With HR technology advancing leaps and bounds as a result of the pandemic, it has become easier for companies to maintain a database of employee mindsets and behaviors. What is significant is how one uses the data to fine-tune the role of HR in making remote and hybrid work easier for both the company and employee.
Asynchronous work might be a new aspect for companies to explore – especially those that rely heavily on daily meetings to ensure uniform productivity. With automation taking the driver’s seat over the last two years, it is imperative to help company culture accommodate the future of work.
Richard Doherty is the Senior Director Product Marketing at Workday with EMEA-wide responsibilities for Workday’s HCM and financial management applications. Prior to Workday, Richard was part of a team that pioneered cloud-based recruiting and talent management solutions in Europe. Gemma is an experienced senior HR professional, Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, Fellow of the HEA and a regular speaker and writer on a variety of HR topics including employee engagement, flexible and hybrid working and wellbeing. Gemma is the author ‘Flexible Working’ published by Kogan Page. Her next book, ‘How to Work Remotely’ will be published in 2022.
Follow the discussion between Richard and Gemma with your free subscription to HRD Connect: The changing workplace: how can we embrace the future of work?
Key Time Stamps:
0:17 – How to use employee data in your organization?
1:04 – How should HR technology support the future of work?
1:56 – Time-flex for better work management
2:47 – How to get people to use the new technology?
Richard Doherty is the Senior Director Product Marketing at Workday with EMEA-wide responsibilities for Workday's HCM and financial management applications. Prior to Workday, Richard was part of a team that pioneered cloud-based recruiting and talent management solutions in Europe.
Gemma is an experienced senior HR professional, Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, Fellow of the HEA and a regular speaker and writer on a variety of HR topics including employee engagement, flexible and hybrid working and wellbeing. Gemma is the author ‘Flexible Working’ published by Kogan Page. Her next book, ‘How to Work Remotely’ will be published in 2022.
[Richard] Technology’s moved forward leaps and bounds in the last few years in terms of the ability to listen to your employees, and what that means is you ask him a couple of questions each week, and you’re building up this body of data. And then, because we have these tools now to analyze huge volumes of data, you can start spotting patterns. And then also you can start analyzing that data and some of the tools, we’ve got one, which will then start making recommendations to people, leaders and managers in terms of what it thinks they should do. Not telling them what to do, but it’s making suggestions. So I think the tools are there now to really help us understand what our employees need, what their needs are, how they’re feeling, and so on and so forth. Which then leads me on to my next question, Gemma, which is around – it’s a bit of a selfish one, you know, this is my real area of interest – is the application of technology to HR. What do you think HR technology needs to be able to do to support this future of work that we’re talking about? [Gemma] I think, on a really practical level to begin with, HR tech needs to support hybrid work. So whether that is thinking about how we induct people, for example, when they’re going to be spending some of their time working remotely, whether that includes things like, hopefully, culture conversation that we talked about, learning and development, you know, those touch points within the employee lifecycle. And I think it’s really important that that HR professionals do a review of whether their current systems, procedures and technology currently support that.
I think lots of organizations have been out developing technologies right now that will support more flexible work, more remote work. I think we have to think about asynchronous work. So this comes back again, to my point around time flex. We do so much of our work synchronously through meetings, and that’s the other thing for me that we have not broken during the pandemic. When we worked for organizations that had meeting cultures, all we did was lift and shift that into our home offices, or our dining rooms, or our living rooms. And many people report they just spend far too much time on online meeting platforms, and we’ve started to see the research now that says, that’s not good for our health. So we need to think about these things, and we need to make sure whatever technology we’re using in organizations truly supports that form of work, you know, being able to work and collaborate without all being in an online meeting. But even when that technology exists, it’s getting people to use it. And I again know organizations that have got great stuff, but nobody’s really using it to best effect.
I think we’ll also see an awful lot more automation of what were manual processes, a lot more self-service, things like chatbots being able to handle the first-level employee inquiry. So I think there’ll be some structural changes, as they always are, but in HR with more focus on delivering value-added services rather than admin, so I think people’s roles will change. So it’s gonna be interesting time, but I’ve been saying this for the last 20 years. You know, there’s this continual change, it’s just it has definitely accelerated in the last two years, we’ve all seen that digital acceleration out of necessity – organizations have had to digitize because no one was in the office.