10 things I learned in 1 day at the 2016 #HRTechConf: Part 2

Woman showing man info on a tablet

In part 1 of this series, we took a look at how technology was a major player at the 2016 HR Executive Technology Conference & Exposition. Everyone in attendance – from human resources leaders and practitioners to experts from all over the world – was discussing how technology influences the HR function and the way employees interact with their organizations.

Here is the second part of the 10 most interesting, thought-provoking, important things I learned from a single day at the conference:

6. Digital networks rule the world.

Network-based services like Uber and Airbnb have moved us from a concentrated economy to a distributed economy. They focus on providing access to products, rather than ownership of products –a practice preferred by Millennials.

What does this mean for HR? These platform companies have tapped into the nature of humanity’s desire to connect and create immense value, according to Barry Libert, CEO of Open Matters, LLC.

People want to connect, share, and contribute. It’s HR’s job to facilitate that.

7. Sometimes, it’s OK to let technology take the wheel.

Before implementing new HCM software, there were so many redundancies in Georgetown University’s HR processes, some employees received the same piece of paper two or three times in a single process. It was certainly an operation they wanted to move away from, and one the new technology wouldn’t support.

Updating its HCM system forced Georgetown to re-evaluate its approach to HR processes, reporting, and organizational structures – for the better. While a technology solution can help make your current processes more efficient, you can also use a new solution as an opportunity to change processes altogether.

Think of how your new solution can change the way your HR employees interact with each other as they manage HR information like new hire paperwork, employee files, and HR compliance documentation.

8. Know your digital/workforce strategy.

The key to any technology solution is a clear digital/workforce strategy. This strategy should be a holistic three-year road map that takes into consideration worker experience, required skills, technology needs, talent differentiators, and much more, according to Jason Averbook.

A plan, on the other hand, is how to execute that strategy. Most organizations have a plan; few, if any, have a real strategy.

Without a complete strategy and vision, organizations will simply get stuck in a rut. They will implement HR solution after HR solution (and spend dollar after dollar) without ever knowing what they’re trying to achieve. Not having a clear strategy can create a big strain on HR resources, time, and budgets.

9. Nobody puts HR technology in a corner.

HR technology is a very real and very important focus for organizations of all sizes, categories, and industries. It’s not a fad to be ignored.

But don’t take my word for it: According to the Sierra-Cedar 2016 – 2017 HR Systems Survey:

  • 42 percent of organizations are looking to increase spending in HR technology over the next 12 months
  • 40 percent of organizations have a major initiative in place to update or develop an HR system strategy
  • 20 percent of organizations are planning to change at least one of their four main HR systems in the next 12 months

10. HR people are the best!

For anyone who still thinks of HR as the hall monitor of the organization, desperately clinging to their policy and procedure binders – think again!

HR practitioners are on the cutting edge of organizational change, often leading and initiating the programs and technology that will propel their workforces and organizations into the future. They’re creative and innovative, and always work to protect, develop, and engage the organization’s most valuable asset – employees.

Plus, they’re a whole lot of fun to be around!

So there you have it, the second part of all the insightful things I learned at the 2016 HR Executive Technology Conference & Exposition.

Did you attend and learn something new? Leave a comment below!

Danielle Simer

Danielle Simer

Danielle Simer is a marketing portfolio manager at Hyland. Her mission is to share best practices and evangelize the power of enterprise content management (ECM) as a tool to automate paper-based processes and improve operations across accounting and finance, human resources, and contract management. Danielle joined Hyland after more than six years with a research and advisory firm devoted to helping senior executives manage their departments and teams more effectively. She received her bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and her MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

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