percent of companies are either in the process of replacing or planning to replace their traditional human resources management systems. Furthermore, approximately one-quarter of respondents confessed they’d likely completely do away with old licensed systems and replace them with something more up-to-date.
Cloud-based systems are becoming very popular, and some analysts say there are no brand leaders that dominate the tech space for HR management systems. It’s just a case of researching the options available and seeing which ones are most suitable.
2. Static Computerized Training Many employees tolerate having to spend long hours in front of computer terminals to complete mandated training. However, HR experts are realizing this is no longer the most practical way to help employees learn, especially in the retail industry.
The retail world is increasingly turning toward what’s known as a mobile associate communication platform. The iPad is popularly used, along with dedicated apps that don’t just train store associates by sending them pertinent information, but allows them to access better support during customer interactions. This technology lets users instantly check stockroom numbers and show video content that demonstrates different styles, uses and colors.
3. Bulky, Obsolete Training Manuals Many companies have thick training manuals that come from head offices and only get updated once a year, or even less often. These have become impractical because information may change rapidly, and sometimes the manuals are so poorly organized that workers cannot find the information they need.
Delivering important information in an audio-based format may be what’s next. Audio files can also be much easier for employees to digest. Additionally, employers can reference industry podcasts and audiobooks from sites like SoundCloud or Audible. As a bonus, podcasts and audiobooks can even improve your employees’ commutes.
4. Lengthy Employee Feedback Surveys For generations, HR representatives have used various methods to figure out how employees are feeling. Paper-based surveys have already largely been replaced by computerized versions, but still, employees often feel frustrated because the surveys are so long.
A Japanese app called Niko Niko is much more streamlined, and it only requires employees to describe their moods through a single emoticon, plus up to 140 text characters. With the information gathered, HR representatives can see if poor morale is restricted to random people across departments, or if the majority of individuals who are fulfilling a certain type of work are feeling low, fed up or otherwise discouraged. If necessary, HR representatives can gauge the data and quickly take action as needed. Because employees give feedback each day through Niko Niko, there’s only a very small chance of morale problems going unnoticed.
5. Corporate Wellness Programs Characterized by Pedometers and Spreadsheet Software
Although improved employee wellness is an aim of many HR professionals, even the most motivated among them struggle to make that dedication translate to the employees. Encouraging physical activity is only half the battle. Over the years, corporate wellness program participants were frequently given pedometers and told to enter their activity levels on spreadsheets. Certain brands of pedometers are notorious for miscalculating true activity because they confuse other types of movement with walking. Furthermore, having to enter data on spreadsheets might feel like a trying task, plus could lead to dishonesty.
Fitness trackers, such as the Fitbit, are replacing older technologies for keeping tabs on employee activity. Data can get transferred automatically to computers so employees don’t have to waste time filling out paperwork and won’t be able to make up numbers.
6. Inflexible, Uniform Onboarding Processes
Some HR team leaders are already depending on apps to facilitate the onboarding process. However, despite that step in the right direction, they often forget every newly hired person is different. Therefore, using the same onboarding process with everyone – regardless of the technology – may not be very effective.
Facebook is taking a much different approach with the people who’ve been recruited for its engineering team. All new engineers go through a six-week, highly interactive boot camp where they dive right into the code and even get a chance to fix bugs. At the end of that onboarding experience, the engineers get to choose where to focus their efforts instead of being assigned to a team by HR.
These are not the only outdated tech practices HR professionals need to re-evaluate. However, they represent some things that may be hindering employees and employers from offering the best skills or company resources.