Need to focus on basic HR technology in the workplace

Steve Boese is EDH‘s Inside HR Tech Columnist and President of EDH‘s HR Technology Conference®, which will take place September 13-16, 2022 in Las Vegas. in Las Vegas. He also writes a blog and hosts the HR Happy Hour Show, radio show and podcast. It can be emailed to [email protected]

First of all, I would like to express my best wishes for continued health and success as we begin the New Year! Like many of you, I’m sure, I spent time on vacation cleaning the desk, throwing out files and notes, and even putting old files away in a row. During this process, I came across a set of notes from a facilitated session that my company and podcast partner Trish McFarlane and I presented at the Human Resources Technology Conference, in 2011. The title of the session was something like “Your Kid Will Never Work in an Office” – a 2011 version of the never-ending conversation on “the future of work”. I’d like to share some of the notes from this session from over 10 years ago, because I think you’ll find it interesting how similar they are to many of the workplace and HR tech topics we’re talking about. in 2022.

Here are some ideas from the 2011 session:

  • 56% of senior executives at Fortune 500 companies believe virtual work will increase steadily or significantly in their business;
  • When our children grow up, they will refuse to work as many hours as we do;
  • What should employers value in new employees? Adaptability, ability to learn on the fly and creative problem solving; and
  • If your organization insists on maintaining a traditional office environment, you’ll find it difficult to compete for talent over companies like Google and others that take more creative and flexible approaches to how the job is done. work is done and organized.

I could go on with examples from this 2011 session, but I think you get it. Much of what highly engaged, intelligent, forward-thinking HR professionals thought a decade ago looks a bit like what HR professionals are working on today.

See also: The 5 Biggest HR Tech Trends Coming This Year

While we may be led to believe that a greater focus on work / life balance, remote working, constant learning and agility are new concepts brought by the pandemic, these notes from 2011 remind us that critical workplace issues are applicable in every age and in every organization. . Our challenges in 2022 aren’t new, but that doesn’t make them any easier to solve. However, it reminds us that we can – for the most part, I think – stop looking for the “new normal” or creating a nebulous “future of work” for our organizations. The “new normal” is simply “normal”. And the “future of work” is now. In fact, that was also 11 years ago and will be 11 years from now as well.

Related: Learn More About HR Technology In 2022 On HR Tech Virtual This Spring.

So what I think this suggests is that HR and organization leaders should probably be focusing on a few core goals for 2022 – and, surprisingly (not really), the 2011 version of that advice. would have been similar. For lasting success, regardless of the year, HR must focus on the overall well-being of the workforce, striving to remove or reduce barriers to people’s ability to do business. their best and seek ways to improve flexibility and adaptability to processes and working methods.

Let’s take a look at what a focus on these key areas suggests for how we think about HR technology in 2022 and beyond. First of all – and maybe you’re already thinking about it if you’ve been affected by the continued outage of some UKG time and attendance management systems – in early 2022, it’s time to take a deep look at your plans. HR technologies essential for time tracking, payroll. , leave management and benefits administration. UKG’s issues remind us all that these solutions underpin not only the rest of the HR technology stack, but they form and support the most fundamental promise the organization makes to its employees: that they will be paid in a timely and accurate manner for their work.

Beyond that, in the area of ​​payroll and benefits technology in particular, the past few years have seen tremendous innovation and increased attention to employee empowerment. Several payroll service providers have launched efforts that allow employees to review and approve their own paychecks and direct deposit information before their scheduled pay date, access early or even daily net pay. , and which prioritize the integration of financial wellness and planning tools with other solutions. On the benefits side, we saw features like smart enrollment tools as well as more user-friendly and highly personalized experiences, which allowed employers to better communicate the availability and value of their benefit offerings. While many other areas of HR technology often seem “sexier”, it’s important not to overlook the added value that can be created in “boring” functions like payroll and benefits.

Related: How HR Can Stay Ahead of the ‘Rebirth of Benefits’ in 2022

Just as it can be tempting to hunt for the last shining object when it comes to the future of work, it can be the same in the HR tech space. But just as I encourage you to focus on a few basic workplace ideas instead, I also urge you to start 2022 by keeping an eye out for the underlying and continuing importance of your ‘core’ HR technologies. This can help you make sure that they provide all the essential functions that you and your employees need, and further explore potential areas where you can improve the services you provide to your employees in these areas. Let’s make the first quarter of 2022 the “heart quarter” of HR technology.

About Yvonne Lozier

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