HR is playing a more central role in the technology decision-making process: Jacob Morgan

HR is playing a more central role in the technology decision-making process: Jacob Morgan

If you look at how kids approach technology, they aren’t scared to learn, tinker, make mistakes, and even break things.


Hybrid settings run the risk of people who work in the office being noticed and valued more than those who work remotely. How can technology help create consistent employee experiences?


Hybrid work isn’t actually new. Many organisations around the world, like Cisco and Accenture, have used this kind of model for many years, and the idea of flexible work is something that I wrote about well over a decade ago. The only difference now is that this way of working has received a lot more attention and is becoming more seriously adopted. Flexibility doesn’t make the employee experience harder; it makes it easier.


Flexibility is one of the core components I wrote about in my book The Employee Experience Advantage. Employees need and want workplace flexibility, so offering it to them helps both them and the organisation.


As the question alludes to, technology is the great equaliser here because it allows employees to stay engaged, productive, and aligned with their peers and the organisation as a whole, even when they are not physically present.


One thing to note, however, is that flexible or hybrid work isn’t the same thing as virtual work. What I’m talking about is exactly what the word “flexibility” describes: that employees might work a few days or a few hours a week from an office, not that they will be at home all the time or in the office all the time. In other words, it can change from week to week. That’s the whole point of being flexible.


Meanwhile, there’s no hiding the fact that people who work in an office tend to get noticed more often than those who work virtually. We really shouldn’t be surprised by this. Any human being in any environment would get more noticed if they are physically there versus being present digitally. As employees and leaders, we need to be aware of this.


Technology can help in several ways, such as making sure we stay connected, allowing virtual employees to speak up and share ideas, enabling leaders to more easily recognise their people, etc. But the bigger factor in keeping this kind of two-tier system from taking shape is simply being aware that it exists and then making an extra effort to recognise virtual employees.


What would you say to HR leaders who are passionate about people management but not as enthusiastic about technology and data analytics? How can the skill of the “technology teenager” help them become more tech-savvy?


In my latest book, The Future Leader, the skill of the technology teenager is all about being tech-savvy and digitally fluent.


If you look at how kids approach technology, they aren’t scared to learn, tinker, make mistakes, and even break things. You don’t have to be a technology expert, but you need to not be scared of technology. I’m not expecting HR leaders to know how to create their own AI or blockchain, but HR leaders need to understand what these things are, what implications they might have, and where the opportunities might be.


Like it or not, every company is now a technology company, which means that every HR leader needs to be technology-driven. Don’t run from technology; embrace it!


What are the surprising changes you’ve seen in the mindset and approach of HR functions towards technology adoption over the past year and a half?


For starters, HR is playing a more central role in the technology decision-making process. Traditionally, HR might have had some say, but it was largely driven by IT. I have always said that there is a unique opportunity for HR and IT teams to work closer together, and now it seems that is finally happening. It has also been fascinating to see how quickly HR teams are transitioning to a more digital and technology-driven environment for everything they do, including performance management, health and wellness programs, and even reporting One thing I do want to caution HR teams is to not forget about the candidate and the employee experience. I have seen some organisations go a bit overboard with technology, especially during the hiring process. In some cases, prospects don’t even get a chance to interact with a human being unless they make it past three or four stages, and it ends up taking months to hire a single person. Don’t forget about the human aspect of hiring!


HR leaders around the world are trying to make sense of the dizzying pace of today’s technological advances, as disruptions are coming from all angles. What are some of the top HR tech trends you think will drive the future of work?


It’s not just HR leaders! Everyone is trying to keep up with the crazy pace of the change we are a part of. There has been more transformation and change in the past 24 months than there has been in the past 24 years.


Here are some of the big HR trends to pay attention to:


Employee experience is the #1 talent and people trend for organisations around the world. This means creating an organisation where people genuinely WANT, not NEED, to show up to work each day by focusing on culture, technology and physical space.


Dealing with the challenges of cancel culture combined with this push towards more transparency and authenticity. This is a difficult road to navigate, and many leaders I have interviewed feel stuck here. On the one hand, we all want to be our true selves, but on the other hand, there is a lot of fear that other people might come after us for expressing our beliefs and opinions. The challenge here is for HR leaders to create a culture of kindness and acceptance.


Another trend to pay attention to is using technology to help bring people closer together as opposed to pulling them farther apart. This means not using technology just for the sake of using it but being thoughtful about how it is implemented to make the lives of employees easier and better.


The role of HR is changing. I’ll never forget when I interviewed the CHRO of Unilever, and when I asked her how she spends her time, she told me 90% is focused on transformation and 10% is focused on traditional HR. Today, however, most HR professionals spend 90% of their time on traditional HR and only 10% on transformation. A big trend will be this change of moving away from human resources to focusing on human transformation.


More employees around the world continue to look for more than money from their organisations. They want to know they are making a difference and want to understand how the work they are doing contributes to the organisation as a whole. Another piece of this is aligning personal values and ideals with corporate ones.


Lastly, I want to mention the emphasis on understanding employees as human beings instead of just workers. This ties into the overall well-being of the people who work there. There is a huge transformation happening aimed at putting people first, and it’s a good thing! These are some of the big trends to watch out for in the coming year.


Are there any HR tech fads that you’ve seen generate a lot of excitement but didn’t last?


The one interesting thing we have seen lately is a movement away from the “AI will take your job” conversation. In fact, we haven’t seen or heard much of that over the past few years. Instead, these conversations are being replaced by people and technology coming together to help each other!


0/3000 Free Article Left >Subscribe