Enhancing work with HR Technology: an interview with Kronos
- 5 Min Read
At KronosLive, HRD Connect spoke to David Morgan, HR Director, Kronos, and Liam McNeil, Senior Director about the future of HR and how important HR Technology can be for organisation.
HRD Connect earlier this year attended KronosLive, an event dedicated to delving deeper into understanding the future of work. We sat down with Liam McNeil and David Morgan to further the biggest challenges currently facing HR, and what role HR professionals will play in the future of work.
What is the most exciting aspect of the future of work that you gathered from KronosLive?
L.M: What’s most exciting about event like this is the fact that Kronos is in a position to really influence that, with the workforce dimension solution, being able to pump massive amount of data through our machine learning algorithms, and then put the artificial intelligence on top of that really gives our customers the ability to really live an agile workplace.
L.M: The biggest thing I hear is improving operational efficiencies. Us to be able to jump in there is exactly what our strength lies. We’re looking at improving operational efficiency to increase productivity or decrease workforce costs. It’s simple and fundamental to what we do. So anytime you’re with a company that has a solution that really solves a problem, it’s a pretty nice place to be, because your solution, selling or solution solving and not not just selling product.
D.M: This is the first time I’ve worked for a company that sells to HR people. So what’s exciting for me is that we get involved in discussions with the business, about the same issues that we face within the organization. It’s also exciting for leaders to understand the world of work, which is something that I’ve spent the last 25 years passionately trying to understand myself. Organizations these days see their people as a strategic advantage. Therefore they want to find ways to use that strategic advantage better.
D.M: When you predict and look at the potential rate of change, there’s going to be forward thinking where you have AI, algorithms, big data,and capacity within computers to do things that we’ve never had that before. And to think that your company sells that stuff is cool.
L.M: You’ve got to be careful not to live too far in the past and too far in the future, the ability to live now, and to respond to people’s desires and wants to use the F word, flexibility, in some companies that means you can work from home for two days a week, and for other organizations it means it’s okay if you come in at 10 one day, as long as you work there. So that flexibility that organizations desire and need which in many ways is born out of the change, particularly in the UK from years ago, where a lot of HR policies were set by collectivism, there’s a bigger drive, particularly in the UK for individualism, where it’s important that you have what you want and don’t necessarily care about other people. And therefore that relationship is usually formed around the whole word of trust.
What are the main sorts of challenges that you have to overcome to adapt to these now? Or future changes?
D.M: The biggest challenge for people is getting talent and how they define that talent, t needs to look very different to what it looked like three or four years ago, where is that talent going to stay, where’s that come from.
L.M: CEO’s are now having to drive rapids amounts of change and be able to move capital and move their assets very quickly. That comes back to the old adage of knowing who your people are. As we said earlier, how do you do that in do that efficiently? When you’ve got pressures of the economy.
D.M: The thing that comes with that is the style of leadership that’s seen through the CEO or senior leaders. It needs to be completely the opposite and tech savvy, it needs to be emotionally intelligent. The difference of people’s feelings and emotions in the workplace is abundant. You have multi generation workforce’s, you have the impact of technology, they need to move quickly.
The style of leadership that you now need to be seen as requires this high level of emotional intelligence, which is about being humble, understanding people’s drivers, their motivators, and what works for them.
L.M: Our CEO quite often talks about the fact that in a world where you’re looking to attract or retain the best people causes you problems because the best people have options, the best people can step up and leave and at any stage, so it does take a different type of leadership, and a different type of culture.
How can HR Technology aid these challenges for HR professionals
L.M: HR have used technology for years in different forms, but because of the capability of data,machines, algorithms, etc, we’re better than that. There’s a new role that HR should be playing, which is what I would call people economist. It’s the ability to take data from lots of different aspects of the environment, the marketplace, inside the organization. And what they can really add value with is adding insight to that data.
It’s not just having the data, they’ve got to have the ability to be that kind of people economist where they can predict things, rather than reactive things. So that to me is our biggest challenge.
L.M: HR have used technology well in the past 15 years to help with diversity, inclusion. We looked at a couple of hospitals that are having trouble attracting and retaining nurses. They were able to run some analytics over there shift patterns to offer a more flexible working pattern so it was easier for female nurses to have children. Implementing that system became an attraction and therefore helped diversity & inclusion.
This years KronosLive event was based around the future of work, new information, new developments and gaining a fresh perspective on your current workforce management solution.