These technology disruptions will completely transform the HR landscape in 2018.
Until recently, the focus of technology inside organizations was solely a move toward efficiency. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, software wasn’t so much created to improve the lives of end users, but instead focused on cutting costs and adding scale. HR technology was of little concern.
Around the turn of the century, HR technology vendors turned their attention to developing tools to support recruitment, training, and performance management. Then we saw companies move to the cloud and start to build systems of engagement for employees.
Today, we’re seeing a similar phenomenon in the work world that we saw in the 1980s: companies are putting considerable effort into finding ways for their workers to be more productive. Over the past two years, venture capital and private equity firms poured $1.87 billion into HR and workforce-related products, and a big chunk of that goes into tools that promise to help people go faster and be more agile and nimble.
To go faster for longer, these HR technologies are designed around teams, individuals, and networks to ensure that employees can connect and collaborate in new and different ways.
These HR technologies will continue to change how we work. For instance, in the next few years, we will see more mobile-enabled tools that resemble social networking platforms. Instead of email, employees will send messages through team-based communication systems like Slack, G Suite, Workplace by Facebook, Microsoft Teams, SAP Jam Collaboration, and BlueJeans Networks.
It won’t be long before workers can talk to these systems with voice recognition software, in the same way that one talks to Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. In the long run, these tools will impact performance and talent management in a big way.
The work world’s technological advancements have also made it easier to collect data that will change the role employers have on employees’ performance and professional growth.
To better understand this, think about how Amazon has completely changed the way we shop. In an effort to give each of its customers a personalized shopping experience, the behemoth retail-slash-tech company collects massive amounts of data on shoppers.
Forward-thinking companies have known for some time that they need to know their customers, but they’re now realizing that business success comes from understanding your employees the same way you do your customers.
Getting to know your people and the way they work allows you to provide the necessary support, if needed, for their success.
For instance, collecting data on your employees with HR technology can help you determine challenges they might be facing, what’s competing for their attention, or why they aren’t as engaged as they once were. Having this kind of understanding also allows employers to help their employees grow into their dream role tomorrow.
Similar to customer data collection, there’s a higher chance employees will approve their employers gathering and collecting data on them with HR technology as long as they deem it beneficial.
Besides a focus on tools for work productivity, here are other ways the HR technology market is transforming the work world in 2018.
ERM and HCM Move to the Cloud
The talent market reinvents itself and talent management tools no longer behave like talent or people management systems, but rather team management systems.
The Rise in Continuous Performance Management
Instead of reporting to one manager and working on one project at a time like the good ol’ days, employees today have multiple managers, work on multiple projects at once, and lend their time helping colleagues on separate teams. Because of this, companies need HR technology that makes employee-manager interactions simpler.
Moving Beyond Annual Surveys
The always-on work culture means that employee well-being is extremely important to a company’s bottom line. To maintain a positive employee experience, organizations need to move beyond annual reviews to more continuous feedback, pulse surveys, and analytics tools, which can be achieved through the implementation of the latest HR technology.
Virtual and Augmented Reality Change the Corporate Learning Market
To prepare employees for the future of work, there is tremendous growth and reinvention in the corporate learning market, especially with virtual and augmented reality.
Video Assessment: The Fastest-Growing Area of Spend in Talent Acquisition
Ever since companies realized their most valuable asset is talent, hiring is now seen as the most important thing a company does.
Wellness Industry Shifts Focus from Accident and Insurance Cost Reduction to Employee Wellbeing
HR technology vendors are rapidly offering new tools and systems designed to measure, monitor, and improve well-being at work, including coaching programs, biometrics, and end-to-end healthcare solutions.
People Analytics is now a Must-Have
Top three areas in people analytics include:
- Embedded analytics, meaning analyses are available as needed without having to generate reports.
- AI vendors will mostly be focusing on areas such as pattern-recognition, algorithm refinement, machine learning, and natural language processing.
- ONA, or organizational network analysis technology, captures data from emails, feedback activities, and other sources to identify workflow patterns and ways in which people are communicating.
Growth in Intelligent Self-Service, Communications, and Employee Experience Tools
These tools use cognitive, conversational, and intelligent systems—similar to voice-recognition software already in wide use—that will help employees get questions answered, submit transactions, and find information without human assistance.
HR Departments are Becoming Digital
HR departments are expected to act as the brain behind innovation, pushing vendors and demanding solutions based on data, trends, and predictions to what’s needed in the future workplace.
HR Technology Proliferation
As technological advancements enter many facets of our everyday lives, it’s practical to think the workplace will be affected too. The success of HR technology will be dictated by its ability to delight employees while providing actionable data to management. HR technology vendors that can satisfy these needs will surely rise to the top.
David is the Head of Research at Bersin by Deloitte and sets strategy, ensures high-quality efforts, and drives continuous innovation for Bersin’s research team. He is the former steward for Bersin’s Learning and Development research practice and has been the primary force behind their work in continuous learning, learning cultures, high-impact learning organization maturity, and learning management systems. He is also central to Bersin’s thought leadership related to HR’s operating models, governance, and the evolution of key roles such as the HR business partner.