Some companies think of HR as a “cost center” – or at least don’t think about HR costs as being revenue-generating. Companies invest in infrastructure and tools for team productivity like JIRA, Office 365, and Google for Business – why not invest in tools for recognition, goal alignment, and engagement? HR tech can be used as a tool to generate long-term value and ROI because ensuring that your employees are integrated, engaged, and aligned is vital to the company’s productivity function.
On Thursday, October 19th, Personify hosted Culture & Technology: A Conversation to gather Triangle HR leaders and discuss how technology can enhance an organization’s people strategy to promote an engaged company culture and improve individual and company-wide performance. The discussion was led by Dana Kuhn, Personify’s head of people, strategy, and partnerships. Coming from a rapid scaling start-up background where her people operations department typically started as a “team of 1,” Kuhn detailed the challenges she faced with engaging and aligning employees when the organization’s focus is on rapid growth or product development. Personify’s goal for the event was to build collaboration and discussion around how HR tech can help increase efficiency by not just automating processes, but also providing tools and data that help personalize employees’ work experience to boost engagement and ultimately performance.
The event featured demos and discussion from Triangle HR tech start-ups: PeopleLove, Peakon, and All Elements. The audience included HR vice presidents, directors, and managers from both global companies and Triangle start-ups, and the interactive Q&A session provided insights into how technology can help organizations make better people decisions and improve employee relations at all levels. The panelists gave business cases for HR tech: leaders can drive change in real-time and create an engaged, connected culture that drives impact on business objectives.
Business Case 1: Online tools make offline connections
A study conducted by Wharton’s Management Department found that employees who perceive greater affection and caring from their colleagues perform better. Joe Colopy, PeopleLove’s CEO and founder, explained that by using online notifications to make offline connections, HR tech can help cultivate meaningful employee relationships. Coworkers, managers, and people teams already care about their teammates’ life milestones, but sometimes the day-to-day work gets in the way of recognizing and celebrating them. We are more likely to wish someone “happy birthday” on Facebook than we are in real life, simply because Facebook’s push notifications remind us to do so. Software platforms, like PeopleLove, can help us stay engaged with the people we spend 8+ hours a day with and perform meaningful actions – such as recognizing birthdays, work anniversaries, new hires, and promotions – to effectively layer in relationship building into employees’ daily activities. By creating a culture of connectedness and compassion, organizations can benefit from the increased level of employee engagement, satisfaction, and productivity that come with it.
Business case 2: People make it happen
People are businesses most valuable resources, and having aligned and engaged employees increases that value by improving productivity and performance. Mutuk Karpakakunjaram, CEO and founder of All Elements, cited organizations that have continuous performance conversations with employees see a 64% increase in engagement and an 82% increase in creating a successful culture. HR tech software, like All Elements, can help organizations by providing collaborative tools for continuous conversations, while also aligning core values and performance goals to create a culture of transparency, ensuring that every employee knows how they are contributing to overall business objectives.
Business case 3: Real-time, actionable data empowers decisions
Growing companies want to measure how their people strategies are working, and HR tech platforms allow leaders to track changes and adjust behaviors in real-time to maximize effectiveness and efficiency. By having actionable data, organizations can make small adjustments and monitor their effects on morale and performance. Neil Ryland, CRO at Peakon, explained how HR tech that tracks changes in employee sentiments in real-time allows organizations to have tangible conversations with data, switching it from “we think engagement is up/down because of xyz” to “we know engagement changed because of xyz.” By using data to make decisions, companies can effectively measure employee engagement and make immediate adjustments to better business performance.
HR tech tools empower companies to engage, grow, and retain their most important asset, their people, while having real impact on business outcomes. Personify’s goal for hosting this discussion, and other upcoming events, is to build a movement around integrated talent, acting as a resource for promoting and sharing strategies to recruit, engage, and retain top talent in the Triangle.