HR Outside the Box: Technology that is Transforming the Workplace

by Mary Lemons, VP, Human Resources Solutions, Global Upside

There has never been a better time to be an HR professional. With the advancement of technology transforming how we hire, develop and manage people, HR professionals today have access to everything from sophisticated HR platforms to a plethora of apps that are making managing and engaging their workforce easier, more fun and more measurable.


A tech-loving HR department can add great value to their organization by leveraging the latest tools to solve new and familiar business problems, and truly become a strategic partner with the corporate landscape. Here are the 5 top tech solutions that can impact your business environment:

You will not win the war for talent with manual paper workflow.

Improving efficiency with technology and automation is a must. A great Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can streamline your recruiting, advance your employment brand, and keep you compliant. Reporting and analytics help you create a strong pipeline and scale the business. The candidate experience is important, as is fast-paced responsiveness in getting the right people on board. The negative cost of a couple bad hires more than justifies the effort of implementing an ATS system.

On-Boarding should be more than a paperwork substitute

Onboarding is an essential part of the employee life cycle and is a key factor for retention. Onboarding is more than paperwork; from first impression to socializing the new employee, the focus should be on the people part of onboarding, not the paperwork.

A single technology platform to manage a global workforce sounds great in theory, but is still a myth. Research shows that a very small percent of companies have a single HR system, and on average, close to 3-4 different HR applications. Does the HRIS, payroll platform, on-line benefits portal and time and attendance system integrate? Your traditional technology offerings are likely to have gaps in meeting all global requirements. There are, however, new platforms now that are bridging the gap. For example, Mihi – is a global time and benefits management software that is compliance ready out of the box for 50+ countries. It’s a great technology solution for companies with employees spread across multiple countries. With Mihi, they can keep track of payroll data and be compliant with local wage, hour, benefit regulations and more without hiring an internal army of HR and payroll professionals.

Performance Management is an On-Going Dialogue

The world continues to evolve at a faster and faster pace. For instance, setting twelve-month goals is no longer an appropriate timeline, and is one reason high profile companies like Deloitte and Adobe have thrown out the annual review process. Fascinating new research on motivation and the brain has informed us how the review process can activate social threat and reward reactions. This partially explains the reason why employees and manager don’t like being assessed on a rating scale or forced rankings. However, a lack of an evaluation system is even worse. Instead, research shows the best way to improve performance is through an iterative process, i.e., by adopting a technology that has continual feedback process and real-time exchange of comments and ideas.

Employee Engagement improved with the use of technology, but take action!

The market is crowded with a lot of tech tools. For instance, you can administer pulse surveys on mobile devices for immediate feedback if you want to know the minute-by-minute mood of your employees. Technology is great, but whatever you choose, remember to make it actionable. The customer experience is the direct result of the employee experience. Real-time engagement matters. You can’t fine-tune what you don’t measure, and measuring isn’t improving – make insights, tell employees what you are going to do, and take action!

Personalized learning is the future

One size fits all training is not adequate to meet the needs of employees. Recent technology advancements allow employees to learn at their own pace on customized learning paths, utilizing the entire learning experience through the use of mobile platforms and social collaboration such as document sharing, forums and blogs. Employees can binge watch award winning through leaders, learn by doing, and get immediate feedback to continually refine understanding while building new knowledge. Ultimately, organizations need to find alignment with corporate objectives and the ability to measure effectiveness in terms of employee engagement and retention. This type of personalized learning is a powerful way to engage, train and improve today’s workforce.

Key Technology Take-Away

As businesses compete in the global economy, more companies realize strategic recruiting and employee development are critical business issues. The thought that HR software is purchased solely to improve the efficiency of the HR department is especially outdated thinking. As technology continues to evolve, so does the role and importance of HR in business. The argument for balancing cost of technology solutions versus creating value has never been stronger for the purpose of building organizational capability. Smart businesses and professionals know this, and will no doubt pay close attention to innovations in HR technology in the future.

Download the full article. This article was published in CIO Applications magazine. Learn more about Global Upside’s human resources services or the countries we serve.